A Woman Visible

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Tuesday, January 31, 2006

A Woman Visible: Coretta Scott King (1927-2006)

The big news today here in Atlanta is the death of Coretta Scott King.

I will be honest--while Mrs. King, wife of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., did many things to help her husband's cause even after his death, she also did many things that hurt his cause. She was a complex, controversial woman whose presence will hover over the Atlanta area as well as the civil rights movement long after her children bury her and memorialize her at the King Center. I didn't want to write about her at first, but then it hit me--she was a woman visible during a time that marked her doubly:

1) she was a woman in a male-dominated movement

2) she was an black woman living in the Deep South

What made her terribly visible was her willingness to be vocal about what she believed in, and her willingness to stand up in a political arena that wasn't initially geared for a woman with such a large presence. To get what she wanted she often pushed the envelope of what we in the South would consider geniality. Ok, to be more blunt, she was sometimes downright rude. People didn't agree with her, people didn't like her--but things got done around her.

It was her force of nature approach that made the King Center a reality. It was her determination that made her a loud voice in the din of voices that raised after her husband was murdered. I don't have to like her to understand that she was someone that could be considered the "matriarch of the civil rights movement" (WSB radio this morning).

She was a woman visible, like it or not.

My prayers are with her family.


  • At 10:35 PM, Blogger K.D. Rose said…

    I think you have written a unique and honest tribute to Ms. King. It's the most truthful and thoughtful one I've heard yet. It respectfully honors Ms. King as a real person and a woman and not simply an icon or symbol.

  • At 10:18 AM, Blogger CTD said…

    I agree.


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