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January 31, 2006 | bpfna
Coretta Scott King, who devoted her life to furthering her husband's legacy of human rights and equality, has died at age 78. The cause of King's death wasn't immediately known, but she had suffered a serious stroke and heart attack last year.
In a statement issued the morning of January 31, the King family said, "We appreciate the prayers and condolences from people across the country."
Dr. C. T. Vivian, who worked for civil rights alongside Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., said, "She was such a symbol, a visible presence, a living legacy of the movement." In his phone conversation with BPFNA Coordinating Director Gary Percesepe, Dr. Vivian also recalled a day of celebration at his home last year with Coretta King. A group of teenagers at the house was very excited to be with her and had many questions as they sought her advice and counsel. Though she was very weak, Coretta King stood for over 45 minutes on her feet, answering every question. "She was so joyful in their presence, she did not want to be taken away from those young people," Dr. Vivian shared.
On ABC's Good Morning America, poet Maya Angelou said, "It's a bleak morning for me and for many people and yet it's a great morning because we have a chance to look at her and see what she did and who she was. It's bleak because I can't - many of us can't - hear her sweet voice, but it's great because she did live, and she was ours. I mean African-Americans and white Americans and Asians, Spanish-speaking — she belonged to us and that's a great thing."
Following Dr. King's death in 1968, Coretta Scott King said, "I'm more determined than ever that my husband's dream will become a reality." She dedicated herself to keeping alive his dream of equality for all people, working to establish The King Center and its involvement with hunger, unemployment, voting rights, racism and other issues she said breed violence. Coretta King said, "The Center enables us to go out and struggle against the evils in our society."
Read more about Coretta Scott King at The King Center website
Read more coverage at Yahoo! News
January 31, 2006