You were a world leader and human rights advocate. A pioneer for peace. The architect of The King Legacy. The founder of The King Center. As we celebrate your 96th birthday, we reflect on your commitment to helping us become the Beloved Community and on how you inspire us to love each other with the agape love that is the foundation of nonviolence.
You were the wife of a courageous visionary and maker of true peace, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Your union blessed humanity. You were the mother of four (Yolanda King, Martin Luther King, III, Dexter King and Bernice A. King). You affectionately called The King Center your “fifth child,” and you were a matriarch who guided and nurtured many throughout the world.
On April 4th, 1968, your life was tragically reshaped when your husband was assassinated and you were left to continue motherhood and a movement. In the face of tremendous adversity, grief and social inequities, you responded to the moment by becoming a champion of nonviolence. And your faith undergirded your work that influences generations.
Your ability to lead, dream, hope and endure is paramount to how The King Center was born and to how The King Legacy was built; and it is those qualities that keep The King Center growing today in realizing its vision of “the Beloved Community, where injustice ceases and love prevails.”
Perhaps no quote better conveys your view of what the Beloved Community is than this, “To me, the Beloved Community is a spiritual bond that claims the energies and commitment of a diverse group of people who desire to serve a cause larger than themselves. The Beloved Community is fueled by unconditional love, feels like family, and transcends race, religion, and class.”
“Transcends” not only describes a facet of the Beloved Community, but it also describes your ability to see the world for what it could be. Your willingness to see people as a part of a common fabric is what made your approach to nonviolence and leadership so transformative, and it has left an indelible mark on the world.
You were not only focused on the racism, militarism and poverty that were affecting people in America, but you had a global vision of nonviolence as the pathway to creating the Beloved Community across the world. You were a freedom fighter and justice worker for the World House.
We honor you. We honor your life, we honor your love, and we honor your legacy.
Happy Birthday, Mrs. Coretta Scott King.