EDGEWATER, Md. (WJZ)—We celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King each year, but the woman who fought to make that a national holiday was the one getting attention on Thursday.
Suzanne Collins reports on a new Coretta Scott King memorial.
Coretta Scott King carried on her husband’s fight for peace for three decades after his death. Thursday, a garden was dedicated in her honor south of Annapolis. Her daughter Dr. Bernice King was there.
“She is the one who catapulted him to the national and international conscience. She is the one who reminded us of the importance of keeping his non-violent legacy alive,” Bernice King said.
Coretta Scott King not only fought for the national holiday. She formed the King Center and rallied for social justice for all people.
“She was a strong advocate for gay rights, women’s rights, for labor,” said Carl Snowden, event organizer. “She was a magnificent woman, and we wanted to make sure future generations will remember who she is.”
Members of Congress, even a federal judge, spoke about Coretta Scott King’s contributions.
“She sacrificed her own career as a vocalist and an artist and decided to marry Dr. King and committed her entire life to civil rights and to peace and goodwill with all persons,” said Judge Alexander Williams Jr., U.S. District Court.
There’s much more to the legacy of Coretta Scott King. Some people say she’s a wonderful role model to black women when it comes to being a leader.
“African-American women are running now in Baltimore City. The prosecutors, the lawyers, the judges and I think Coretta Scott King had a lot to do with that,” Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler said.
Coretta Scott King’s wise words are in the garden for young people to ponder.
“She was very grounded in her faith,” Bernice King said. “She taught us how to forgive, not by telling us, but by modeling it. I never knew my mother to hold grudges. In fact, she often said ‘I never hold grudges.’”
The garden is located at the Sojourner Douglass campus located in Edgewater.
Watch the entire interview with Bernice King in this WJZ web exclusive: