The daughter of iconic civil rights activist Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. has called for her late mother, Coretta Scott King, to be honored alongside her father during the national holiday celebrating his life and legacy.
Dr. Bernice King took to social media on Monday (Jan. 17) with a post requesting that the public also pay tribute to Coretta Scott King’s contributions to the civil rights movement, as the late author and activist worked just as tirelessly as her husband to improve the circumstances for Black people in this country. “As you honor my father today, please remember and honor my mother, as well,” Dr. King wrote. “She was the architect of the King Legacy and founder of @TheKingCenter, which she founded two months after Daddy was assassinated. Without #CorettaScottKing, there would be no #MLKDay. #MLK”
As you honor my father today, please remember and honor my mother, as well.
She was the architect of the King Legacy and founder of @TheKingCenter, which she founded two months after Daddy was assassinated.
— Be A King (@BerniceKing) January 17, 2022
Following King Jr.’s assassination on April 4, 1968, Coretta Scott King founded the King Center for Nonviolent Social Change in Atlanta, Georgia, and would later lead efforts to have a federal holiday acknowledging his impact on social justice. This goal was accomplished in 1983, when the holiday was sworn into law. It first observed as a national holiday in 1986, nearly 20 years after King’s death. Dubbed the “First Lady of the Civil Rights Movement,” Coretta Scott King passed away in 2006 at the age of 78.
In addition to the civil rights movement, Coretta Scott King was an author and ally to the LGBTQ+ community. She was also involved in the women’s and children’s rights movements.