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Before long he attracted national attention as leader of a successful—and nonviolent—bus boycott by Montgomery’s blacks.A new era in the Southern civil rights struggle began. Martin always knew he was going to jail, and it was part of his preparation in each campaign.” Except for his arrest in De Kalb County, Georgia, where he was sentenced to six months in the state penitentiary and she wept in the courtroom, Coretta King bore it all with outward stoicism.Ten years have passed since an assassin’s bullet ended the extraordinary career of her husband, Dr. She is dedicated not just to preserving the dreams of the slain civil rights champion, but to making them reality with the force of her own powerful personality. She lends her name to causes ranging from women’s rights to full employment.Her pleas for economic sanctions against South Africa or for passage of the Humphrey-Hawkins bill are eagerly quoted in the press.Later on I saw it was destiny that we were meant to come together. But he gave me an opportunity to strengthen it.” An admiring group of foreign journalists recently crowded into her home just off Atlanta’s Martin Luther King Jr. When you devote your life to a cause, you must be willing to pay whatever price is necessary.
There was never a point where I thought we weren’t going forward, that it was hopeless.” In 1960 the Kings moved to Atlanta, where he joined his father as co-pastor of the Ebenezer Baptist Church.
“He was threatened.” In time he owned a fleet of three trucks and then a sawmill. “He was short, only 5’7″, but he was strong and masculine and he had a strong social conscience and a determination to fight against injustice.
“He ran the sawmill for two weeks and it burned down. He went back to work the next day.” (Both parents are still living; her father is now 78, her mother 73.) The middle child of three (older sister, younger brother), Coretta has early memories of church and music. I wondered if he was real, if he meant what he said.” There was no mistaking what young Martin thought of Coretta.
Somewhat to her surprise, Coretta King finds herself a controversial figure—and more.
“I’ve become almost like an institution,” she admits.
“As he felt the pressure on his schedule, he took it out on me.