Coretta Scott King has been selected for the Alabama Women’s Hall of Fame a year after another key figure in the civil rights movement, Rosa Parks. Mrs. King, who lived in Atlanta, was to be recognized with a bronze plaque at an installation ceremony on March 5th at Judson College in her hometown of Marion, Ala. The induction comes in the first year that Mrs. King became eligible. The Rev. Joseph Lowery, a Huntsville native considered the dean of the civil rights movement, said her selection “shows my home state is making progress.” Rev. Lowery said Alabama serves itself well by honoring Mrs. King, observing: “There are few Alabamians who could match her prominence in the world.
The Hall of Fame’s board normally selects two women each year, but the last two years, the board has chosen only one because the stature of Mrs. Parks and Mrs. King would have overshadowed any other women chosen. The hall’s guidelines say a woman can only be nominated once at least two years have passed since her death. Mrs. King, who died on Jan. 30, 2006, was nominated and selected in her first year of eligibility. Cathy Randall of Tuscaloosa, chairman of the hall’s board, says Mrs. King was an easy selection. Cathy had this to say:
Unflinching and elegant, Coretta Scott King is the role model for all women who strive to face adversity with courage and to combat social injustice with informed action.
Mrs. King was born in the Heiberger community, about seven miles northwest of where the Alabama Women’s Hall of Fame is located in west Alabama. She studied music in Boston, where she met her future husband, who was a student at Boston University. They married in 1953 and moved the following year to Montgomery, where he became pastor of the Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church. He led the Montgomery Bus Boycott in 1955 after Parks was arrested for not giving up her bus seat to a white passenger. After her husband’s killing in 1968, Mrs. King worked to develop the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change in Atlanta and to get Congress to honor her husband with a national holiday.
I am proud to say that my wife Sara serves on the Hall of Fame Board. She was highly pleased to be involved with honoring Mrs. King. My plan at press time was to go to Marion with Sara for the day’s activities. I hope that I will be able to go since I really look forward to being present for this occasion.
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