Women’s History : Coretta Scott King

“Women, if the soul of the nation is to be saved, I believe that you must become its soul.”

Coretta Scott King, or Coretta Scott at the time, was born in Marion, Alabama in 1927, where she lived on her family’s farm with her parents and two siblings. Scott’s family owning land showed that she was more well off than other children of color, but she still was a victim of segregation. She walked six miles to school, and then six miles home, each day, while her white peers traveled on buses to schools that had better teachers and more resources.

In high school, Coretta Scott developed an interest in music, and she was pushed to pursue music, which she combined with education, and studied to become a music school teacher. Even after leaving the south to attend Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio, racism was alive and well, and it made it difficult for Scott to teach. The school board refused her because of her race, but she kept fighting and became more determined than ever to succeed. This was when she joined the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, or NAACP, a race-relations committee, and a civil liberties committee.

When Scott moved to Boston to pursue continue to study music, she met Martin Luther King Jr. After receiving her degree and marrying King, she moved with her husband back to Alabama, which is where Martin Luther King Jr’s large role in the Civil Rights Movement really took off. She followed this movement closely with her husband, and she supported and fought for the rights of black people in America.

Coretta Scott King’s legacy extends to books as well. in 1969, King created and established the Coretta Scott King Award, which was to be given to African American children’s authors “that demonstrate an appreciation of African American culture and universal human values.” In Warner Library’s Social Justice section, we have several books that have been given this award, and you can find them below:

Me (Moth) by Amber McBride
Before the Ever After by Jacqueline Woods
R-E-S-P-E-C-T : Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul by Carole Boston Weatherford
New Kid by Jerry Craft
The Undefeated by Kwame Alexander

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