Ossie Davis had Ruby Dee. Marcus Garvey had Amy Euphemia Jacques Garvey. Malcolm X had Betty Shabazz. Martin Luther King Jr. had Coretta Scott King.
Throughout history, there have been exceptional examples of women who trail blazed alongside some of history's prominent black men. As we close out Womens Month, there is much to be said about women being a powerhouse. There is a long list of women who deserve recognition; however, this piece wishes to shed light on Coretta Scott King.
Most recognize her as the wife of Reverend Martin Luther King Jr., yet there was so much more to this phenomenal woman. Coretta Scott King was an accomplished singer who had a bachelor's degree in music. She was an activist who was deeply involved in racial justice politics and the peace movement. This passion was evident during her college years before meeting her husband. She was vocal about peace issues between the United States and Vietnam. Coretta once said, "I am an activist. I didn't just emerge after Martin died; I was always involved."
Coretta, like many other women, has fought and challenged the many injustices that we continue to face. She was the voice and powerhouse who created the King Center in Atlanta, Georgia. Coretta fought to make Martin Luther King (MLK) a national holiday. Coretta's long history of activism shows that she was just as great as her husband. Black women have always been influential leaders in their respected communities. Yet, we continue to see how popular culture continues to marginalize her work and the work of many other Black women. Her legacy shouldn't solely focus on her efforts with preserving her husband's legacy, but it should focus on the fact that she held more roles than one. Indeed, Coretta advocated for her husband, but she fearlessly advocated for many.
As someone who is uncovering my voice and navigating my societal roles, I admire Coretta's leadership and tendency. I admire women who hold titles such as mother, wife, friend, colleague, or advocate, yet never lose sight of themselves. I aspire to hold different roles yet embrace them with grace and conviction. I always want to stay true to who I am as a woman. March is observed as Womens month; however, women are at the forefront all year long. Whether you learn from Coretta, Beyonce, Michelle Obama, or any of the women previously mentioned, always remember your mark on the world is not based on one role. As you grow and evolve, you will have more roles than one.
Written By: Kenya Kirkman
My name is Kenya Kirkman. I was born and raised in Brooklyn. I am an avid traveler, and currently reside in Harlem. My favorite countries thus far have been Portugal and Cuba. My goal in life is to inspire all while becoming the best me. Iâm so excited to be working the Dinner Table Doc.