Coretta Scott King.

Essay by gangstar1000High School, 10th gradeA, February 2006

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Coretta Scott was born in Heiberger, Alabama and raised on the farm of her parents Bernice McMurry Scott, and Obadiah Scott, in Perry County, Alabama. She was exposed at an early age to the injustices of life in a segregated society. She walked five miles a day to attend the one-room Crossroad School in Marion, Alabama, while the white students rode buses to an all-white school closer by. Young Coretta excelled at her studies, particularly music, and was valedictorian of her graduating class at Lincoln High School. She graduated in 1945 and received a scholarship to Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio. As an undergraduate, she took an active interest in the nascent civil rights movement; she joined the Antioch chapter of the NAACP, and the college's Race Relations and Civil Liberties Committees. She graduated from Antioch with a B.A. in music and education and won a scholarship to study concert singing at New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, Massachusetts.

In Boston she met a young theology student, Martin Luther King, Jr., and her life was changed forever. They were married on June 18, 1953, in a ceremony conducted by the groom's father, the Rev. Martin Luther King, Sr. Coretta Scott King completed her degree in voice and violin at the New England Conservatory and the young couple moved in September 1954 to Montgomery, Alabama, where Martin Luther King Jr. had accepted an appointment as Pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church.

They were soon caught up in the dramatic events that triggered the modern civil rights movement. When Rosa Parks refused to yield her seat on a Montgomery city bus to a white passenger, she was arrested for violating the city's ordinances giving white passengers preferential treatment in public conveyances. The black citizens of Montgomery organized immediately in...