Interview with Coretta Scott King (Video)


Attribute NameValues
  • Interview with Coretta Scott King conducted for Eyes on the Prize II. Discussion centers on Martin Luther King, Jr.'s life and work, including the Poor People's campaign, his stance against the Vietnam War, and his conflicts with SCLC on this issue. Other topics include living in Chicago during SCLC's time there, the first time the King family marched together, appearing at the National Black Political Convention in 1972, and her activism against apartheid in South Africa. This interview also appeared in Malcolm X: Make it Plain.
  • Thanks to a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), the original 16mm negative film were scanned and digitized to create 2K DPX files and the original 1/4" elements were digitized to create 24-bit 96kHz .wav files. The picture and audio were then reassembled at the Film & Media Archive.
  • Blackside, Inc.
  • Washington University in St. Louis
  • English
  • MAVIS Interview record: 224
  • kin4195.00224
  • Eyes on the Prize II
  • Coretta Scott was born on April 27, 1927 in Heiberger, Alabama. Having attended segregated schools, Scott graduated from Lincoln High School and enrolled to study music at Antioch College as one of the first black students. There, she became politically active and was a member of the local NAACP. Scott went on to study at the New England Conservatory of Music, where she met her future husband Martin Luther King, Jr., who was studying theology at Boston University. They married on June 18, 1953, moving to Montgomery, Alabama as soon as Scott King graduated. There, King began work as a minister at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church. Scott King not only raised their four children but became an active and essential part of the civil rights movement of the 50s and 60s, often independent of her husband. Scott King assisted the Montgomery Improvement Association, of which King was president, and later the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Scott King fought for the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Continuing her musicianship, Scott King performed in the Freedom Concerts which benefitted the SCLC. Scott King attended the Disarmament Conference in Geneva in 1962 as a representative of the Women’s Strike for Peace. After her husband’s assassination on April 4, 1968, Scott King founded the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change and became an even more outspoken critic of injustice. Scott King was a participant in Poor People’s Campaign, her husband’s final major program of action. She published My Life with Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1969. Scott King allied herself with women’s rights, world peace, anti-apartheid, and, later, LGBT activists. She also dedicated herself to preserving her husband’s memory, leading many memorial marches and gatherings and advocating for the creation of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. The Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change has been expanded to become Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Site. Scott King died on January 30, 2006. During the 1960s civil rights movement, Scott King handled many of the administrative tasks of her husband’s organizations, and often accompanied him during his visits around the world. Scott King assisted her husband when he was unexpectedly selected as president of the Montgomery Improvement Association, which helped orchestrate the Montgomery Bus Boycott in 1955-6. She also assisted him during his tenure in the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Scott King raised funds for the SCLC and occasionally gave speeches on King’s behalf or independently. Following her husband’s death, she worked tirelessly to preserve his memory and to continue his work.
  • 01:26:44:00
Description standard
Date issued
  • 1988-11-21T00:00:00Z
Visibility Open Access