Coretta Scott King, civil rights matriarch and widow of civil rights leader, Dr. Martin Luther King, died Monday night in an alternative medicine facility in Mexico.
Mrs. King was not only a symbol of strength and perseverance but also a symbol of the civil rights movement that her husband galvanized.
As I talked to different people to gather my thoughts for this column, it was my impression that many believed that in her death, Mrs. King took with her whatever remnants of the civil rights movement that were left. And before I sat to think about it, I too felt the same way.
Mrs. King leaves an empty spot in the on-going struggle for empowerment and equality for the black community.
But that empty spot to me, only symbolizes hope. Hope for the next person who will come and take her place and hope that the next person will take blacks to a level that neither Mrs. King nor her husband could’ve dreamed of.
In the place of Mrs. King and the others that have gone before her, I would like to see people step to the fore front, who not only want to help lead the black community into a place of economic empowerment and social unity, but to also share with us the knowledge they had to get us to that place.
You see, when we have the knowledge of that leader and the tools to empower ourselves, even the death of our motivators won’t be able to stifle our progress.
Mrs. King was an integral part in the civil rights movement and helped to carry on her husband’s dreams even after his death; but her death will not erase the strides blacks made during the civil rights movement, nor will it leave us at a lack for leadership within the community.
Mrs. King’s death doesn’t signal the end of the civil rights movement, but simply, the beginning of a new era in which we are provided with leaders that are everything Malcolm X, Dr. King and Angela Davis strived daily to be.
Although the loss of any key figure within our community is sad, it should be viewed optmistically. As black people, we are more than equipped to become leaders within our communities, despite the fact that no key figure to lead our community.
I encourage you all to use this time as a moment of reflection about the past and preparation for the future.
Amber Vaughan is a senior public relations student from Pensacola. She can e reached at firstname.lastname@example.org