Sorority hosts vigil for honorary member

The ladies of the Beta Alpha Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. presented a candlelight vigil to commemorate the late Coretta Scott King at the Eternal Flame Monday night.

An honorary member of AKA, King’s life was memorialized through a prayer, a poem and a brief summary of her life. A circle was formed around the Eternal Flame as people paid their respects to King and joined hands as they sang “Amazing Grace.”

AKA chapter president, Artellia Moss, 22, a graduate business administration student from Houston, opened the ceremony by reading Bible verses from Psalms. She then described King as “a woman devoted to racial equality and the betterment of man, and last but not least, a child of God.”

Krystal Wooten, 20, a senior health science student from Bradenton, was among those who attended the candlelight ceremony. “I thought she was a woman worthy of me showing my respects.” While people mourn the loss of King, the life of the late Rosa Parks, who died at 92, in October, is still being memorialized.

With the deaths being almost four months apart, people shared opinions on the sudden losses of the two civil rights leaders.

Wooten said, “It’s sad, but it gives me time to reflect, look back and realize what has been done to create a better life for our generation.”

Myah McDade, 21, a senior psychology student from Orlando and member of AKA, and expressed some concern when it came to today’s generation and the reaction to the loss of King and Parks. “It’s a little bit scary, but challenging at the same time. A lot of our generation doesn’t seem to care, but we have a lot of up-and-coming leaders at FAMU, ” McDade said.

Moss added, “It’s disheartening to lose such great leaders. It also inspires you to live up to the achievements that these leaders made.”

King was studying voice at Boston’s New England Conservatory of Music. It was there that she met the man that would be her husband, Martin Luther King Jr. In 1953, they were married and eventually had four children: Yolanda Denise, Martin III, Dexter Scott, and Bernice Albertine.

Just after her husband’s death, she said, “I’m more determined than ever that my husband’s dream will become a reality.” She also said, “Hate is too great a burden to bear. It injures the hater more than it injures the hated.”

She began working to push politicians to make her husband’s birthday a national holiday. It was not until 1986 that she achieved that success.

In 1969, King founded the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social change. She also traveled around the world spreading her husband’s word.

As the years went by, she continued to honor her husband, and in the process, be honored by people all over the world.

The wife of the late civil rights leader died in her sleep Jan. 30, in Mexico from ovarian cancer. She was at an alternative medicine clinic in fighting the cancer.

At the end of the candlelight vigil, Moss said, “As we remember the life of Coretta Scott King, we are reminded that people are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed, only if there is light from within.”

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