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Rep Conyers Statement - Coretta Scott King Funeral

John Conyers Statement At Coretta Scott King Funeral

We were truly blessed when three inspired lives converged to help free all Americas -- White and Black -- from the shameful shackles of segregation: Coretta King, Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks. Surely it was Divine Providence that brought those three together so each could play their appointed role in America's liberation

Now they have left their earthly existence; but they remain shining symbols of the greatest transformation of American society. They started the journey we still travel toward a world of full equality and justice. We will always be grateful that their paths crossed at that critical moment and that they led that successful crusade, which we must carry on.

It is fitting that we celebrate Mrs. King's life at this season of reflection and renewal. Dr. King's convictions and character were recently celebrated in the national holiday commemorating his life. Rosa Parks' courageous leadership was honored throughout America after her passing late last year.

Rosa Parks' path first intertwined with the path of the King family when her electrifying stand sparked the bus boycott that brought Dr. and Mrs. King to Montgomery. Together they traveled the road of peaceful social change.

Like Martin and Rosa Parks, Coretta King's agenda exceeded civil rights. She spoke compellingly at the Poor People's March in Washington against the scourge of "racism, poverty and war." She campaigned against apartheid in South Africa, for human rights and women's rights. She established the Center for Non-Violence and Social Change.

Beyond the goals that Coretta, Martin and Rosa shared, common values pervaded their lives. They shared a determination to speak truth and not be intimidated by those who urged caution. They shared perseverance, in all their endeavors. Mrs. King and Mrs. Parks helped me fight for decades to win the King Birthday holiday.

From the start of Martin and Coretta's marriage, she was his partner; they were a team. Coretta King's commitment matched that of her husband, measure for measure. With him, she studied Ghandi's philosophy of non-violence in India.

In today's phrase, Coretta King was a "multi-tasker." On behalf of the Movement, she marched, she taught, she sang, she inspired, she comforted; and she did it all while raising four children and providing her husband with the strength that helped him bear his burdens. When he fell in Memphis, she raised the torch aloft and marched with the striking sanitation workers. Carrying on the King legacy, Coretta remained both an active leader in the march to justice and an icon of the Movement.

Now the last member of this towering trio has taken her place in the Civil Rights Pantheon, a Pantheon that will forever be a beacon for a better world. We love Coretta. We will miss her.


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