Today is the 67th wedding anniversary of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther and Coretta Scott King.
It all began as a chance meeting in Boston; where Martin was working on his Ph.D. at Boston University’s School of Theology, and asked his friend Mary Power, to assist him in finding a nice Christian woman. Miss Power had the perfect person in mind; Coretta Scott who was studying voice in the same city at the New England Conservatory of Music.
As history confirms in Mrs. King’s book, “My Life, My Love, My Legacy,” Ms. Power gave in to Dr. King’s requests and introduced the two smart young people. It was during their first phone call (not a cell phone) that Martin queried whether he could meet Miss Scott in person. While there were many questions, a little hesitation, and uncertainty by both parties, the two planned to meet for lunch. When Martin pulled up in his green Chevy that cold Thursday in January, “my first thoughts reaffirmed what I had anticipated: He was too short, and he didn’t look that impressive and seemed quite young.”
It was incredible how their love evolved in one setting filled with interesting and a thought provoking conversation when Coretta saw something deep within that she seemed to have initially overlooked, the real Martin Luther King, a man of substance and intelligence. A man with a commitment to his people and their freedom, there was much more to Martin than he first exposed.
It is said that Mrs. Coretta Scott King would later share that “it wasn’t exactly love at first sight, but we liked each other a great deal and we seemed to have a great deal in common.”
These two well educated, social, civil minded and extremely focused young people dared to imagine how they could live and work peacefully together in the midst of the trials, pain and constant adversity of the south.
One evening as he was driving her home, Martin turned to Coretta and told her, “You have everything I have ever wanted in a wife. There are only four things and you have them all.” What were those things? Character, intelligence, personality, and beauty. Coretta was both taken aback and flattered by his candor—it seemed he was in love at first sight, but he was also a man on a mission.
As they settled into their courtship, Coretta started regretting her initial assessment of Martin. “There was no question he was compassionate, held deep moral convictions, and sincerely wanted to change the conditions of the less fortunate,” she wrote in her book.
In December 1952, Martin and his parents agreed, the couple would properly announce their engagement around Easter in the Atlanta Daily World, the only black newspaper in Atlanta at the time.
They would then marry June 18, 1953, after school was finished for the summer, a mere 16 months after they met, Coretta and Martin were married by Pastor Martin Luther King Sr. on the lawn of Coretta’s parent’s home in Marion, Alabama.
Coretta wore a waltz-length gown with peep-toe sandals, and stood with Edythe, her sister as her Maid of Honor by her side. Martin, in a white jacket and black pants, had selected his older brother, A.D., as best man, and his niece, Alveda, as flower girl.
My source of pride is that Mrs. King, was this highly intelligent, socially conscious, beautiful woman committed to a life of service; stayed true to her commitment after the greatest loss of all.
In Baltimore, in the mid 1990’s my daughter and I had the distinct honor and pleasure of meeting Mrs. Coretta Scott King, seen here shaking Sandi’s hand. Mrs. King was gracious and actually took a few extra moments to learn more about my daughter and her future plans as someone captured this historical photo. Of course, I am off to the side with tears in my eyes as I memorialize the importance of this moment – I call them (MIP’s) memories in progress.
It is difficult to imagine the breadth and depth of Dr. and Mrs. Martin Luther King’s contributions and sacrifice for our people and this nation. They are truly the essence of a “Power Couple” filled with grace, love, and an extraordinary commitment to one another.
Marsha Jews is the Editor-At-Large(USA) for World Bride Magazine and the founder of Marsha Jews & Company a full service marketing, business development, Wedding/Events/ Conference planning & management; and communications company. Marsha Jews is the Founder/CEO of WKIMRadioNetwork.com.
and the former Founder/Curator of the Herbert Bearman Art Gallery & Director of Events & Weddings at the Frederick Douglass-Isaac Myers Maritime Park Museum.
Marsha was Project Director on two community technology development grants: Harlem Renaissance 2K1 and NY-OneNet at the Institute of Learning Technologies and the Institute for Urban and Minority Education at Columbia University, New York.
As President/COO/Associate Publisher at Career Communications Group Marsha managed Black Engineer/Hispanic and Information Technology Magazines; the Black Engineer of the Year Awards Conference and was Co-Founder of the Women of Color Technology Awards Conference; Black Family and LaFamilia Technology Awareness Week(s).
The former Executive Director of the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater Foundation of Maryland; presenting Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, Ailey II and AileyCamp and Director of Advertising for the 125-year-old Afro-American Newspaper, Inc.
Marsha was Vice President of Operations for the Marine Corps League Exhibit Company, and was the first black woman to produce the Modern Day Marine Force in Readiness Military Exposition and Awards Gala a program of the United States Marine Corps, Capitol Marines and the Marine Corps League, while simultaneously the Director of Advertising for the Amphibious Warfare Review Magazine.
Marsha is active in the community; former board member of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and was the first Black Trustee to chair their Annual Gala; Commissioner- Maryland Public Television Commission; Founding board member of the Maryland Association for Nonprofit Organizations; former trustee for the College of Notre Dame and the Maryland Institute College of Art; Trustee at the Enoch Pratt Library, and has won numerous awards; Co‐Author in Incredible Business and is an avid volunteer and speaker.