Alberta King

Black History Month Profile

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Brought up as a Minister’s son, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. used his biblical understandings to help unify the United States during a time of separation. He was an activist, humanitarian and leader throughout the Civil Rights Movement all among the support of his mother.

As the mother of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Alberta Williams King, was a supporter of her son and her church, until her untimely death similar to that of her sons’.

Alberta Williams King was born on September 13, 1904. She was a woman of the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Georgia where she was raised at. She attended high school and received her teaching certificate at Hampton University in Virginia. After receiving her certificate and returning to Georgia she got engaged with Martin Luther King Sr. The couple had three children together, Martin Luther King Jr., Christine King Farris, and Alfred Daniel Williams King.

As partners, they were very active throughout the church and she began organizing the first choir and playing as an organist. She was apart of the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), the YWCA (Young Women’s Christian Association), and the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom.

Once Martin Luther King Jr. began his role as an activist, she continued to support her son, until his assassination on April 4, 1968. Her other son, Alfred Williams King lost his life the following year in a drowning accident.

With two of her children buried, she continued to serve at the church alongside her husband and later retired in 1972. In 1974, Alberta was playing the organ for the beginning sermon before being shot by a 21-year-old ill black man. He took her life on behalf of a hit list devised for African- American Christians. Her life similarly to Dr. King’s was more than an assassination, she was a mother, a wife, and an activist.

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