For West Virginia University’s Todd McFadden, the image is always the same: Coretta Scott King, standing with her head held high, radiating quiet strength and dignity in turbulent times.
King, who died Tuesday at 78 after a long battle with ovarian cancer, won’t be forgotten at WVU , said McFadden, assistant director of the Center for Black Culture and Research.
The woman who assumed the mantle of America’s civil rights movement after her husband, Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in 1968, had spoken here in years past, as had her son, Dexter.
And just three weeks ago, her daughter Yolanda King galvanized a pew-packed crowd at Morgantown’s Spruce Street United Methodist Church for the 2006 edition of the city-University commemoration that traditionally opens WVU ’s observance of national Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
Yolanda’s strength, McFadden said, comes just as much from her mother as it did her father.
For those who didn’t live through those times, video of Mrs. King, standing, head always held high, at Martin’s side, is an image we will not forget,McFadden said.Even in the days after Martin’s death, her regal posture seemed to reflect, in the most perfect way, the dignity that black people were seeking.
Those seeking to simply pay their respects to Mrs. King are invited to a memorial service at 4:30 p.m. Saturday (Feb. 4) at Greater St. Paul A.M.E. Church on Morgantown’s Beechurst Avenue .
People will be invited to walk up to an open microphone andsimply express what’s in their hearts,McFadden said of the service sponsored by the church at the CBC &R.
We (WVU and the CBC &R) feel a personal connection to the King family,McFadden said.Their lossthe world’s lossis our loss as well. We send our condolences to the family and our final thank you to Coretta Scott King for a life well-lived and a job well done.