Here, Mrs. King’s daughter, Reverend Bernice King, gives the eulogy at the conclusion of the homegoing ceremony. The homegoing of Mrs. King was attended by hundreds of VIPs, countless students who saw her as a role model, and no less than four U.S. Presidents, including our sitting President, George W. Bush.
While I did not know Mrs. King as well as I knew her son Dexter King or daughter Yolanda King, I have always respected her as a woman of consistency, dignity, character, commitment and class. It is not lost on me that she never got married to anyone else after the passing of her husband, and all of our hero, Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
And so, it was only fitting for us to pay our respects at her homegoing recently in Atlanta, Georgia. Sitting with the (Andrew) Young family, my wife, Mrs. Sheila Kennedy Bryant, the first lady of HOPE, and I had an opportunity to see, feel and experience not only a historic event, but the love and respect that others – around the world – carried for this woman. It was also evident that there was a whole woman underneath the world’s narrow image of Mrs. King as the late Dr. King’s wife.
Mrs. King was, when she met Dr. King, a talented and aspiring singer who effectively gave up her career to be by the side of Dr. King, to raise their children and to support his dream. She never complained. Eventually she even used her talent to help the movement — holding fundraising concerts for SCLC in New York and other places, where she sang with a voice, grace, elegance and style that rivaled the biggest and best stars of her day! What a lady. What a leader.
Mrs. King — you have been promoted. Enjoy your long awaited reunion with your husband…
Onward, with HOPE