Coretta Scott King, known as the â€œfirst lady of the civil rights movement,â€ died Tuesday at the age of 78.
â€œWe at the Lincoln County branch do mourn her passingâ€ said Robert Hamilton, president of the Lincoln County Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
King was recovering from a serious stroke and heart attack and battling advanced ovarian cancer. She died in an alternative medicine clinic in Mexico.
King was best known for working beside her husband in pursuit of civil rights and for maintaining his legacy following his death.
In 1969 she founded the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change in Atlanta. She also pushed for her husbandâ€™s birthday to become a national holiday, something she achieved in 1986.
â€œ(The Civil Rights Movement and Martin Luther King, Jr.) would be remembered, and we would know that this wasnâ€™t a little matter â€“ it was a tremendous thing,â€ said Hamilton.
Life with her husband was never easy, but she encouraged him and became a stoic symbol of the movement in her own right.
â€œThey sacrificed all along knowing that it might lead to death,â€ said Hamilton.
Bomb threats were made, her children were threatened and her husband was murdered because of his activism.
â€œShe was a brave, brave person,â€ said Hamilton.
Arrangements are being made to fly her body to Atlanta. News of her death led to tributes across Atlanta including a moment of silence and piles of flowers placed at Martin Luther King, Jr.â€™s tomb.
by Sarah Grano