Interview with Coretta Scott King


Coretta Scott King:

Martin and I were new to the community, therefore, our first concern was to become adjusted to the community—to get to know people, to get involved with the church, and to really spend time trying to get to know the church people, and to—for them to be comfortable with us, and vice versa. And he was also working for, he was writing his dissertation, trying to finish that up, the first year. However, he had presented a program to the church, which they adopted in December of that year. We started there in September, and then December his church program and budget were presented, and he had a very ambitious program. We were very excited about—the church people were very excited about what he had proposed, but he had to finish his dissertation. He got his doctorate in June of 1955. So then he was able to spend more time in the church. We had looked forward, in that second year, to spending a lot of time getting the church program going, and all. And as a matter of fact, I discouraged him from taking a position with the NAACP, as President, which he had been offered. And this was just a few days bef—prior to December the 1st, 1955, when he told me he had been invited to serve as President, and I said, "Well, you know, you need to really get your church program off the ground. And I hope you won't take that now." And he seemed as if he really wanted to. He was considering it. So one night he came home and he said, "I've decided to take it." And I said, "Oh, no." And by that time he thought, you know, I really believed it. His mother was there, because my oldest child was just a few weeks old. And then he said, after he thought we were totally convinced, "Oh no, I was just kidding." And it was good that he didn't take it, because if he had taken it, it would have been a problem for him, later on, especially as he became the spokesman for the movement.