Interview with Coretta Scott King
QUESTION 43
INTERVIEWER:

NOW LET ME ASK YOU ABOUT ONE OF THE SAD MOMENTS, THEN, WHICH IS, THE STEPS OF THE CAPITOL AFTER THAT FINAL MARCH, AND AFTER THE DEATHS OF, AFTER THE DEATH OF JIMMY LEE JACKSON, TOO, I MEAN, HOW DID YOU FEEL? DID IT FEEL LIKE A TRIUMPH TO HAVE MADE IT THROUGH THIS MARCH, OR DID IT, DID IT FEEL [unintelligible] DID IT FEEL VERY, VERY SAD?

Coretta Scott King:

It was a great, it was a great moment to go back to Montgomery, ‘cause you see for us it was returning to Montgomery after ten years. And I kept thinking about ten years earlier, how we were visibly just blacks, and when you looked at that march, you had Catholic priests, and nuns, and you had other clergy, and you had a lot of white people. ** I mean, you know, it was really a beautiful thing to pass Dexter Avenue ** and pass, and go toward the capitol marching together, ** even though it was a dangerous march. I mean, we never felt that we were safe at any point. Even coming into Montgomery that day, into the city, because they had guard, national, federal guardsman on buildings and all around, and as we came through certain sections, the staff people surrounded Martin and even held up their hands around his head, to make sure that if there was a bullet, that you know, it would be deflected. So, I mean, it was not easy and there were threats of plots of his assassination all the way through that march. So you know, though when we got down to Dexter and going up toward the capitol, it was safer. And there was a great feeling of exhilaration when you looked back and saw, you know, what we thought was 50,000, at least, a lot of entertainment personalities and so on. It, it was a great moment of fulfillment, having done that, and listening to Martin's speech ** that day, and he ended it with the Glory, Hallelujah, which was you know, used at the last speech he made. But he had asked me to write out the words to that, "Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory," and certain verses that he didn't remember. And he ended that speech that day with that same, quoting that same song, "Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory of the Battle."