Interview with Coretta Scott King
QUESTION 21
JACKIE SHEARER:

What was your thinking behind inviting Bishop Tutu to the first Martin Luther King, Jr. breakfast and, ah, memorial in Atlanta in, ah, `86?

CORETTA SCOTT KING:

Bishop Tutu had been the, ah, spokesperson in the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa, who had, I think, ah, more than anyone else symbolizes, symbolized, the spirit of non-violence. He had received the, ah, Nobel Peace Prize, ah, and, ah, it was important that, as we celebrate Martin's birthday, for the first time nationally, that there be an international representative who had championed a cause, it seemed, similar to what Martin was involved in. And I think that Bishop Tutu was a good representative of that. Ah, to make that connection with South Africa was very, I think, important, ah, in the work of the King Center, the continuation of Dr. King's work. Not that we had not identified with it earlier, and been involved, but the fact is to have it happen at that time was very important. We had hoped that somehow despite the differences in, ah, policies of, ah, government that we would have been able to get the President to come at that time, but we were not able to. Because we could envision a picture of the President with Bishop Tutu receiving the Non-Violent, Martin Luther King Non-Violent Peace Prize together on the same platform, it seems to me that would have been a very powerful message that could have been said throughout America and around the world.