Interview with Coretta Scott King

Now you've spoken about your feelings of Malcolm X's death. Do you recall any specific, um, um, comments or observations or feelings that your husband had on Malcolm's assassination?


Well, I'm, I'm, I am sure Martin had sim- similar feelings that I had, ah, I, I think when I first got the news, I wasn't near him so, you know, usually that's when you get these reactions. Ah, Martin, abhorred violence of any kind and particularly, ah, you know, assassinations of the leadership at all. Malcolm of course in '65 and, and, ah, Medgar Evers in '63 and in many ways it was, you know, it's like who was next? Ah, and in '65 while we were in Selma, ah, that was a time when Martin received numerous threats and I really feel that he had felt that something was going to happen to him in Selma that he might be killed in Selma. Ah, as a matter of fact, ah, when we were in Oslo, Norway in December of '64, ah, he talked about the fact that when we went into Selma which we had planned to do the first of January in 1965 and did, ah, to begin the voting rights campaign that somebody was going to get killed. And, ah, as we always did in the movement, we would, we would make jokes about these things. I mean, you know, this is the way, you, you kind of begin to accept the fact of the reality, ah, and he would say to people on the trip, "Well, you better have a good time and enjoy yourself because when we go to Selma somebody is going to get killed." And they had already sent people out to talk to the White community and they came back but, you know, the reports were not very good. So there was that strong feeling. And then as we were moving in Selma, you know, there was so many, many threats, ah, rumors of plots of his assassination that took place. And having had Malcolm's assassination to come while he was at Selma, I'm sure it reminded him more of the possibility of his own fate, you know, that ultimate fate.