Celebrating the Life of 
Coretta Scott King


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Homage to 
Coretta Scott King

"Hate is too great a burden to bear. It injures the hater more than it injures the hated."

"Those of you who believe in what Martin Luther King, Jr., stood for, I would challenge you today to see that his spirit never dies."

~Coretta Scott King


[Celebrating Coretta Scott King]
[Key Events Timeline] [Author
[Coretta Scott King Book Award]
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Celebrating the Life of Coretta Scott King

Being close to or associated with a legend can means that a person's identity gets lost or is seen as part of the supporting cast for someone else's life.  Coretta Scott King did not seek the limelight, especially after her famous husband, Reverend. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was assassinated.  She is a great American in her own right -- living proof that behind every great man there are great women.  An intelligent, thoughtful person, she was a powerful force behind Dr. King and the Civil Rights Movement.  

Born a farm girl in Alabama (1927), she knew the pains and challenges of segregation.  While white students in this community were provided bus rides to nearby schools, she and her 2 siblings were forced to walk five miles a day and attended a one-room school.  Her mother, Bernice (McMurray) Scott, gave Coretta the gift of music.  In high school, she studied trumpet and piano.

She left her humble roots and came to Yellow Springs, Ohio, to attend Antioch College in 1945.  She was already a civil rights pioneer -- she was one of only 6 African American students there at the time.  She aspired to be a teacher and musician.  Racism and discrimination presented themselves as formidable barriers.    Acting with the integrity and determination she would show all her life, she did not let these obstacles stop her.  

When she reached the student teaching part of her college experience, the local schools would not accept an African American teacher.  She was unable to get help from the college, even having an appeal turned down by the college's president.  She was forced to do her complete her student teaching at the Antioch Demonstration School.

Coretta was a civil rights leader all her life.  At Antioch, she joined the local chapter of the NAACP, and the school's Race Relations and Civil Liberties Committees. She loved classical music.  Years later, she still talked about a high school music teacher that profoundly influenced here, Miss Olive J. Williams.  Coretta earned a B.A. in music and education and was awarded a scholarship to study concert singing and the violin at New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, Massachusetts.  It was here she met Martin Luther King.  

Speaking about that period of her life, Coretta said:

"I always believed that there was a purpose for my life, and that I had to seek that purpose, and that if I discovered that purpose, then I believed that I would be successful in what I was doing. And I thought I had found that purpose when I decided that music was going to be my career -- concert singing. I was going to be trained as a concert singer at the New England Conservatory of Music. I studied voice the first year, and after I met Martin and prayed about whether or not I should open myself to that relationship, I had a dream, and in that dream, I was made to feel that I should allow myself to be open and stop fighting the relationship. And that's what I did, and of course the rest is history."

She chose to take on the role of a supportive wife after her marriage to Dr. King, though she never abandoned her conviction and activism for civil rights.   She was a powerful force in Dr. King's life and a partner in his work.  She kept up on her music, often giving concerts at marches and rallies.  She traveled and marched alongside her husband.  When Dr. King was unable to give speeches, she would speak.

In 1955, she had the first of the couple's 3 children, Yolanda (Yoki), born 2 weeks before the Montgomery Bus Boycott.  As the Kings became leaders for the cause, their life became more dangerous.  The south was a violent place, full of racial discrimination and hatred.  One night, January 30, 1956, while Dr. King was out speaking at a church; the King residence in Montgomery, Alabama, was bombed while Coretta and baby Yolanda were home.  

She learned to be careful and look out for the safety of her family and her husband.  Perhaps this is one reason why she tended to stay out of the public's eye as her husband increasingly became a national leader of the Civil Rights Movement.  In 1957, the Kings had a son, Martin Luther King III.  In the early sixties, living in Atlanta, Georgia, the Coretta and Dr. King had two more children,  Dexter Scott King (19610 and Bernice Albertine King (1963). 

A deeply spiritual person, she believed that war was wrong, and spoke out against the Vietnam War 2 years before her husband, addressing a 1965 anti-war rally at Madison Square Garden in New York City.  She also worked with international peace and justice organizations.

Her world was shattered on April 4, 1968, when Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee.  Never one to let obstacles get the best of her, Coretta accepted the challenge of continuing  her husband's work.  She build The Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change as a living memorial to her husband's life and dream. 

Coretta Scott King published the first volume of her autobiography, My Life with Martin Luther King Jr., in 1969.   True to Dr. King's legacy, as progress was made in the arena of civil rights, she turned to the cause of economic justice.  In 1974 she formed and co-chaired the Full Employment Action Council, a broad coalition of over 100 religious, labor, business, civil and women's rights organizations dedicated to a national policy of full employment and equal economic opportunity.

After the tragic death of her husband, she attending a annual commemorative service at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta to mark her husband's birth each January 15.  Largely because of her perservence and effort, in 1986 a national holiday to honor Dr. Martin Luther King was established each January.  When President Ronald Reagan signed the legislation establishing Martin Luther King Day, she was a guest of honor.

She supported a number of important causes., joining the boards of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and the National Organization for Women.  She was involved with numerous international human rights campaigns.  In the 1980's she joined the struggle against Apartheid, meeting with Winnie Mandela while her husband Nelson Mandela was being held as a political prisoner.  She also spoke out against capital punishment, the 2003 invasion of Iraq, advocated for women's rights, lesbian and gay rights and AIDS/HIV prevention. 

An intellectual, scholarly woman; Coretta Scott King was awarded approximately 60 honorary degrees, authored or  edited several books, and became the namesake of the American Library Associationís Coretta Scott King Award, which honors African-American writers and illustrators for outstanding and inspirational educational contributions in children's literature.

It is a mistake to think of Coretta Scott King as simply the wife of Dr. Martin Luther King.  She was his soul mate and an equal collaborator in his legacy.  When Dr. King's life was violently struck short, she continued to carry the legacy,.  We all have roles we choose or are thrust in.  

Coretta Scott King said it best when, speaking about herself, she stated:

 "I am often identified as the widow of Martin Luther King Jr. Sometimes, I am also identified as a civil rights leader or a human rights activist. While these designations are factually correct, I would also like to be thought of as a complex, three-dimensional, flesh-and-blood human being with a rich storehouse of experiences, much like everyone else, yet unique in my own way ... much like everyone else."

Free at last, free at last.  Thank you Coretta Scott and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

By Bill Breitsprecher
2006, Breitlinks
All Rights Reserved

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Some Key Events in the life of Coretta Scott King

  • April 27, 1927.  Coretta Scott born in Perry County, Alabama

  • 1943.  Coretta's sister Edythe became the first black student to enroll at Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio.

  • 1947.  Becomes the first African American student to study education at Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio. She earns a bachelor's in music and education, then studies concert singing at Boston's New England Conservatory of Music

  • 1948.  Coretta holds her concert debut in 1948 in Springfield, Ohio, performing as a soloist with the Second Baptist Church

  • June 18, 1953.  Marries the Reverend  Martin Luther King Jr. in Marion, Alabama

  • November 17, 1955.  Yolanda Denise is born in Montgomery, Alabama. 

  • January 30, 1956.  A bomb is thrown onto the Kings' Montgomery home, no one is injured.  Coretta King is in the house with baby Yolanda

  • October 23, 1957.  Martin Luther King III is born in Montgomery

  • September 1958.  Coretta flys to New York after Dr. King was stabbed by a mentally ill woman while signing copies of his new book about the bus boycott, Stride Toward Freedom

  • February 1959.  Dr. King and Corett visits India and study Gandhi's techniques of nonviolence as guests of Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru

  • 1960.  Dr. King is arrested at a sit-in in Atlanta; Coretta, six months pregnant, is disconsolate that King was being sent to a state prison.  Senator  John F. Kennedy, then running for president, calls to reassure her

  • January 24, 1960.  King family moves from Montgomery to Atlanta; King becomes co-pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church with his father

  • January 30, 1961.  Dexter Scott King is born in Atlanta

  • 1962.  Coretta King's interest in disarmament takes her to Geneva, Switzerland; she serves as a Women's Strike for Peace delegate to the seventeen-nation Disarmament Conference

  • March 28, 1963.  Bernice Albertine King is born in Atlanta

  • August 28, 1963.  At the March on Washington, King delivers his "I Have a Dream" speech at the Lincoln Memorial

  • December 10, 1964.  King receives the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, Norway

  • April 4, 1968.  King is assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee 

  • 1968.  Becomes first woman to address Harvard Commencement, Class Day.  Dr. King had accepted the invitation before he was assassinated in April. Coretta spoke in his place.

  • June 26, 1968.  Coretta King founds the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Center in Atlanta

  • 1969.  Coretta published autobiography, My Life with Martin Luther King, Jr.

  • 1969.  Coretta Scott King Award is established to honor inspirational and educational contributions by African American authors

  • 1974.  Coretta forms a coalition of over 100 religious, labor, business, civil and women's rights organizations dedicated to a national policy of full employment and equal economic opportunity' she Co-Chairs the Full Employment Action Council

  • 1979.  A separate award for illustrator is added to the Coretta Scott King Award.

  • March 27, 1979.   Testifies for the first time before joint hearings of Congress, advocating for a national holiday honoring Martin Luther King Jr.

  • 1983.  Coretta leads an effort that brings more than a half-million demonstrators to Washington, D.C., to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, where King delivered his famous "I Have a Dream" speech

  • November 2, 1983.  President Reagan signs bill creating a national holiday on the the third Monday of January to honor Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  Reagan actually opposes the holiday, making claims about the fiscal cost 

  • 1985.  Coretta and three of her children are arrested at the South African embassy in Washington, DC, protesting against apartheid

  • 1985.  Coretta asks Stanford professor Clayborne Carson to direct the Martin Luther King, Jr. Papers Project, initiated in 1984 by the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change in Atlanta.  The Project became a cooperative venture of Stanford University, the King Center, and the King Estate. 

  • 1986.  Coretta ravels to South Africa and met with Winnie Mandela; on returning to the United States, she personally urged President Ronald Reagan to approve sanctions against South Africa

  • January 20, 1986.  First national celebration of the King holiday

  • 1987.  Coretta she helps lead a national Mobilization Against Fear and Intimidation in Forsyth County

  • 1988.  Coretta re-convened the Coalition of Conscience for the 25th anniversary of the March on Washington; in preparation for the Reagan-Gorbachev talks, in 1988 she served as head of the U.S. delegation of Women for a Meaningful Summit in Athens, Greece

  • 1990.  Coretta is co-convener of the Soviet-American Women's Summit in Washington, DC

  • January 14.  Coretta receives an ovation from 1,500 at a dinner celebrating her husband's birthday

  • January 16, 2006.  Celebrates King Day ceremonies, watching on television, the 20th anniversary of the federal holiday

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Books by Coretta Scott King

Black Americans of Achievement Series:

Aretha Franklin, by Jim MacAvoy, Jim McAvoy, Coretta Scott King (Introduction). Chelsea House Publications, 2001

Booker T. Washington, by Alan Schroeder, Coretta Scott King (Introduction). Chelsea House Publishers, 1992

Coretta Scott King, by Lisa Renee Rhodes, Coretta Scott King (Introduction). Chelsea House Publications, 1988

Diana Ross: Entertainer, by John Wyeth, Coretta Scott King (Introduction). Chelsea House Publishers, January 1996

George Washington Carver, by Gene Adair, Edited by Nathan I. Huggins, Coretta Scott King (Introduction). Chelsea House Publishers, 1991 

Janet Jackson: Singer, by Cindy Dyson, Coretta Scott King (Introduction). Chelsea House Publishers, 2000 

Langston Hughes: Poet, by Jack Rummel, Coretta Scott King (Introduction). Chelsea House Publishers, 1988

Madam C.J. Walker, by  Alelia Perry Bundles, Nathan I. Huggins (Editor),  Coretta Scott King (Introduction).  Chelsea House Publications, 1991

Malcolm X: Militant Black Leader, by Jack Rummel, Coretta Scott King (Intorduction). Chelsea House Publishers, 1988 

Miles Davis: Musician, by Ron Frankel, Coretta Scott King (Introduction), Chelsea House Publishers, 1995

Morgan Freeman: Actor, by Gina De Angelis,  Coretta Scott King (Introduction), Chelsea House Publishers, 1999

Profiles of Great Black Americans: Book of Firsts: Leaders of America, by Richard Rennert, Editor, Coretta Scott King.  Chelsea House Publishers, 1994

Rosa Parks, Edited by Nathan Irvin Huggins, by Mary Hull, Coretta Scott King (Introduction).  Chelsea House Publishers, 1994 

Satchel Paige: Baseball Great, by David Shirley, Nathan I. Huggins (Editor), Coretta Scott King (Introduction). 1993

Thurgood Marshall: Supreme Court Justice, by  Lisa Aldred, Nathan I. Huggins(Editor), Coretta Scott King (Introduction) Chelsea House Publications, 1991

Fire in My Soul: The Life of Eleanor Holmes Norton by Joan Steinau Lester, Foreword by Coretta Scott King. Atria Books, 2004

I Have a Dream by Martin Luther King, Jr., Martin Luther King, Jr. and Coretta Scott King.  Scholastic, 1997 

The Martin Luther King, Jr. companion: quotations from the speeches, essays, and books of Martin Luther King, Jr.  Selected by Coretta Scott King; introduction by Dexter Scott King. King, Martin Luther, Jr., 1929-1968. St. Martin's Press, 1993

My life with Martin Luther King, Jr. King, Coretta Scott, 1927- Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1969

My life with Martin Luther King, Jr. King, Coretta Scott, 1927- Hodder and Stoughton, 1970 

Open My Eyes, Open My Soul: Celebrating Our Common Humanity, Coretta Scott King. McGraw-Hill, 2003

Salute to historic Black achievers, Introductory essay by Coretta Scott King. Chelsea House, 1992

Standing in the Need of Prayer: A Celebration of Black Prayer, Forward by Coretta Scott King.  Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture,  2003 

Towards racial equality and racial harmony, by Coretta Scott King, Wilfred Wood.  King Foundation, 1969

The words of Martin Luther King, Jr.  Selected by Coretta Scott King. King, Newmarket Press, 1987

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Coretta Scott King Book Award

Established 1969, the Coretta Scott King Book Award commemorates the life and work of the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and honors Mrs. Coretta Scott King for her courage and determination in continuing to work for peace, social justice.  It is presented annually to an African American author and an African American illustrator for an outstandingly inspirational and educational contribution published during the previous year.

It founded with the New Jersey Library association and is now overseen and administered in collaboration with the American Library Association.  In 1979, a separate award for illustrator was added to the ceremony.  For more about this prestigious award, please see the Coretta Scott King Awards page at the ALA Website.

2005 Winner 

  • Remember: The Journey to School Integration by Toni Morrison

2005 Illustrated Winner

  • Ellington Was Not a Street illustrated by Kadir A. Nelson, written by Ntozake Shange

2005 Honor Books 

  • The Legend of Buddy Bush by Sheila P. Moses 
  • Who Am I Without Him? Short Stories about Girls and Boys in their Lives by Sharon G. Flake
  • Fortune's Bones: The Manumission Requim by Marilyn Nelson

2005 Illustrated Honor Books 

  • God Bless the Child illustrated by Jerry Pinkney, words by Billie Holiday and Arthur Herzog Jr. 
  • The People Could Fly: The Picture Book illustrated by Leo and Diane Dillon, written by Virginia Hamilton 

2004 Winner 

  • The First Part Last by Angela Johnson 

2004 Illustrated Winner

  • Beautiful Blackbird by Ashley Bryan 

2004 Honor Book 

  • Days of Jubilee: The End of Slavery in the United States by Patricia C. and Frederick L. McKissack 

2003 Winner 

  • Bronx Masquerade by Nikki Grimes 

2003 Illustrated Winner

  • Talkin' About Bessie: the Story of Aviator Elizabeth Coleman by Nikki Grimes 

2003 Honor 

  • Books The Red Rose Box by Brenda Woods
  • Talkin' About Bessie: the Story of Aviator Elizabeth Coleman by Nikki Grimes

2003 Illustrated Honor Books: 

  • Rap a Tap: Here's Bojangles - Think of That illustrated by Leo and Diane Dillon 
  • Visiting Langston illustrated by Bryan Collier 

2002 Winner 

  • The Land by Mildred Taylor 

2002 Illustrated Winner 

  • Goin' Someplace Special illustrated by Jerry Pinkney; text by Patricia McKissack 

2002 Honor Books 

  • Money-Hungry by Sharon G. Flake 
  • Carver: A Life in Poems by Marilyn Nelson 

2002 Illustrated Honor Book 

  • Martin's Big Words illustrated by Bryan Collier, text by Doreen Rappoport 

2001 Winner 

  • Miracle's Boys by Jacqueline Woodson

2001 Illustrated Winner

  • Uptown by Bryan Collier 

2001 Honor

  • Books Let It Shine! Stories of Black Women Freedom Fighters by Andrea Davis
  • Pinkney, illustrated by Stephen Alcorn 

2001 Illustrated Honor Books

  • Freedom River by Bryan Collier 
  • Only Passing Through: The Story of Sojourner Truth illustrated by R. Gregory Christie; text by Anne Rockwell 
  • Virgie Goes to School with Us Boys illustrated by E.B. Lewis; text by Elizabeth Fitzgerald Howard 

2000 Winner

  •  Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis 

2000 Illustrated Winner

  • In the Time of the Drums illustrated by Brian Pinkney, text by Kim L. Siegelson

2000 Honor Books 

  • Francie by Karen English 
  • Black Hands, White Sails: The Story of African-American Whalers by Patricia C. and Frederick L. McKissack 
  • Monster by Walter Dean Myers 

2000 Illustrated Honor Books

  • My Rows and Piles of Coins illustrated by E.B. Lewis, text by Tololwa M. Mollel
  • Black Cat by Christopher Myers 

1999 Winner 

  • Heaven by Angela Johnson 

1999 Illustrated Winner 

  • I see the rhythm illustrated by Michele Wood, text by Toyomi Igus 

1999 Honor Book 

  • Jazmin's Notebook by Nikki Grimes
  • Breaking Ground, Breaking Silence: The Story of New York's African Burial Ground by Joyce Hansen and Gary McGowan
  • The Other Side: Shorter Poems by Angela Johnson

1999 Illustrated Honor Books

  • I Have Heard of a Land illustrated by Floyd Cooper, text by Joyce Carol Thomas
  • The Bat Boy and His Violin illustrated by E.B. Lewis, text by Gavin Curtis
  • Duke Ellington: The Piano Prince and His Orchestra illustrated by Brian Pinkney, text by Andrea Davis Pinkney

1998 Winner 

  • Forged by Fire by Sharon M. Draper 

1998 Illustrated Winner

  • In Daddy's Arms I am Tall: African Americans Celebrating Fathers illustrated by Javaka Steptoe, text by Alan Schroeder
  • 1998 Honor Books Bayard Rustin: Behind the Scenes of the Civil Rights Movement by James Haskins
  • I Thought My Soul Would Rise and Fly: the Diary of Patsy, a Freed Girl by Joyce Hansen

1998 Illustrated Honor Books

  • ABC of African Poetry by Ashley Bryan
  • Harlem illustrated by Christopher Myers, text by Walter Dean Myers
  • Hunterman and the Crocodile by Baba Wague Diakite

1997 Winner 

  • Slam by Walter Dean Myers

1997 Illustrated Winner 

  • Minty: A story of Young Harriet Tubman illustrated by Jerry Pinkney, text by Alan Schroeder 

1997 Honor Books 

  • Rebels Against Slavery: American Slave Revolts by Patricia C. & Frederick L. McKissack 

1997 Illustrated Honor Books 

  • Palm of My Heart: Poetry by African American Children illustrated by Gregorie Christie, edited by Davida Adedjouma 
  • Running the Road to ABC illustrated by Reynold Ruffins, text by Denize Lauture
  • Neeny Coming, Neeny Going illustrated by Synthia Saint James, text by Karen English

1996 Winner 

  • Her Stories by Virginia Hamilton

1996 Illustrated Winner

  • The Middle Passage: White Ships Black Cargo by Tom Feelings 

1996 Honor Books 

  • The Watsons Go to Birmingham - 1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis 
  • Like Sisters on the Homefront by Rita Williams-Garcia 
  • From the Notebooks of Melanin Sun by Jacqueline Woodson 

1996 Illustrated Honor Books

  • Her Stories illustrated by Leo and Diane Dillon, text by Virginia Hamilton 

1995 Winner 

  • Christmas in the Big House, Christmas in the Quarters by Patricia C. & Frederick L. McKissack 

1995 Illustrated Winner

  • The Creation illustrated by James Ransome, text by James Weldon Johnson 
    1995 Honor Books
  • The Captive by Joyce Hansen
  • I Hadn't Meant to Tell You This by Jacqueline Woodson
  • Black Diamond: Story of the Negro Baseball League by Patricia C. & Frederick L. McKissack 

1995 Illustrated Honor Books

  • The Singing Man illustrated by Terea Shaffer, text by Angela Shelf Medearis
  • Meet Danitra Brown illustrated by Floyd Cooper, text by Nikki Grimes

1994 Winner 

  • Toning the Sweep by Angela Johnson 

1994 Illustrated Winner

  • Soul Looks Back in Wonder illustrated by Tom Feelings, text ed. by Phyllis Fogelman 

1994 Honor Books 

  • Brown Honey in Broom Wheat Tea by Joyce Carol Thomas, illustrated by Floyd Cooper
  • Malcom X: By Any Means Necessary by Walter Dean Myers

1993 Illustrated Honor Books

  • Brown Honey in Broom Wheat Tea by Joyce Carol Thomas, illustrated by Floyd Cooper
  • Uncle Jed's Barbershop illustrated by James Ransome, text by Margaree King Mitchell

1993 Winner Dark Thirty

  • Southern Tales of the Supernatural by Patricia A. McKissack

1993 Illustrated Winner

  • The Origin of Life on Earth: an African Creation Myth illustrated by Kathleen Atkins Wilson, retold by David A. Anderson 

1993 Honor Books 

  • Mississippi Challenge by Mildred Pitts Walter
  • Sojourner Truth: Ain't I a Woman? by Patricia C. & Frederick L. McKissack
  • Somewhere in the Darkness by Walter Dean Myers
  • Night on Neighborhood Street by Eloise Greenfield, illustrated by Jan Spivey Gilchrist

1993 Illustrated Honor Books

  • Little Eight John, illustrated by Wil Clay, text by Jan Wahl
  • Sukey and the Mermaid illustrated by Brian Pinkney, text by Robert San Souci
  • Working Cotton illustrated by Carole Byard, text by Sherley Anne Williams

1992 Winner 

  • Now is Your Time: the African American Struggle for Freedom by Walter Dean Myers

1992 Honor Book 

  • Night on Neighborhood Street by Eloise Greenfield, illustrated by Jan Spivey Gilchrist 

1992 Illustrated Honor Books

  • All Night, All Day: A Child's First Book of African American Spirituals, illustrated and selected by Ashley Bryan 
  • Night on Neighborhood Street, illustrated by Jan Spivey Gilchrist, text by Eloise Greenfield 

1991 Winner 

  • The Road to Memphis by Mildred D. Taylor 

1991 Illustrated Winner

  • Aida, illustrated by Leo and Diane Dillon, text by Leontyne Price 

1991 Honor Book 

  • Black Dance in America by James Haskins
  • When I Am Old With You by Angela Johnson

1990 Winner 

  • A Long Hard Journey: the Story of the Pullman Porter by Patricia C. & Frederick L. McKissack
  • Night on Neighborhood Street by Eloise Greenfield, illustrated by Jan Spivey Gilchrist 

1990 Illustrated Winner

  • Nathaniel Talking illustrated by Jan Spivey Gilchrist, text by Eloise Greenfield 

1990 Honor Books 

  • Nathaniel Talking by Eloise Greenfield, illustrated by Jan Spivey Gilchrist
  • The Bells of Christmas by Virginia Hamilton
  • Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Freedom Movement by Lillie Patterson
  • Night on Neighborhood Street by Eloise Greenfield, illustrated by Jan Spivey Gilchrist

1990 Illustrated Honor Books

  • The Talking Eggs illustrated by Jerry Pinkney, text by Robert San Souci 
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1989 Winner 

  • Fallen Angels by Walter Dean Myers 

1989 Illustrated Winner

  • Mirandy and Brother Wind, illustrated by Jerry Pinkney, text by Patricia McKissack 

1989 Honor Books

  • A Thief in the Village and Other Stories by James Berry
  • Anthony Burns: the Defeat and Triumph of a Fugitive Slave by Virginia Hamilton

1989 Illustrated Honor Books

  • Under the Sunday Tree, illustrated by Amos Ferguson, text by Eloisie Greenfield
  • Storm in the Night illustrated by Pat Cummings, text by Mary Stolz

1988 Winner

  • The Friendship by Mildred L. Taylor

1988 Illustrated Winner

  • Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters: an African Tale by John Steptoe

1988 Honor Books 

  • An Enchanted Hair Tale by Alexis De Veaux
  • The Tales of Uncle Remus: The Adventures of Brer Rabbit by Julius Lester

1988 Illustrated Honor Books

  • What a Morning! The Christmas Story in Black Spirituals illustrated by Ashley Bryan, selected by John Langstaff

1987 Winner

  • Justin and the Best Biscuits in the World by Mildred Pitts Walter

1987 Illustrated Winner

  • Half a Moon and One Whole Star illustrated by Jerry Pinkney, text by Crescent Dragonwagon 

1987 Honor Books

  • Lion and the Ostrich Chicks and Other African Folk Tales by Ashley Bryan
  • Which Way Freedom by Joyce Hansen

1987 Illustrated Honor Books

  • Lion and the Osrich Chicks and Other African Folk Tales by Ashley Bryan
  • C.L.O.U.D.S. by Pat Cummings

1986 Winner

  • The People Could Fly: American Black Folktales by Virginia Hamilton, illustrated by Leo and Diane Dillon

1985 Illustrated Winner

  • The Patchwork Quilt illustrated by Jerry Pinkney, text by Valerie Flournoy

1986 Honor Books 

  • Junius Over Far by Virginia Hamilton
  • Trouble's Child by Mildred Pitts Walter

1986 Illustrated Honor Books

  • The People Could Fly: American Black Folktales illustrated by Leo and Diane Dillon, text by Virginia Hamilton

1985 Winner 

  • Motown and Didi by Walter Dean Myers

1985 Illustrated Winner

  • No Award

1985 Honor Books 

  • Circle of God by Candy Dawson
  • A Little Love by Virginia Hamilton

1984 Winner 

  • Everett Anderson's Good-bye by Lucille Clifton 

1984 Special Citation

  • The Words of Martin Luther King, Jr., Coretta Scott King, compiler

1984 Illustrated Winner

  • My Mama Needs Me illustrated by Pat Cummings, text by Mildren Pitts Walter

1984 Honor Books

  • The Magical Adventures of Pretty Pearl by Virginia Hamilton
  • Lena Horne by James Haskins
  • Bright Shadow by Joyce Carol Thomas
  • Because We Are by Mildred Pitts Walter

1983 Winner

  • Sweet Whispers, Brother Rush by Virginia Hamilton

1983 Illustrated Winner

  • Black Child by Peter Mugabane

1983 Honor Books 

  • This Strange New Feeling by Julius Lester

1983 Illustrated Honor Books

  • All the Colors of the Race illustrated by John Steptoe, text by Arnold Adoff
  • I'm Going to Sing: Black American Spirituals illustrated by Ashley Bryan
  • Just Us Women illustrated by Pat Cummings, text by Jeanette Caines
  • 1982 Winner Let the Circle Be Unbroken by Mildred D. Taylor

1982 Illustrated Winner

  • Mother Crocodile; an Uncle Amadou Tale from Sengal illustrated by John Steptoe; text by Rosa Guy 

1982 Honor Books

  • Rainbow Jordan by Alice Childress
  • Lou in the Limelight by Kristin Hunter
  • Mary: An Autobiography by Mary E. Mebane

1982 Illustrated Honor Book 

  • Daydreamers illustrated by Tom Feelings, text by Eloise Greenfield

1981 Winner 

  • The Life of Sidney Poitier

1981 Illustrated Winner

  • Beat the Story Drum, Pum-Pum by Ashley De Veaux

1981 Honor Books

  • Don't Explain: A Song of Billie Holiday by Alexis de Veaux

1982 Illustrated Honor Books

  • Grandma's Joy illustrated by Carole Byard, text by Eloise Greenfield
  • Count on Your Fingers African Style, illustrated by Jerry Pinkney, text by Claudia Zaslavsky

1980 Winner 

  • The Young Landlords by Walter Dean Myers

1980 Illustrated Winner

  • Cornrows illustrated by Carole Byard, text by Camille Yarborough

1980 Honor Books 

  • Movin' Up by Berry Gordy
  • Childtimes: A Three-Generation Memoir by Eloise Greenfield and Lessie Jones Little
  • Andrew Young: Young Man With a Mission by James Haskins
  • James Van Der Zee: The Picture Takin' Man by James Haskins
  • Let the Lion Eat Straw by Ellease Southerland 
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1979 Winner 

  • Escape to Freedom by Ossie Davis

1979 Illustrated Winner

  • Something on My Mind, illustrated by Tom Feelings; text by Nikki Grimes

1979 Honor Books 

  • Benjamin Banneker by Lilly Patterson
  • I Have a Sister, My Sister is Deaf by Jeanne W. Peterson
  • Justice and Her Brothers by Virginia Hamilton
  • Skates of Uncle Richard by Carol Fenner

1978 Winner 

  • Africa Dream by Eloise Greenfield, illustrated by Carole Bayard

1978 Illustrated Winner

  • Africa Dream, illustrated by Carole Bayard, text by Eloise Greenfield

1978 Honor Books 

  • The Days When the Animals Talked: Black Folk Tales and How They Came to Be by William J. Faulkner
  • Marvin and Tige by Frankcina Glass
  • Mary McCleod Bethune by Eloise Greenfield
  • Barbara Jordan by James Haskins
  • Coretta Scott King by Lillie Patterson
  • Portia: The Life of Portia Washington Pittman, the Daughter of Booker T. Washington by Ruth Ann Stewart

1977 Winner 

  • The Story of Stevie Wonder by James Haskins

1977 Illustrated Winner

  • No Award

1977 Honor Books

  • No Honor Books

1976 Winner

  • Duey's Tale by Pearl Bailey

1976 Illustrated Winner

  • No Award

1976 Honor Books 

  • No Honor Books

1975 Winner 

  • The Legend of Africana by Dorothy Robinson 

1975 Illustrated Winner

  • No Award

1975 Honor Book 

  • No Honor Books

1974 Winner

  • Ray Charles by Sharon Bell Mathis, illustrated by George Ford

1974 Illustrated Winner

  • Ray Charles by Sharon Bell Mathis, illustrated by George Ford

1974 Honor Book 

  • No Honor Books

Note:  Prior to 1974, the CSK Award was only given to authors.

1973 Winner 

  • I Never Had it Made: the Autobiography of Jackie Robinson, as told to Alfred Duckett

1972 Winner 

  • 17 Black Artists by Elton C. Fax

1971 Winner 

  • Black Troubador: Langston Hughes by Charlemae Rollins

1970 Winner

  • Martin Luther King, Jr.: Man of Peace by Lillie Patterson 
[Celebrating Coretta Scott King] [Key Events Timeline] [Author
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Online Resources About
Coretta Scott King

Biography:  Coretta Scott King

Civil Rights Icon:  Coretta Scott King (transcript and audio file)

Coretta Scott King:  A Force for Civil Rights

Coretta Scott King Awards (ALA)

Coretta Scott King Human Rights Activist and Leader

Coretta Scott King Leaves Own Legacy

Coretta Scott King:  The role of prayer in the civil rights movement

King Chronologies

King Encyclopedia 

The Meaning of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday, by Coretta Scott King

NPR:  A Musical Tribute to Coretta Scott King (audio)

NPR:  Coretta Scott King, Deliving Her Husband's Message (audio)

NPR : The Life and Legacy of Coretta Scott King (audio)

Readings from "My Life with Martin Luther King, Jr." by Coretta Scott King (audio)

Remarks by Coretta Scott King, Press Conference on the Introduction of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act of 1994

Remembering Coretta Scott King:  First lady of civil rights

TIME First Lady of Civil Rights Photo Essay

Unsung Civil Rights Hero: Coretta Scott King

Women's History:  Coretta Scott King

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