Diversity People

In memory of greatness

Two great women passed away this last week: Coretta Scott King and Betty Friedan.

King did more than just fight for the rights for blacks–she fought for the rights for every person, black or white or yellow or red; regardless of religion, gender, or sexual orientation. Much of the King legacy must be equally shared by Coretta as much as her husband.

I remember reading publication after publication talking about how Coretta spent her whole life fighting for her husband’s legacy. She didn’t spend her whole life fighting for some ghostly image of MLK; she spent her life fighting for the same cause that took her husband’s life. If we can’t respect all that she accomplished, as an individual, in her life, at least we can honor her in her death.

Oddly enough, this is something Friedan would say–that Coretta Scott King was more than just the widow of Martin Luther King. She was an icon of the civil rights movement in and of herself.

Friedan: where would I be today if not for her work. Where would many of us women be. I was too young to be in the beginning of the women’s movement in the 1960’s but I have benefited from it.

I don’t think many people remember what it was like when blacks rode the back of the buses. I definitely don’t think people remember what it was like when women’s primary function, one of the few allowed by society, was to stay at home and take care of the kiddies. If they remembered what it was like, they wouldn’t say such silly tripe as, “I don’t agree with Friedan. I don’t agree with most feminism. I don’t believe women should get preferential treatment. I believe we should be treated equally”.