“I believe Martin was chosen, I believe I was chosen, and I say to the kids, this family was chosen as well,” Coretta Scott King says in her memoir that was penned by journalist Barbara Reynolds based on hours of previously unheard interviews.
Bernice King, the youngest daughter of Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King, referred to her mother as “the architect of this King legacy” in an interview with “Good Morning America‘s” Robin Roberts that aired today.
“What we know of my father,” Bernice King said, “really came from her resilience, her determination, her faith, her courage.”
“She used to say that this family is called,” Bernice King added. “We grew up hearing that a lot.”
Bernice King said that she still feels called, in the same way her mother was, to fight “for human rights and dignity.”
In her memoir, Scott King details how she dedicated her life not only to her husband and their four children, but also to their shared Christian beliefs and racial justice goals. She remained by her husband’s side throughout his almost 13 years as the leader of the modern American Civil Rights Movement, up until his assassination in 1968.
“I don’t know what it was about her, but in those crises moments, in those very difficult, challenging times she rose to an occasion,” Bernice King recalled of her mother. “And she could carry you. She could carry many people.”
Coretta Scott King would ultimately go on to preserve her husband’s memory through the Martin Luther King Center for Nonviolent Social Change in Atlanta, Ga., as well as lobby for 15 years to help establish the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a federal holiday.
Bernice King told “GMA” that despite everything, her mother still felt like the vast contributions she made to the civil rights movement were overlooked.
Bernice King added that she hopes those who read the memoir will learn that “Martin didn’t make Coretta Scott King. When they met she was prepared.”
“I honestly believe in a different kind of way she did greater things. Probably because she lived longer,” Bernice King said, “But also because she had the insight to see who he really was, and articulate it in a way that an entire world could embrace regardless of, of your background.”
Coretta Scott King’s memoir, “My Life, My Love, My Legacy” will be released in bookstores nationwide and online on Jan. 17.