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January 31, 2006

The Very Young Coretta Scott King

I see Coretta Scott King died today at 78. Like many people, I'm always surprised by how young she and Martin Luther King were. He would have just turned 77 two weeks ago, and was 26 during the Montgomery Bus Boycott; 28 when the Southern Christian Leadership Conference was founded; 34 when he delivered the "I Have a Dream" speech; 35 when he received the Nobel Peace Prize; 38 when he delivered "Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence"; and 39 when he was assassinated.

This always makes me think two things:

1. What am I doing with myself? I've really got to get my act together.

2. Progressives are fools if they don't focus predominantly on young people. Almost every significant social movement has been led by and dominated by fresh faced youth, and it's unlikely this is going to change. Progressive organizations need to cough up the dough to recruit and support young people, and make room for them at the top.

That's assuming progressive organizations actually want to win, which is something you can never count on.

For a good example of people who actually know what they're doing in this area, check out Hope Street Youth Development in Wichita, KS.

Posted at January 31, 2006 11:21 AM | TrackBack

Shit yes.

I guess I might as well take the opportunity to plug an organization I (as a fresh-faced young person) work for a lot-- try the Sierra (Club) Student Coalition at They're actually almost as good as they claim to be.

Rest in Peace, Ms. King.

Posted by: Sully at January 31, 2006 01:08 PM

Comment test test wheeeee

Posted by: Jonathan Schwarz at February 1, 2006 04:07 AM

again le comment test testoreeeeeeee

Posted by: Jonathan Schwarz at February 1, 2006 04:18 AM

Why does everyone insist on remembering Coretta only as an adjunct to Martin? A lot of his ideas were really her ideas. He was a woos in comparison -- she was the radical in the family, the one who pushed the idea of nonviolent revolution. My friend Joel Pomerantz is circulating an article on that topic that is as yet unpublished. Keep an eye out for it. She was da bomb. Or da anti-bomb, I suppose.

Posted by: bodzin at February 1, 2006 09:48 PM

Hello everyone I am a member of Hopestreet Youth Development in Wichita,Kansas and yes please, MAKE ROOM FOR US AT THE TOP!(Alot of Room) because were making history! I feel that as a woman Mrs. Coretta Scott King Stood great next to her husband during everything that they went through in the south to make great change. She was a great example of a strong woman and a strong human being.

Posted by: Jeanetta Green at February 2, 2006 10:12 PM