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The Unsung Legacy of Christine King Faris, Younger Sister of Martin Luther King Jr. Who Continued the Fight for Racial Equality

  Martin Luther King Jr. is an inescapable name in modern American history. He was a pioneer in pursuing racial equality in the 1950s and 1960s. In 1963, he delivered the world-famous speech “I Have a Dream” in front of the Lincoln Memorial. In 1964, he won the Nobel Peace Prize. The achievements of Martin Luther King Jr. have attracted worldwide attention, but what few people know is that his sister, Christine King Faris, is also an outstanding fighter who is resolute and brave and advocated for the rights of black people.
  Born in Atlanta in 1927, Faris earned a bachelor’s degree in economics in 1948 from Spellman College, the oldest private liberal arts college for women in the United States, and then went to New York to earn a master’s degree at Columbia University. Faris then returned to Spelman College as an assistant professor and began her teaching career. It was also during those years that her brother, a former Baptist pastor, became involved in and led the civil rights movement. He opposed racial segregation, but also cared about poverty in America and the Vietnam War. Faris was involved in many of her brother’s nonviolent activism in Alabama and Mississippi, and she even lent him money to buy a wedding ring when he was struggling. In 1968, Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in a motel in Memphis, Tennessee, at the age of 39. His sudden death cast a huge shadow over the entire family, and Faris decided to stand up.
  ”Martin Luther King Jr. was not a saint, just a man. He did extraordinary things with deep and enduring faith,” Faris said. “The best way for each of us to celebrate Martin’s life is to Join the struggle for freedom, peace and justice.”
  Nearly half a century later, Faris did exactly that, serving as treasurer and teaching sociology classes at the Center for Nonviolent Social Change founded by her brother’s widow, Coretta Scott King, while , she also founded her own child development organization. She is committed to inheriting and spreading the spiritual legacy of the King family, especially after the drowning of another younger brother in 1969, the assassination of her mother in 1974, and the death of Coretta in 2006, she became the only “survivor” of the King family. She wrote two children’s books about her growing up with Martin Luther King Jr. In 2009, she published an autobiography titled “Reflection: About My Family, Life, and Belief”. Marcellus, a professor of history at Morehouse College, commented on this: “She may not stand in the parade every time, and her light may not be as dazzling as Martin Luther King and his wife, but she is equally incredible. Either way.” On
  June 29, 2023, Christine King Faris passed away at the age of 95. On social media, her nephew, Martin Luther King III, wrote: “Aunt, like a father, has fought for racial equality all her life. She has overcome too many obstacles that no one knows to become such a fighter and writer. , she interpreted the meaning of social conscience in her life, she left us a huge legacy and we will shoulder this mission to the future.”

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