CCSU Alum Honors The Successes Of M.L.K Jr. And His Wife At Annual Breakfast


Julia Conant

Jay Lewis shares his message of female importance at the Martin Luther King Jr. Day breakfast.

Julia Conant, Arts & Entertainment Editor

As Central Connecticut honored the legendary Martin Luther King Jr. at the annual breakfast praising his life work, the university, along with keynote speaker Jay Lewis, gave extra recognition to his wife, Coretta Scott King. While Dr. King is known for his efforts in the Civil Rights Movement, Mrs. King was also actively involved every step of the way.

With his young sons in the audience, who up until that morning had no idea who Coretta Scott King was, CCSU alum Lewis explained his message of appreciating the women in our lives to them.

“We must not simply educate women, but we must also educate young men about women,” Lewis said. “I don’t want to raise sons who don’t know who Coretta Scott King is. I don’t want to raise sons that overlook the women in their lives. Jayden, Jameson, I’m talking to you. Pay attention.”

Lewis went on to list Mrs. King’s many positive attributes and accomplishments.

“Coretta Scott King was a champion of civil rights,” Lewis said. “She was a person of her own right and of her own will. She was highly educated. She had so much talent. So much energy. Yes she joined and partnered with Martin Luther King Jr., but she was part of this movement before she met Martin. And truth be told, she was part of this movement long after Martin gave the ultimate sacrifice. We celebrate Martin Luther King Day and Martin Luther King week because Coretta Scott King made it a holiday.”

Lewis brought it to the audience’s attention that on Jan. 20, Martin Luther King Jr.’s daughter Bernice King took to Twitter to ask people to also celebrate her mother, citing her as “the architect of the King Legacy.” This being because Mrs. King was the founder of The King Center, a nonprofit memorial and nonviolence training center.

“I had a whole speech written, and then she’s gonna drop that tweet on me,” Lewis joked. He shared with the audience that he changed his speech last minute to instead focus on his wife, Coretta Scott King.

“She went with him everywhere. Stood by him all the time, even when things got rough,” Lewis said. “She went with him to Ghana. But did you know shortly thereafter she was in South Africa getting arrested at the embassy for fighting for rights against the evil apartheid regime?”

The breakfast also included words from President Dr. Zulma Toro, regarding the university’s work towards the society M.L.K. Jr. dreamt and fought for.

“At Central, we have made great progress toward the type of society that Dr. King imagined,” Dr. Toro said. “But if we are to keep building this community all of us at Central must work everyday to foster an environment that counts tolerance, adversity and free expression of ideas as its core values.”

The next time you reflect on all that Martin Luther King Jr. did for our society, remember who was there with him every step of the way.