National, state and local officials and civic leaders today joined ordinary citizens to dedicate a garden tribute to the memory of the late civil rights activist Coretta Scott King at the Edgewater, Md., campus of Sojourner Douglass College in Southern Anne Arundel County. The memorial garden to the widow of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. is the first of its kind in the nation, according to organizers.
The keynote address was delivered by the youngest daughter of the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Mrs. King, the Rev. Dr. Bernice A. King. Special guests attending the event included (Martin Luther King, III), Congressman Steny Hoyer, Congressman Chris Van Hollen, United States District Court Judge Alexander Williams, Jr., Maryland Court of Appeals Chief Judge Robert M. Bell, Dr. Charlestine R. Fairley, and Baltimore State’s Attorney Greg Bernstein, among others.
Called by many the first lady of the Civil Rights Movement, Mrs. King would have been 84 years old the day before the dedication, April 27.
The garden, designed and installed by Homestead Gardens of Davidsonville, Md, features a vine-covered pergola and water fountain in the center, with seating areas for visitors who want to read or sit and contemplate. The dogwood trees, holly bushes, hydrangeas and flowering spring plants are designed to reflect what the organizers said was Mrs. King’s gentle and elegant spirit.
Carl O. Snowden, chairman of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Committee, emphasized that the memorial, a joint venture of the Maryland office of the Attorney General and the nonprofit King Committee, is being funded entirely by private contributions. Snowden and the King Committee were instrumental in funding to erect a bronze statue to Dr. King at Anne Arundel Community College in 2006.
Information about the Coretta Scott King Memorial is available at http://www.corettascottkingmd.com, and contributions may be sent to the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Committee Inc., Box 371, Annapolis, MD 21404.