Explore the Lives and Shared Legacy of Coretta Scott and Martin Luther King, Jr. with Clayborne Carson

Available through Stanford Continuing Studies, "Coretta Scott and Martin Luther King, Jr.: Their Lives and Shared Legacy" is a new online course that will run for four weeks on Tuesdays and Thursdays from January 17 through February 9, 2023. Enrollment is open now.
Arrival at Schiphol of the pastor and civil rights activist Martin Luther King and his wife, on the occasion of receiving an honorary doctorate in social sciences from the VU University in Amsterdam

During this immersive multimedia course, Clayborne Carson, former editor of The Papers of Martin Luther King, Jr. and director of The World House Project, will examine the lives of Coretta Scott and Martin Luther King Jr. Using a vast archive of digital materials, Carson will illuminate the central role that Coretta played as Martin’s partner and a peace activist in her own right. Participants will also learn about Martin’s successes and challenges that he experienced as a civil rights leader during the 1950s and 1960s.

This course will trace the crucial events that influenced Coretta’s and Martin’s lives, beginning with their encounter in 1952, when they met in Boston and fell in love while connecting over mutual interests in world peace and social, racial, and economic justice. It will follow Martin’s unexpected emergence as an internationally known advocate for nonviolence and human rights and, at the same time, highlight Coretta’s antiwar and civil rights activism.

Finally, the course will examine Coretta’s transformation from wife and partner to the leader of a campaign to preserve and celebrate Martin’s legacy following his assassination in April 1968. Until her passing in January 2006, Coretta not only led the movement to establish the King National Holiday but also supported the anti-apartheid movement, advocated for LGBT rights, founded the King Papers Project, and selected Carson to direct it.

In each session, Mira Foster, World House Project director of education, will provide rich and rarely seen historical material, on-location filming, and other audiovisual documents to help analyze what inspired and motivated these two remarkable people.