110+ Best Coretta Scott King Quotes: Exclusive Selection

Coretta Scott King was an American author, activist, civil rights leader, and the wife of Martin Luther King Jr. An active advocate for African-American equality, she was a leader for the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s. Profoundly inspiring Coretta Scott King quotes will challenge the way you think, change the way you live and transform your whole life.

If you’re searching for famous activism quotes that perfectly capture what you’d like to say or just want to feel inspired yourself, browse through an amazing collection of quotes from Dorothy Day, powerful Elizabeth Cady Stanton quotes and famous Ella Baker quotes.

Famous Coretta Scott King Quotes

We have an historic opportunity for a great global healing and renewal. If we will accept the challenge of nonviolent activism with faith, courage, and determination, we can bring this great vision of a world united in peace and harmony from a distant ideal into glowing reality. – Coretta Scott King

Homophobia is like racism and anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry in that it seeks to dehumanize a large group of people, to deny their humanity, their dignity and personhood. – Coretta Scott King

Isn’t it strange how the leaders of nations can talk so eloquently about peace while they prepare for war? … There is no way to make peace while preparing for war. – Coretta Scott King

There is a spirit and a need and a man at the beginning of every great human advance. Every one of these must be right for that particular moment of history, or nothing happens. – Coretta Scott King

Marrying Martin and the movement perfected my journey of discovery, soothed my yearning to pour out the values and vision within my soul. – Coretta Scott King

To really know someone is to have loved and hated him in turn. – Coretta Scott King

An evil deed is not redeemed by an evil deed in retaliation. – Coretta Scott King

Nonviolence is a method that transforms, first of all, the individual once you understand it and embrace it. It begins with you and, if you can, about transforming individuals so that they love unconditionally. – Coretta Scott King

When Good Friday comes, these are the moments in life when we feel there’s no hope. But then, Easter comes. – Coretta Scott King

I am scared that if Ronald Reagan gets into office, we are going to see more of the Ku Klux Klan and a resurgence of the Nazi Party. – Coretta Scott King

I must remind you that starving a child is violence. Suppressing a culture is violence. Neglecting school children is violence. Punishing a mother and her family is violence. Discrimination against a working man is violence. Ghetto housing is violence. Ignoring medical need is violence. Contempt for poverty is violence. – Coretta Scott King

You cannot have peaceful means – peaceful means will have to be used to bring about peaceful ends. If you use destructive means, you’re going to bring about destructive ends. – Coretta Scott King

I appeal to everyone who believes in Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream to make room at the table of brother- and sisterhood for lesbian and gay people. – Coretta Scott King

Scandal sells books; fidelity does not. – Coretta Scott King

When aroused the American conscience is a powerful force for reform. – Coretta Scott King

I believe all Americans who believe in freedom, tolerance and human rights have a responsibility to oppose bigotry and prejudice based on sexual orientation. – Coretta Scott King

Because Dr. King was human and not divine – although we think he was divine, he was just a man, an extraordinary man, but a man – and he would get depressed from time to time and disappointed about all kinds of things relative to the movement. – Coretta Scott King

I’ve always felt that homophobic attitudes and policies were unjust and unworthy of a free society and must be opposed by all Americans who believe in democracy.The civil rights movement thrives on unity and inclusion, not division and exclusion. My husband’s struggle parallels that of the gay rights movement. – Coretta Scott King

We have a lot more work to do in our common struggle against bigotry and discrimination. I say common struggle because I believe very strongly that all forms of bigotry and discrimination are equally wrong and should be opposed by right-thinking Americans everywhere. Freedom from discrimination based on sexual orientation is surely a fundamental human right in any great democracy, as much as freedom from racial, religious, gender, or ethnic discrimination. – Coretta Scott King

Something is wrong that we have to feed so many. Why should there be poverty with all of our science and technology? There is no deficit in human resources – it is a deficit in human will. – Coretta Scott King

Sometimes, I am also identified as a civil rights leader or a human rights activist. I would also like to be thought of as a complex, three-dimensional, flesh-and-blood human being with a rich storehouse of experiences, much like everyone else, yet unique in my own way, much like everyone else. – Coretta Scott King

Segregation was wrong when it was forced by white people, and I believe it is still wrong when it is requested by black people. – Coretta Scott King

It doesn’t matter how strong your opinions are. If you don’t use your power for positive change, you are, indeed, part of the problem. – Coretta Scott King

The failure to invest in youth reflects a lack of compassion and a colossal failure of common sense. – Coretta Scott King

We have to launch a national campaign against homophobia in the black community. – Coretta Scott King

Particularly in the South, efforts continue to be made to deny blacks access to the polls, even where blacks constitute the majority of the voters. – Coretta Scott King

I think that discrimination in the job market is a very important area where work needs to be done. – Coretta Scott King

Thank God we have the example of Martin Luther King, Jr. People need role models. They need to see examples of people in peoples’ lives, and that’s why it’s so important not just to commemorate his life, but to study and try to live by the principles of that life. – Coretta Scott King

I believe that women know if their husbands are unfaithful. They feel it. – Coretta Scott King

When fear rushed in, I learned how to hear my heart racing but refused to allow my feelings to sway me. That resilience came from my family. It flowed through our bloodline. – Coretta Scott King

I suppose I experienced the personal dilemma that baffles every working woman. What happens when you are expected to be Superwoman, to perform a dozen conflicting tasks at the same time? – Coretta Scott King

The Voting Rights Act was, and still is, vitally important to the future of democracy in the United States. – Coretta Scott King

If a man had nothing that was worth dying for, then he was not fit to live. – Coretta Scott King

If you use weapons of war to bring about peace, you’re going to have more war and destruction. – Coretta Scott King

It’s going to take an act of Congress to deal with poverty and hunger, not only in this country, but throughout the world. We have the resources but we don’t have the will. – Coretta Scott King

During the bus boycott, I was tested by fire, and I came to understand that I was not a breakable crystal figurine. – Coretta Scott King

Non-violence is a permanent attitude we bring to the breakfast table and bring to bed at night. – Coretta Scott King

Freedom and justice cannot be parceled out in pieces to suit political convenience. I don’t believe you can stand for freedom for one group of people and deny it to others. – Coretta Scott King

People have to allow themselves to be used by God and Martin [Luther King, Jr.] committed himself totally to God’s will and purpose and God is always waiting for someone who is willing to do that. – Coretta Scott King

Before I was married to Martin and became a King, I was a proud Scott, shaped by my mother’s discernment and my father’s strength. – Coretta Scott King

I feel George Wallace symbolizes something in the past which America has rejected. – Coretta Scott King

My professional and personal roots in Alabama are deep and lasting. – Coretta Scott King

All we seek is an America where every person is given the chance to productively contribute to his country and where he can receive a fair and equitable share of the wealth that production creates. – Coretta Scott King

Nonviolence would work today, it would work 2,000 years from now, it would work 5,000 years from now. – Coretta Scott King

Knowing what I know now, if I could have chosen parents, I would have chosen exactly the ones God selected for me. – Coretta Scott King

I always knew that I was called to do something. I didn’t know what, but I finally rationalized after I met Martin [Luther King, Jr.] and it took a lot of praying to discover this, that this was probably what God had called me to do, to marry him. – Coretta Scott King

As one whose husband and mother-in-law have died the victims of murder and assassination, I stand firmly and unequivocally opposed to the death penalty for those convicted of capital offenses… An evil deed is not redeemed by an evil deed of retaliation. – Coretta Scott King

The greatest violence is seeing a child go to bed hungry. – Coretta Scott King

I’m more determined than ever that my husband’s dream will become a reality. – Coretta Scott King

Revenge and retaliation always perpetuate the cycle of anger, fear and violence. – Coretta Scott King

My story is a freedom song of struggle. It is about finding one’s purpose, how to overcome fear and to stand up for causes bigger than one’s self. – Coretta Scott King

We should not forget that in the ’60s, George Wallace’s motto was ‘segregation forever,’ and that he did nothing to deter bombings and other acts of violence and, by his actions, condoned them. – Coretta Scott King

I don’t see how you can separate human rights and the rights of all people, no matter what their sexual orientation is. – Coretta Scott King

Women, in general, are not part of the corruption of the past, so they can give a new kind of leadership, a new image for mankind. – Coretta Scott King

Gay and lesbian people have families, and their families should have legal protection, whether by marriage or civil union. – Coretta Scott King

I’m fulfilled in what I do. I never thought that a lot of money or fine clothes – the finer things of life – would make you happy. My concept of happiness is to be filled in a spiritual sense. – Coretta Scott King

I am convinced that the women of the world, united without any regard for national or racial dimensions, can become a most powerful force for international peace and brotherhood. – Coretta Scott King

I think if people really read Martin Luther King, Jr., then they would begin to understand what he really represented. – Coretta Scott King

Without Coretta Scott King, there would not have been a Martin Luther King, Jr. in the way that we know him. – Coretta Scott King

I still hear people say that I should not be talking about the rights of lesbian and gay people, and I should stick to the issue of racial justice. – Coretta Scott King

While not a panacea for the nation’s illegal immigration problems, employer sanctions are one necessary means of stopping the exploitation of vulnerable workers and the undercutting of American jobs and living standards. – Coretta Scott King

Hate is too great a burden to bear. It injures the hater more than it injures the hated. – Coretta Scott King

On Thanksgiving Night, 1942, when I was fifteen years old, white racists burned our house to the ground. – Coretta Scott King

Money is necessary both to support a family and to advance causes one believes in. – Coretta Scott King

When the heart is right, the mind and the body will follow. – Coretta Scott King

What most did not understand then was that I was not only married to the man I loved, but I was also married to the movement that I loved. – Coretta Scott King

In the area of economic justice, we still have a long way to go. We have too many people who are discriminated against just because they happen to be black or they happen to be a woman or some other minority. – Coretta Scott King

My story is a freedom song from within my soul. It is a guide to discovery, a vision of how even the worst pain and heartaches can be channeled into human monuments, impenetrable and everlasting. – Coretta Scott King

Mama and Daddy King represent the best in manhood and womanhood, the best in a marriage, the kind of people we are trying to become. – Coretta Scott King

There is no reason why a nation as rich as ours should be blighted by poverty, disease, and illiteracy. – Coretta Scott King

Nelson Mandela sat in a South African prison for 27 years. He was nonviolent. He negotiated his way out of jail. His honor and suffering of 27 years in a South African prison is really ultimately what brought about the freedom of South Africa. That is nonviolence. – Coretta Scott King

If you give your life to a cause in which you believe, and if it is right and just, and if your life comes to an end as a result of this, then your life could not have been spent in a more redemptive way. I think that is what my husband has done. – Coretta Scott King

This was really what I was supposed to be doing, and it was a great blessing to have discovered this, and to be doing what was God’s will for your life. – Coretta Scott King

To abandon affirmative action is to say there is nothing more to be done about discrimination. – Coretta Scott King

People need role models. They need to see examples of people in peoples’ lives. – Coretta Scott King

Behind every good man, there’s a good woman reminding you I knew you when you didn’t have nothing. – Coretta Scott King

Violence diminishes our humanity. – Coretta Scott King

You have to have people who prick the consciences of the nation. – Coretta Scott King

We must eliminate the gulf of mistrust and ignorance that keeps us from learning from each other. – Coretta Scott King

Like Gandhi, my husband had struggled with the issue of materialism. – Coretta Scott King

Mr. Sessions’ conduct as a U.S. Attorney, from his politically motivated voting fraud prosecutions to his indifference toward criminal violations of civil rights laws, indicated that he lacks the temperament, fairness and judgment to be a federal judge. – Coretta Scott King

If American women increase their voting turnout by ten percent, I think we would see an end to all of the budget cuts in programs benefiting women and children. – Coretta Scott King

The woman power of this nation can be the power which makes us whole and heals the rotten community, now so shattered by war and poverty and racism. I have great faith in the power of women who will dedicate themselves whole-heartedly to the task of remaking our society. – Coretta Scott King

Lesbian and gay people are a permanent part of the American workforce, who currently have no protection from the arbitrary abuse of their rights on the job. – Coretta Scott King

Civil rights leaders, including my husband and Albert Turner, have fought long and hard to achieve free and unfettered access to the ballot box. Mr. Sessions has used the awesome power of his office to chill the free exercise of the vote by black citizens in the district he now seeks to serve as a federal judge. – Coretta Scott King

When you are willing to make sacrifices for a great cause, you will never be alone. – Coretta Scott King

Our Congress passes laws which subsidize corporation farms, oil companies, airlines, and houses for suburbia. But when they turn their attention to the poor, they suddenly become concerned about balancing the budget and cut back on the funds for Head Start, Medicare, and mental health appropriations. – Coretta Scott King

People don’t ever have to starve to death; there are solutions. We have failed if we can’t eradicate hunger in Africa and Ethiopia. – Coretta Scott King

As an African American child growing up in the segregated South, I was told, one way or another, almost every day of my life, that I wasn’t as good as a white child. – Coretta Scott King

You cannot believe in peace at home and not believe in international peace. A war with Iraq will increase anti-American sentiment, create more terrorists, and drain as much as 200 billion taxpayer dollars, which should be invested in human development here in America. – Coretta Scott King

Struggle is a never ending process. Freedom is never really won, you earn it and win it in every generation. – Coretta Scott King

The more visible signs of protest are gone, but I think there is a realization that the tactics of the late sixties are not sufficient to meet the challenges of the seventies. – Coretta Scott King

Wherever there was injustice, war, discrimination against women, gays and the disadvantaged, I did my best to show up and exert moral persuasion. – Coretta Scott King

I can’t help but believe that at some time in the not-too-distant future, there is going to be another movement to change these systemic conditions of poverty, injustice, and violence in people’s lives. That is where we’ve got to go, and it is going to be a struggle. – Coretta Scott King

How many must die before we can really have a free and true and peaceful society? – Coretta Scott King

For many years now, I have been an outspoken supporter of civil and human rights for gay and lesbian people. Gays and lesbians stood up for civil rights in Montgomery, Selma, in Albany, Ga. and St. Augustine, Fla., and many other campaigns of the Civil Rights Movement. Many of these courageous men and women were fighting for my freedom at a time when they could find few voices for their own, and I salute their contributions. – Coretta Scott King

The process of nonviolence is one that takes time and those of us who’ve suffered, who’ve been persecuted over the years, would like to see things change, you know, overnight. – Coretta Scott King

We can prevent many people from becoming terrorists by truly listening to people who feel they’ve been treated unjustly and responding to their concerns with a sense of justice and compassion. – Coretta Scott King

Nonviolence is the only credible response to the violence we’re seeing around the world. – Coretta Scott King

If sexual relations between consenting adults are not part of the right to privacy guaranteed by the Constitution, then American democracy is in trouble. – Coretta Scott King

The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members. – Coretta Scott King

If Martin [Luther King, Jr.]’s philosophy had been embraced and lived out in Iraq and other places, we wouldn’t have bin Ladens. – Coretta Scott King

It is plain that we don’t care about our poor people except to exploit them as cheap labor and victimize them through excessive rents and consumer prices. – Coretta Scott King

Women, if the soul of the nation is to be saved, I believe that you must become its soul. – Coretta Scott King

Love is such a powerful force. It’s there for everyone to embrace-that kind of unconditional love for all of humankind. That is the kind of love that impels people to go into the community and try to change conditions for others, to take risks for what they believe in. – Coretta Scott King

Just be what you are. And I try to be my best self and be what I am and knowing what I am and be satisfied with that. And if people don’t know it, maybe they’ll eventually know it. – Coretta Scott King

Justice is never advanced in the taking of human life. – Coretta Scott King

A constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage is a form of gay bashing and it would do nothing to protect traditional marriages. – Coretta Scott King

A vote for George Wallace is a vote for the past and oppression. – Coretta Scott King

Martin Luther King, Jr. tried to live his life serving others. – Coretta Scott King

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