Alberta Williams King

On this date in 1974, Mrs. Alberta Williams King, the mother of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was shot and killed.

The murder happened as Mrs. King sat at the organ in the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta. Suddenly, Marcus Wayne Chenault, 23, opened fire with two revolvers. “I’m tired of all this!” he screamed. He wounded three people, two of them, Mrs. King and Deacon Edward Boykin, died.  [Continue reading at the African American Registry.]

February 8, 2015

“28 Days Isn’t Enough…”

How many of you knew Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s mother, Alberta Williams King, a Christian civil rights activist was also assassinated?

If your heart skipped a beat and your spirit is drawn to know more, I welcome you into CARTER™ Magazine’s world… 28 days isn’t enough to cover a rich and vast history not often told in America, and so CARTER™ Magazine was created to provide 365 days of our story.

via The Guardian: On June 30, 1974, according to witnesses Mrs Alberta King, whose husband, the Rev Martin Luther King Snr, is pastor of the church on Auburn Avenue, was playing the organ for the Lord’s Prayer near the start of the service when the attack began. A young black man jumped and screamed: “You must stop this! I am tired of all this! I’m taking over this morning.”

With that he drew two pistols and for the next 90 seconds fired wildly and continuously, hitting Mrs King, another elderly woman parishioner, and a 69-year-old church deacon, Mr Edward Boykin.


While members of the congregation dived beneath the pews, a few men from the choir jumped on the gunman, who was shouting: “ I’m going to kill everyone in here - they did it to me in the war.”

Mrs King’s grandson Derek, who said he helped to subdue the gunman as he tried to reload a pistol, added: “He was delirious. He appeared to be in a fever. He said over and over, ‘The war did this to me. It’s the war.’”

Mrs King was taken to the nearby Grady Memorial Hospital, where officials said she was “barely alive” on arrival. She died shortly afterwards from a gunshot wound to the right of her head. Mr Boykin was pronounced dead on arrival.

The attack on Mrs King took place less than 100 yards from where her famous son, killed in 1968 at the age of 39, is buried.

Alberta Williams King (left) was assassinated just 6 years after her son Martin Luther King Jr. was gunned down in Memphis, Tennessee. On June 30th, 1974 Mrs. King was playing the organ in Ebenezer Baptist Church - the very church her son was baptized and later became co-pastor in - when Marcus Wayne Chenault killed her. The assassination of Mrs. King took place less than 100 yards from where her son is buried.

-Collier Meyerson,  MLK’s Mother Was Also Assassinated

A shooting in a sanctuary

“Atlanta, Ga. - June 30, 1974 - Scene outside of Ebenezer Baptist Church after the shooting of Mrs. Alberta King, mother of Martin Luther King Jr. (Bill Mahan/AJC staff)” Alberta Williams King, 70, who was seated at the church organ playing “The Lord’s Prayer,” was killed, as was Deacon Edward Boykin, 69, by a visitor to the church. A woman in the congregation was wounded. The killer was sentenced to life in prison and he died of a stroke in a Georgia prison cell in 1995.

Photo courtesy of The Atlanta Journal Constitution.

My mother confronted the age-old problem of the Negro parent in America: how to explain discrimination and segregation to a small child.

She taught me that I should feel a sense of “somebodiness” but that on the other hand I had to go out and face a system that stared me in the face every day saying you are “less than,” you are “not equal to.” She told me about slavery and how it ended with the Civil War. She tried to explain the divided system of the South—the segregated schools, restaurants, theaters, housing; the white and colored signs on drinking fountains, waiting rooms, lavatories—as a social condition rather than a natural order. She made it clear that she opposed this system and that I must never allow it to make me feel inferior.

Then she said the words that almost every Negro hears before he can yet understand the injustice that makes them necessary: YOU ARE AS GOOD AS ANYONE.

At this time, Mother had no idea that the little boy in her arms would years later be involved in a struggle against the system she was speaking of.

talkingpointsmemo.com
MLK's Mother Was Assassinated, Too: The Forgotten Women Of Black History Month

On June 30th, 1974, Alberta Williams King was gunned down while she played the organ for the “Lord’s Prayer” at Ebenezer Baptist Church. As a Christian civil rights activist, she was assassinated…just like her son, Martin Luther King, Jr. But most people remember only one. Until a month ago, I was one of those people.

MLK’s Mother Was Assassinated, Too: The Forgotten Women Of Black History Month

On June 30th, 1974, Alberta Williams King was gunned down while she played the organ for the “Lord’s Prayer” at Ebenezer Baptist Church. As a Christian civil rights activist, she was assassinated…just like her son, Martin Luther King, Jr. But most people remember only one. Until a month ago, I was one of those people.

When a friend told me about Alberta Williams King, my first reaction was “who?” This question was followed by a wave of shame. It was the same feeling I had a few years ago when I first heard about Fannie Lou Hamer. Then later came Ida B. Wells and other leaders who seemed to appear in the discussion of American history to my confused, uninformed silence. I started to suspect that I had half an education and that I had been leaving out the role of women and feminism in Black History.

Read more

#BlackHistoryMonth- Alberta Williams King #PDMFNB #UniteBlue #LibCrib @bannerite

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The mother of the late Rev Martin Luther King, the civil rights leader who was assassinated, was herself shot and killed as she played the organ for morning service in the Ebenezer Baptist Church in of Atlanta, Georgia.

Alberta Christine Williams was born on September 13, 1904, the only daughter of Jennie Celeste Parks and Reverend Adam McNeil Williams, who was then the pastor of the Ebenezer…

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talkingpointsmemo.com
MLK's Mother Was Assassinated, Too: The Forgotten Women Of Black History Month

On June 30th, 1974, Alberta Williams King was gunned down while she played the organ for the “Lord’s Prayer” at Ebenezer Baptist Church. As a Christian civil rights activist, she was assassinated…just like her son, Martin Luther King, Jr. But most people remember only one. Until a month ago, I was one of those people.

Christ-like Forgiveness of Charleston Church Shooter Prompts Discussion

Christ-like Forgiveness of Charleston Church Shooter Prompts Discussion

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FILE – In this June 21, 2015, file photo, Rev. Norvel Goff prays at the empty seat of the Rev. Clementa Pinckney at the Emanuel A.M.E. Church four days after a mass shooting that claimed the lives of Pinckney and eight others in Charleston, S.C. Some family members of those killed in the church shooting have said they forgive the man who’s been charged. But others in the African-American…

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