What Mrs. King embodies will not be extinguished.  She is our Queen Mother.  And we should spend this day reflecting on her life, her legacy, her spirit, and what we will do in our lives to further Martin and Coretta's vision for our beloved community.

We Can Still Change America: The Legacy of Coretta Scott King

By Rep. Cynthia McKinney (February 1, 2006)

When I first heard the news about the death of Coretta Scott King I was at once both shocked and saddened.  Although Mrs. King belonged to her children and cousins and nieces and nephews, she also belonged to us--the American people and the family of black people all over the world.

When she was alive, there was a sense of comfort.  Mother King guarded us, protected us; she helped set this country free when she picked up Martin's cross.

I was given the privilege of speaking at this year's Martin Luther King ceremony at Ebenezer Church.  Due to illness, she watched the proceedings on the television, not able to be there with us.  Our love went out to her then and it does so now.  I love the King Family as do we all.  Her vision and Martin's vision moved our country forward.

In 1963 Dr. King spoke of Stone Mountain, Georgia.  I now represent Stone Mountain, Georgia.  Change is possible in our country.  It is possible for people of conscience to come together and move this country forward.

What Mrs. King embodies will not be extinguished.  She is our Queen Mother.  And we should spend this day reflecting on her life, her legacy, her spirit, and what we will do in our lives to further Martin and Coretta's vision for our beloved community.

My condolences to all the members of the King family; and to Martin III, Yolanda, Dexter, and Bernice.

In every sense of the word, they were our first family and now we look to the children to wear the family's mantle.

Originally appeared in Counter Punch.