UNITED STATES NEWS

Christine King Farris, the last living sibling of Martin Luther King Jr., dies at 95

Jun 29, 2023, 10:16 AM

ATLANTA (AP) — Christine King Farris, the last living sibling of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., has died.

Her niece, the Rev. Bernice King, tweeted that her “beloved aunt” died Thursday. She was 95.

For decades after her Coretta Scott King, to preserve and promote his legacy. But unlike her high-profile sister-in-law, Farris’ activism — and grief — was often behind the scenes.

“She may not have always been on the line of the march, but that was true with a lot of the heroes of the Civil Rights Movement,” said Marcellus Barksdale, a history professor at Morehouse College, of Farris in a 2009 interview with The Associated Press. “Because of the luminescence of Dr. King and Coretta Scott King, Christine kind of got dimmed by that, but she was no less important.”

Farris was born Willie Christine King on Sept. 11, 1927, in Atlanta. She was the first child of the Rev. Martin Luther King Sr. and Alberta Christine Williams King.

Farris helped Coretta Scott King build The King Center and helped to teach Martin Luther King Jr.’s philosophy of nonviolent resistance. For years, her regal, dignified presence was a mainstay at the ecumenical service celebrating her brother’s birthday at Ebenezer Baptist Church, where her grandfather and father also preached and where Farris remained a member.

The King Center tweeted Thursday that it mourns the loss of Farris, a founding board member, former vice-chair and treasurer, along with a photo of her.

Bernice King tweeted a photo of herself with Farris, writing, “I love you and will miss you, Aunt Christine.”

Martin Luther King III tweeted that he, his wife and his daughter had been able to spend time with his aunt in her final days.

“Aunt Christine embodied what it meant to be a public servant. Like my dad, she spent her life fighting for equality and against racism in America,” he tweeted. “She defied the odds that held back too many marginalized communities – going on to become a civil rights leader and acclaimed author. No stranger to adversity, Aunt Christine used the tragedies of the assassinations of her mother and brother to fight for change in America.”

Farris outlived many of the people she loved, including her parents, her two brothers, her sister-in-law and her niece, Yolanda. She graduated from Spelman College in 1948 with a degree in economics on the same day Martin Luther King Jr. earned his degree in sociology from Morehouse College.

A decade later, Farris returned to Spelman, where she worked for more than 50 years. In 1960, she married Isaac Newton Farris. The couple had two children, Angela Christine Farris Watkins and Isaac Newton Farris Jr.

“Our hearts are heavy in Atlanta today, with the news that Christine King Farris has died,” Mayor Andre Dickens said in a statement.

“Mrs. Farris was a force in her own right,” Dickens said. “A champion of literacy and education, she taught at her alma mater, Spelman College, for nearly 50 years. As the last of the King siblings, she spent much of her life advocating for equality. She once said that her brother Martin simply gave us the blueprint, but it was our duty ‘to carry it out.’”

Farris wrote two children’s books about her life, “My Brother Martin: A Sister Remembers Growing Up With the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.” and “March On! The Day My Brother Martin Changed the World.” In 2009, she wrote a memoir, “Through It All: Reflections on My Life, My Family and My Faith.”

Farris often shared stories about her brother as a normal child and young man to make him and his achievements more accessible to people.

“They think he simply happened, that he appeared fully formed, without context, ready to change the world,” she said.

United States News

Associated Press

Medline recalls 1.5 million adult bed rails following 2 reports of entrapment deaths

NEW YORK (AP) — Medical supply company Medline Industries is recalling some 1.5 million portable adult bed rails across the U.S. and Canada, following two reports of entrapment deaths associated with the products. The recall impacts two models of Medline’s “Bed Assist Bars.” According to a Thursday announcement from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, […]

12 minutes ago

Associated Press

South Dakota man arrested and charged in Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol

RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) — A South Dakota man pushed a police officer during the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol and was among those who shoved a large metal “Trump” sign into a police line, the U.S. Department of Justice said. William George Knight, 37, of Rapid City, was arrested by the […]

26 minutes ago

Associated Press

Amazon gets FAA approval that allows it to expand drone deliveries for online orders

Federal regulators have given Amazon key permission that will allow it to expand its drone delivery program, the company announced Thursday. In a blog post posted on its website, Seattle-based Amazon said that the Federal Aviation Administration has given its Prime Air delivery service the OK to operate drones “beyond visual line of sight,” removing […]

1 hour ago

Associated Press

Police dismantle pro-Palestinian camp at Wayne State University in Detroit

DETROIT (AP) — Police broke up a pro-Palestinian encampment Thursday at Wayne State University in Detroit and arrested at least eight people after organizers turned down offers to meet with school officials and refused to leave. President Kimberly Andrews Espy cited health and safety concerns and disruptions to campus operations. Staff were encouraged to work […]

4 hours ago

Associated Press

One Tech Tip: Want to turn off Meta AI? You can’t — but there are some workarounds

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — If you use Facebook, WhatsApp or Instagram, you’ve probably noticed a new character pop up answering search queries or eagerly offering tidbits of information in your feeds, with varying degrees of accuracy. It’s Meta AI, and it’s here to help, at least according to Meta Platforms’ CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who calls […]

5 hours ago

Associated Press

The Latest | Jury in Donald Trump’s criminal trial are set to enter a second day of deliberations

NEW YORK (AP) — Jury deliberations in Donald Trump ‘s criminal hush money trial entered their second day on Thursday after the panel began the weighty task a day before. Deliberations concluded Wednesday with the panel asking Judge Juan M. Merchan to rehear portions of crucial testimony from two key witnesses: former National Enquirer publisher […]

6 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s 1 way to ensure your family is drinking safe water

Water is maybe one of the most important resources in our lives, and especially if you have kids, you want them to have access to safe water.

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Day & Night is looking for the oldest AC in the Valley

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.

Christine King Farris, the last living sibling of Martin Luther King Jr., dies at 95