Yolanda King, 51, died yesterday in California, according to CBS News. King was the daughter of civil rights activist, Martin Luther King Jr. The cause of death has not been determined, though relatives suspect a heart attack.
King, an actress, author and peace advocate is survived by her sister, Bernice King, and brothers Martin Luther King III, and Dexter Scott King. Funeral arrangements have not been completed at this time. A spokesperson for the King Center made the announcement late Tuesday evening. Her mother, Coretta Scott King, who died more than one year ago, precedes her in death.
King was very active as a human rights worker, she sat on the Board of Directors for the King Center, was on a partnership council for Habitat for Humanity, was a member of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, among many other activities. King appeared in many films, and began her own production company called Higher Ground Productions. She was the oldest of the King children. In 1978, she played the part of Rosa Parks in a miniseries called King, which was based on Martin Luther King’s life.
King spoke in January at Ebenezer Baptist Church, where her father was a pastor for many years. During her speech she delivered a tribute to her deceased parents and told the congregation, “We must keep reaching across the table and, in the tradition of Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King, feed each other,” She told parishioners that they should question their own beliefs on prejudice.
King’s personal mission was to encourage growth and positive social change, this led to her creation of Higher Ground Productions. King lectured and performed through out the United States. She co-authored a book titled Open My Eyes, Open My Soul, which was designed to raise awareness about diversity. King held a B.A. degree from Smith College and a Masters in theatre from New York University.
King made herself available to lecture in business settings, community programs, and even offered book-signing opportunities to anyone who visited her web page. She had many upcoming events, including an appearance at the Ronald McDonald house in Los Angeles, California, which was scheduled for tomorrow, May 17, 2007.
Spokesmen for the King Center have told reporters that memorial service arrangements will be announced as soon as they are finalized.
http://home.peoplepc.com/psp/newsstory.asp?cat=TopStories&id=20070516/464a81c0_3ca6_15526200705162051515282 May 16, 2007
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yolanda_King May 16, 2007
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/05/16/national/main2811759.shtml May 16, 2007
http://blackvoices.aol.com/black_news/mlk/coretta_scott_king May 16, 2007
http://www.yolanda-king.com/Yolanda-King.htm May 16, 2007