Yolanda King : biography
Yolanda Denise King (November 17, 1955 – May 15, 2007) was the first-born child of Coretta Scott King and civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Her younger siblings are Martin Luther King III, Dexter Scott King, and Bernice Albertine King. She was 12 years old when her father was assassinated.
Born in Montgomery, Alabama to Martin Luther King, Jr., and Coretta Scott King, King was a human rights activist and actress. An alumna of Smith College, she was a member of the Board of Directors of the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change, Inc. (the official national memorial to her father) and was founding Director of the King Center's Cultural Affairs Program. She served on the Partnership Council of Habitat for Humanity, was the first national Ambassador for the American Stroke Association's "Power to End Stroke" Campaign, a member of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, a sponsor of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, Human Rights Campaign, and held a lifetime membership in the NAACP. King received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, a master's degree in theater from New York University and an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Marywood University. In 1978 she starred as Rosa Parks in the TV miniseries King (based on her father's life and released on DVD in 2005). King was a spokeswoman for the national stroke awareness association.
In the 1980s, King and Attallah Shabazz (the eldest daughter of Malcolm X) co-founded Nucleus, a theater company."Daughters of M.L. King, Malcolm X Tour With Play That Boosts Self Improvement", JET, November 22, 1982, at p. 31.
King and Elodia Tate co-edited the book Open My Eyes, Open My Soul: Celebrating Our Common Humanity, published by McGraw-Hill in 2003.
King was an ardent activist for gay rights, as was her mother, Coretta.
On May 15, 2007, King collapsed in the Santa Monica, California home of Philip Madison Jones, her brother Dexter King's best friend, and could not be revived. Her family has speculated that her death was caused by a heart condition. A public memorial for Yolanda King was held on May 24, 2007, at Ebenezer Baptist Church Horizon Sanctuary in Atlanta, Georgia. King was cremated., CBS News. She was 51.
On May 25, 2008, her brother Martin Luther III and his wife, Andrea, became the parents of a baby girl and named her Yolanda, after his late sister.
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