A Project for Better Journalism chapter

Black History Month: An unknown leader

Her father may be the famous one, but Yolanda Denise King followed closely in his footsteps towards freedom for all.

King, was the first child of Martin Luther King Jr.  and Coretta Scott King, with three siblings, Martin Luther King III, Dexter Scott king, and Bernice King.

King was best known for her entertainment and her public speaking. She has appeared in many movies as a young actress and also gave some motivational speeches to audience.

Born on November 17, 1955 in Montgomery, Al, she wrote famous books, one entitled “Open My Eyes, Open My Soul: Celebrating Our Common Humanity”, about her family and the challenges and triumphs of overcoming racism and strengthening human connections. In her book, King emphasizes for  people of color to move forward, be strong and resist.

King wrote her first ever play at the age of eight and was later sent to an acting school by her mother. Her first major appearance was “Owl and Pussycat”,  where she played the part of a prostitute.  In the movie, her character had to kiss a white man, which caused a lot of scandal in the black and white communities.

Back in the 1900s the was a lot of segregation going on, so the black and the white people could not have  been seen together doing anything, and here king was kissing a white man in a play production that was to be published publicly.

Although her mother was very supportive, her grandfather refused to go watch her play. Being send to an acting school she was very educated. Not only did she learn acting but was also well educated in many other aspects as well.

King graduated from Smith College in New York and earned a master degree in art.  She founded a Christian theater artist company and toured around the country with them. She was very passionate about her work and also fighting for equality among the people of color. She believed if African Americans resist enough, they will not be broken down and will be noticed.

On May 15, 2007, Yolanda Denise King died, caused by an apparent heart failure.

She was strong-willed and empowered as she fought for equality for people of colors.