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Love story of MLK, Coretta Scott King began in Boston


As the country celebrates the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. during the long holiday weekend, historians are reflecting on the years he and his wife, Coretta Scott King, spent in the city of Boston.Dr. King served as an assistant minister at the Twelfth Baptist Church in Boston’s Roxbury neighborhood from 1951 to 1954 while he was pursuing his Ph.D at Boston University’s School of Theology.Coretta Scott King was studying at the New England Conservatory of Music when she met her future husband on a blind date in 1951. The pair quickly fell in love and were married in 1953. “They spent most of their time in the Black community, and at that time, the Black community was lower Roxbury/South End,” said Clennon King, a contributor for Boston Magazine. “We’re talking about around the (MBTA) stop that is Mass Ave Station on the Orange Line. That’s essentially where they were.”In 1954, the Kings moved to Montgomery, Alabama, but Clennon King says their time in Boston was monumental to the launch of the civil rights movement.Last September, a mural depicting the couple, titled “Roxbury Love Story,” was painted by artist Rob “ProBlack” Gibbs where the Twelfth Baptist Church once stood on Shawmut Avenue.A 22-foot monument titled “Embrace” will be dedicated to the Kings in Boston Common, at the site of a 1965 civil rights rally that was led by Dr. King. Organizers say it will be the country’s largest memorial dedicated to racial equity.

As the country celebrates the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. during the long holiday weekend, historians are reflecting on the years he and his wife, Coretta Scott King, spent in the city of Boston.

Dr. King served as an assistant minister at the Twelfth Baptist Church in Boston’s Roxbury neighborhood from 1951 to 1954 while he was pursuing his Ph.D at Boston University’s School of Theology.

Coretta Scott King was studying at the New England Conservatory of Music when she met her future husband on a blind date in 1951. The pair quickly fell in love and were married in 1953.

“They spent most of their time in the Black community, and at that time, the Black community was lower Roxbury/South End,” said Clennon King, a contributor for Boston Magazine. “We’re talking about around the (MBTA) stop that is Mass Ave Station on the Orange Line. That’s essentially where they were.”

In 1954, the Kings moved to Montgomery, Alabama, but Clennon King says their time in Boston was monumental to the launch of the civil rights movement.

Last September, a mural depicting the couple, titled “Roxbury Love Story,” was painted by artist Rob “ProBlack” Gibbs where the Twelfth Baptist Church once stood on Shawmut Avenue.

A 22-foot monument titled “Embrace” will be dedicated to the Kings in Boston Common, at the site of a 1965 civil rights rally that was led by Dr. King. Organizers say it will be the country’s largest memorial dedicated to racial equity.

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