Mother for Justice: Alberta Williams King

Being a student at Hampton University, we are surrounded by enriched history and African American culture. Many notable black activists, who have made a difference in the nation for the African American community, have attended Hampton University and set the “Standard of Excellence” for the next generations.

One of these notable famous alumni was Alberta Williams King, the mother of one of the most influential people not only in the United States but the world; Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Born on September 13, 1903 in Atlanta, Georgia, Ms. Alberta William grew up with a powerful influence with her local church. Her father was the pastor at her hometown church- Ebenezer, and her mother was also an active leader there.

Ms. Alberta Williams King earned her teaching certificate from Hampton University in 1924, during which the university was named Hampton Normal and Industrial Institute.  Upon graduation, Ms. King announced her engagement with Martin Luther King Sr., and became an active leader in Ebenezer Baptist Church. She has a passion for music and soon started up her church’s first choir, which she led from 1932 to 1972.

Her relationship with her son Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., made an impeccable impact on his leadership skills, self-respect and strength to move forward in the fight for equality during the Civil Rights Movement. King noted that his mother was the “best mother in the world,” and would repeatedly acknowledged her credit for installing his morals and values. King has also stated that his mother was an important “behind the scene setting forth those motherly cares, the lack of which leaves a missing link in life.”

Ms. Alberta King was assassinated at the age of 69 in 1974, while sitting at the organ in the Ebenezer Baptist Church. She was killed by Marcus Chenault who claimed that “all Christians were his enemies” as reasoning for the attack.

Alberta Williams King will be remembered in history as an important figure to the Civil Rights Movement. She was the backbone giving strength and courage to her children and many others during the fight for equality.