MLK's mother was assassinated 6 years after his death while playing the organ in church
Alberta King, the mother of Martin Luther King Jr., one of the most important men in the US history, was killed six years after her son’s passing at the age of 69.
The crime happened on June 30, 1974, at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta. Alberta was the church’s organist, and she was eager to play the new organ they had gotten in front of the approximately 500 people who attended Sunday’s service that day.
Her husband Martin Luther King Sr. was not at the church when the incident happened even though he was the pastor.
Many who quote him now would have hated him then. He was assassinated for trying to eradicate the evils some claim he’d support today. But he was a Christ-centered, love-fueled, justice-seeking, peacemaking, globally-minded, nonviolent revolutionary & prophet. #MLK90 #MLKDay #MLK pic.twitter.com/4kj2HgIYk0— Be A King (@BerniceKing) January 21, 2019
At some point during the service, a man wearing a tan suit and thick glasses got in the church unnoticed. When Alberta started playing “The Lord’s Prayer,” Marcus Wayne Chenault Jr., who was 23 years old at the time of the crime, stood up and yelled “I’m taking over here! I’m tired of all this!”
After that, the man ran to where Alberta was playing and shot at her multiple times using two pistols. Apart from Alberta, two other people also got shot.
Just six years after his death, King's mother, Alberta Williams King, was also murdered. On June 30, 1974, she was inside Ebenezer Baptist Church playing the organ when she was shot and killed by 23-year-old Marcus Wayne Chenault. #CMS24hrMLK pic.twitter.com/gF7KrdMJBk— CMS (@CharMeckSchools) January 22, 2019
THE ASSAILANT’S REASON FOR KILLING ALBERTA
One of them was a deacon named Edward Boykin, who also passed away. Another person was shot but ultimately survived.
Marcus was arrested soon after the crime, and he told police that his target was actually Martin Sr. but since he wasn’t at the church, he shot Alberta “because she was close to him,” reported New York Times.
Martin Sr. got the chance to talk to Marcus and ask him for a reason to kill Alberta, and the killer said that he had done it “because she was a Christian and all Christians are my enemies.”
Apart from that, he said that Black ministers were a menace to Black people and must be killed.
Martin was the second of three children by Alberta Williams King and Martin Luther King Sr., pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church. His oldest sister, Christine King Farris (91), still lives in Atlanta. His younger brother, Alfred Daniel (A.D.), drowned in July of 1969. #CMS24hrMLK pic.twitter.com/SYe0yYFN5R— CMS (@CharMeckSchools) January 21, 2019
Once in court, Marcus, who was diagnosed mentally ill, identified himself as a Hebrew called “Servant Jacob,” adding that he was sent on a mission that was “partially accomplished.”
Even though Marcus was expected to face the death penalty, the Kings were against that decision, so the man was sentenced to spend his life in prison. On August 22, 1995, Marcus suffered a stroke in jail and passed away at 44 years of age.
As we recognize the work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., we also honor his mother, Mrs. Alberta Williams King, and his wife and the mother of his children, Mrs. Coretta Scott King. We are eternally grateful for the strength, resilience & sacrifice of these two courageous women. pic.twitter.com/104l3Ca0t0— American Mothers (@americanmothers) January 21, 2019
HER TRAGIC DEATH IS ALMOST UNKNOWN NOWADAYS
One of the most interesting aspects of Alberta’s death is that not many people know the details of her tragic death. The reason for such a crime to pass unnoticed might be her private personality.
During her funeral, Reverend L.V. Booth reportedly said that she “sounded no trumpets to call attention to her greatness. Apart from that, the men around her might have unintentionally overshadowed her “greatness,” too.
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