Linda Carson shares her MLK memories

Print
Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Monday, January 21, 2013 8:45 pm | Updated: 4:08 pm, Mon Sep 1, 2014.

SARASOTA - The Martin Luther King celebration began Monday morning in Sarasota as it has for 30 years, with a memorial breakfast in Newtown. And this year, for the first time, it was held in the newly remodeled Booker High School.

This holiday is very close to the heart of ABC 7’s Linda Carson. Back in the 60's as a young reporter in Atlanta, she covered Dr. King and the civil rights movement. She covered his marches, his demonstrations, even his sermons at Ebenezer Baptist Church the church King's family had pastored for 80 years.

When Coretta Scott King marched with her husband, Linda followed. When Dr. King went to jail, Linda waited with her at her home.

And then, when she was a reporter in Kansas City in 1986 -- the year Dr. King's birthday became a national holiday -- Mrs. King invited Linda to come back and spend that day with her, sit down, and talk about her husband and his work.

Linda wondered Mrs. King explained to their four children that daddy was in jail. “They thought of jail going as a badge of honor, rather than a disgrace," said Mrs. King.

Those were dangerous days for all those involved in the movement. Andrew Young, who went on to become a U.N. ambassador and Mayor of Atlanta, was one of Dr. King's right hand men. "You had to be afraid for your life if you were black and alone in the south, and I think we basically were trying to get certain, minimum human rights."

Linda was in her newsroom when the news came that Dr. King had been shot. And she went with the Atlanta mayor to Mrs. King's home to break the news to her. Later, she was one of the many reporters jammed outside the church at Dr. King’s funeral.

After her husband's death, Coretta Scott King became the heart, the public symbol, of the civil rights movement. "I've always had the sense of mission. I don't know why I do, therefore I have this strong need to serve and be involved."

And she continued to be involved until her death in 2006.

And on this historic day, as Barack Obama begins his second term as president, Linda can't help but remember Mrs. King's answer to a question she asked her in 1986: Wouldn't you love to be able to tell your husband about what has happened? To talk to him for 5 minutes and tell him how it's all turned out? Would he be disappointed or would he be pleased? “I think he would be very pleased about some aspects of it, and I suspect that he really knows."

And there was a wonderful surprise for Linda Monday morning, as the MLK Celebration Committee gave her an award for community service. ABC 7 also received an award, as did Dr. Ed James, executive producer of ABC 7's Black Almanac.

Rules of Conduct

  • 1 Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
  • 2 Don't Threaten or Abuse. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated. AND PLEASE TURN OFF CAPS LOCK.
  • 3 Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
  • 4 Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
  • 5 Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
  • 6 Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.

Welcome to the discussion.

Right Now

weather

Today

weather
70°
Details

Tomorrow

weather
76°
Details

Today

weather
78°
Details

Today

weather
79°
Details

SUBMIT PHOTOS & VIDEOS | VIEW ALL PHOTOS & VIDEOS

Send your photos & videos to Pix@MySuncoast.com and you could be featured on ABC 7 & our website.