Coretta Scott at the Progressive Party Convention, Convention Hall, Philadelphia

Date
July 23–25, 1948
Medium
Digital Print
Credit Line
John W. Mosley Photograph Collection, Charles L. Blockson Afro-American Collection, Temple University Libraries, Philadelphia, PA

Here Coretta Scott, future wife of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., holds a campaign flag at the 1948 Progressive Party convention, held in Philadelphia. (The party had been founded by Henry A. Wallace, a senior member of the Roosevelt and Truman administrations, the previous year.) As Thomas Devine later described in his book Wallace’s 1948 Presidential Campaign and the Future of Postwar Liberalism, “An estimated 150 African American delegates were in attendance, three times the combined total that had participated in the Republican and Democratic conventions. The interracial character of the gathering went well beyond mere tokenism. One black delegate told an observer that it was ‘the first time his people had walked into a public place where it didn’t occur to them to look for their own people or feel self-conscious.’”

Mrs. King devoted her life to the highest values of human dignity in service to social change. She traveled throughout the world speaking out on behalf of racial and economic justice, women’s and children’s rights, gay and lesbian dignity, religious freedom, the needs of the poor and homeless, full-employment, health care, educational opportunities, nuclear disarmament, and environmental justice.

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