As I've studied and taught about peace issues, I've felt that the Civil Rights Movement was still alive, even if struggling, as long as Coretta Scott King was still alive -- she was a living link to the movement. There are, of course, others who are still alive who had been actively involved back then, but still, Coretta Scott King's death does feel, to me, like the end of an era:
Coretta Scott King, 78, Widow of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Dies - New York Times
When I say it feels like the end of an era, I do not mean to imply that the work is now done -- it has hardly begun. Her death is a reminder that we are well into a new generation: mine. When people in her generation were my age, they were making great strides. It was an intense time, but there were signs of hope and progress. Things were changing. The movement had power and energy, focus and vision.
Now I'm this age, in my generation, and I'm frustrated with how ineffective I feel, and disappointed at how much has seemed to turn backwards. I'm overwhelmed at the immensity of the whole host of inter-related and very serious problems.
So I feel a tangible sense of loss at hearing the news of Coretta Scott King's death this morning.
It really is up to us, now.
6 years ago