Naomi Barber King, Last of MLK Jr’s Generation, Dies at 92

Naomi Barber King, 92, a civil rights fighter and widow of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s younger brother, died in Atlanta on Thursday, according to the A.D. King Foundation.

According to Naomi King’s profile on the foundation’s website, she established the A.D. King Foundation in 2008 to promote youth/women empowerment, nonviolent social change, and entrepreneurship in honor of her late husband.

“She was a woman of quiet dignity, overcoming strength, and steadfast support to her husband, family, and circles of influence within and beyond Atlanta,” the statement went on to say.

Naomi King, nicknamed the “Butterfly Queen” for her love of butterflies, was born in Dothan, Alabama, and reared by her mother, Bessie Barber, according to the foundation. The couple eventually moved to Atlanta to “make a better living” for themselves.

Naomi King and her mother attended Ebenezer Baptist Church and grew spiritually under the pastorate of Rev. Martin Luther King, Sr. and his wife, Mrs. Alberta Williams King.

In 1949, the deceased 92-year-old married A.D. Williams King after attending Spelman College and studying French for one year. Naomi King also took a following interior design course at the University of Alabama.

Naomi King and her husband, a civil rights activist, supported Martin Luther King Jr.’s initiatives and marches.

According to the foundation, Naomi King and her husband supported Martin Luther King, Jr. “when, in 1955, Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to move to the back of the bus in Montgomery, Alabama; at the formation of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) in 1957; when students in Greensboro, North Carolina, launch the sit-in movement in 1960; through the Birmingham campaign of 1963; during 1963’s ‘March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom’; and throughout 1965’s camp

“Toward the end of the campaign in Birmingham, on May 11, 1963, a bomb demolished the Gaston Motel, where Martin Luther King, Jr. was sleeping, and another severely damaged Naomi and A.D. King’s home. Martin Luther King, Jr. was slain on April 4, 1968, in Memphis, Tennessee, according to the foundation.

“This tragedy was soon followed by the death of King’s husband, A.D., in 1969; on July 21, King and her children were vacationing in Nassau when A.D. drowned in their home swimming pool but the family believed that he was murdered.”

In 2014, she wrote “A.D. and ML King: Two Brothers Who Dared to Dream.”

Naomi King and her spouse have five children. According to the Associated Press, the deceased grandparents are survived by their daughter Alveda King and son Derek King.



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