The End of An Era

by Aria Nicole

ďSoon one morning when this life is over Iíll fly away.Ē

This song always reminds me of my grandmother. It was one of her favorite songs and also one that she personnally requested to be sang at her funeral. Today this song has been heavy on my mind. I have been very heavy hearted all day today over the news that Mrs. Coretta Scott King passed away. My heart and spirit are always heavy when we, especially those of us in the black community, lose such iconic figurers.

But today, I feel it truly is the end of an era. The King legacy is now forever changed. Mrs. Coretta Scott King is the one and only person from the civil rights movement that I was ever fortunate enough to meet and share her space. Even if it was for just a little while. Not only have I been physically touched by her (when she shook my hand) but I was also touched by her spiritually. So today, thoughts of her took control of my day.

I had to stop and think about why her passing has affected me so differently than that of Mrs. Rosa Parks only a few months ago. I think itís because for one, I have always thought of Mrs. Parks as an iconic figure. Had it not been for her tired worn out feet and courage I may still be forced to give up my seat on the front of the bus, or enter through the back doors instead of the front. I may not have this beautiful rainbow of sister/friends that I cherish and love with all my heart.

Perhaps I am affected more heavily because although I respect, admire, and appreciate them for their civil rights contributions equally. I was never blessed with the opportunity to meet Mrs. Parks. But I have lived in the same city with Mrs. King all my life. I have performed at the King center. I have attended Ebenezer Baptist church. The same church that was bombed all those years ago. The same church where Dr. Kingís very own mother was killed. I have walked many of the same steps as Mrs. King. Sat in seats that she may have sat in. Held onto stair railings that her hands most likely have also touched. She was more than just an icon that we read about in history books. What little there is to read about her. She was real. A person that could be touched. Someone who has lived most of her life under an microscope and yet did it with such grace and elegance. She raised four children as a single mother not because thatís the life she chose for herself but because it was the life chosen for her.

For many of us especially those of us raisd in the southern states such as Goergia, Alabama, and Mississippi Mrs. Coretta Scott King was as close as weíre gonna get to royalty in America. She was our Jackie Kennedy Onasis. Without her the King legacy will never be the same. Atlanta will never be the same. I will never be the same. Hopefullly I will be a thousands time better because I was touched by such a remarkable woman. There has been an unsettling peace over the city all day today. Or maybe thatís just my imagination and the unsetteling peace that I feel is my own mourning. I donít really know. I just know that what I feel is heavy.

Rest In Peace Mrs. Coretta Scott King. I am very happy that you are reunited with your husband. You two belong together. Now you have eternity.

The End of An Era by Aria Nicole

© Copyright 2006. All rights reserved. No portion of this work may be duplicated or copied without the expressed written consent of the author.

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