Account of the Assassination of MLK’s Mother Alberta King In 1974: The assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who was widely regarded as America’s final chance for racial harmony at the time, is widely regarded as one of the most tragic incidents in the country’s history.
His assassination caused days of unrest across the country, resulting in the ensuing fires that destroyed numerous major American cities.
However, the murder of the lady who gave birth to this renowned leader, whose works would change the course of history, has largely gone unnoticed throughout the course of time.
In truth, few people are aware that King’s mother, Alberta King, was also shot and murdered at the same time as her son, King.
The tragic tragedy occurred on June 30, 1974, around six years after her son was killed.
This particular Sunday, Mrs. King was at her church, Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia, which was led by her husband, the Rev. Martin Luther King, Sr., at the time.
King Sr. was absent from church on that particular day. Mrs. King was said to be overjoyed at the prospect of playing on a new organ that had recently been installed at the church.
The 69-year-old began playing the organ for the Lord’s Prayer in front of approximately 500 attendees while the crowd lowered their heads in prayer. It was at this point that the onslaught began.
Marcus Wayne Chenault, a young man who was later identified, Suddenly, sprung from his pew and exclaimed, “I’m taking over here!… I’m just fed up with it all!”
As stated by The Guardian, he then took two pistols and “for the next 90 seconds fired violently and relentlessly, hitting Mrs. King, another elderly woman parishioner, and a 69-year-old church deacon, Mr. Edward Boykin.”
Mrs. King and Boykin died as a result of their gunshot wounds, however, the other family member survived the incident.
During an attempt to reload his weapon, Chenault, a 23-year-old Ohio State dropout, was pulled to the ground by onlookers while ranting repeatedly about “the war.” Chenault was later charged with attempted murder.
“He was completely out of it. He seemed to be suffering from a fever. ‘The war has done this to me,’ he said over and over again. “It’s all about the war,” Derek King, Mrs. King’s grandson, spoke out at the time.
According to the New York Times, Chenault informed investigators that his aim was to assassinate King Sr., but that he shot Mrs. King since she had a close relationship with him.
Chenault “believed he had been ordained by God to commit this terrorist crime,” according to the Medium, because he believed African-American Christian leaders were deceiving Black Americans.
Mrs. King was assassinated fewer than 100 yards from the site of her son’s burial, which was a startling turn of events.
Chenault, on the other hand, was diagnosed with a mental illness. He was charged with murder and sentenced to death despite the fact that his lawyer pleaded insanity on his behalf.
However, because the Kings are firmly opposed to the death penalty, they fought to get his death sentence commuted to a life sentence in prison.
Chenault died on August 22, 1995, at the age of 44, after suffering a stroke while incarcerated.
A very soft-spoken woman, Mrs. King was regarded as a pillar of the famed King family, and she was described as such. She is better known for raising Martin Luther King Jr., the most famous civil rights leader in history, than for her personal advocacy.
In the words of her son Martin Luther King Jr., she was one of his supporters who never left his side during the civil rights fight.
In one of his pieces, King said, “…behind the scenes, setting forth that motherly caring, the absence of which leaves a missing link in life,” referring to the presence of a mother.
King, who was born on January 15, 1929, was a preacher who advocated for equality and justice through the use of nonviolent resistance and civil disobedience tactics.
Aside from his well-known activities in social activity, he was a fascinating individual who died on April 4, 1968, in Memphis, Tennessee, at the age of 39, after a long illness.
Even after his death, King continued to make headlines, and today, Martin Luther King Jr. Day is observed in all 50 states across the United States on January 15.