Naomi Barber King, Martin Luther King Jr.’s Sister-In-Law, Dead At 92

Photo: A.D. King Foundation

Naomi Barber King, the longtime civil rights activist married to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.‘s younger brother, passed away on Thursday (March 7) at age 92, according to The Associated Press.

Her family confirmed she died in Atlanta in a statement issued through the A.D. King Foundation, an organization she founded in 2008 to empower women and youth as well as advance nonviolent social change.

“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 reads, per AP.

According to the foundation’s website, the late activist was born in Dothan, Alabama, and went on to study at Spelman College and the University of Alabama. She met Rev. Aflred Daniel (A.D.) Williams King, a civil rights leader and pastor, after joining Ebenezer Baptist Church. They tied the knot in 1950 and brought five children into the world before A.D. died in 1969.

The couple supported Dr. King’s nationwide campaigns for racial equality and was even present at major historical events, such as the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, Rosa Parks‘ arrest for refusing to sit at the back of a bus, and the nonviolent marches from Selma to Montgomery for voting rights.

“In the height of the civil rights battles, where together A. D. and Naomi lived through the bombings of their home in Birmingham Alabama and later their church in Louisville Kentucky, Naomi was a ‘quiet strength’ to her husband and family,” her biography on the foundation’s website states.

King served as the First Lady of her husband’s church, bringing musical concerts, women’s enrichment programs, and “tools for living” to the congregation while engaging in her civil rights duties. She was also dubbed the “Butterfly Queen” due to her love of butterflies and her resilience and strength in the face of adversity and racial injustice.

The civil rights legend is survived by her daughter Alveda King, son Derek King, and several grandchildren, according to reporters.

Naomi Barber King’s passing comes months after Dexter Scott King, Martin Luther King Jr.’s youngest son, died earlier this year.

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