The last living sibling of Martin Luther King Jr., Christine King Farris, passes away at 95.
Christine King Farris, the last surviving sibling of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., passed away at the age of 95. Her niece, Rev. Bernice King, announced her death but did not disclose the location.
As Dr. King’s older sister, Ms. Farris provided political and personal support for him. She participated in significant events like the March for Voting Rights in Alabama in 1965 and the March Against Fear in Mississippi in 1966. She even loaned him money to purchase his engagement ring.
Throughout the years, she endured multiple tragedies, including the assassination of Dr. King in 1968, the accidental drowning of her brother A.D. King in 1969, and the assassination of her mother Alberta King during a church service in 1974.
Ms. Farris dedicated herself to preserving and promoting Dr. King’s legacy. She played a crucial role in establishing the King Centre, a nonprofit organisation that focuses on educational programmes and research related to Dr. King. She held positions as the centre’s senior vice president and treasurer.
She actively participated in events honouring her family and contributed to preserving their history. She assisted in selecting authentic wallpaper for a museum located in their childhood home. In 2007, after the passing of Coretta Scott King, Ms. Farris conducted a commemorative service at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta on Dr. King’s birthday.
Ms. Farris was present in January when President Biden spoke in tribute to her brother. Born Willie Christine King on September 11, 1927, in Atlanta, she was the eldest child of Rev. Martin Luther King Sr. and Alberta Christine Williams King. She graduated from Spelman College in 1948 and later obtained two master’s degrees in education from Columbia University. She eventually returned to Spelman, where she worked as an associate professor and director of a learning resources centre for nearly five decades.
In 1960, she married Isaac Newton Farris, with whom she had two children. Ms. Farris authored two children’s books about her brother and published her memoir, “Through It All: Reflections on My Life, My Family, and My Faith,” in 2009. Her aim was to depict Dr. King not only as a historical figure but also as a beloved brother.