Christine King Farris, the sister of legendary civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., celebrated her 94th birthday.
Her niece, and MLK’s youngest daughter, Bernice King, took to Twitter to announce Farris’ birthday on Sept. 11.
My aunt, Dr. #ChristineKingFarris, is celebrating 94 years of an influential, powerful life today. She’s a renowned educator (@SpelmanCollege), my father, #MLK’s, sister (together in the 2nd 📸), and co-laborer with my mother, #CorettaScottKing, in establishing @TheKingCenter 💗 pic.twitter.com/OTVWLcwOi1
— Be A King (@BerniceKing) September 11, 2021
Although she is the older sister of a man who made history for generations to come, Farris has her own formidable accomplishments under her belt.
The nonagenarian was an acclaimed professor who taught at Spelman, the all-female HBCU.
Although many people learned that MLK entered college at 15, Farris was also a whiz kid who matriculated to Spelman at the age of 16. She and her famous younger brother graduated from Spelman and Morehouse, respectively, one day apart.
After receiving her master’s degree in education, she was denied twice as a teacher for Atlanta Public Schools. On her third attempt, she was hired as an elementary school teacher. Eight years later, she returned to Spelman as an educator. She remained there as the director of the Learning Resources Center for 56 years until she retired in 2014.
Along with Farris’ educational feats, she also shared the same passion for activism. In addition to participating in the historic march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, in 1965, she is one of the foundational members of The King Center. She helped build the organization hand-in-hand with her late sister-in-law Coretta Scott King.
Farris is the author of three books, one of which earned her the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work.
We wish this matriarch the happiest of birthdays and many more.