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Alveda King: Attempt on His Life in 1958 Didn’t Harden MLK’s Heart

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Shawn Akers

Read Time: 2 Minutes

Evangelist Alveda King says there was no disputing her uncle Martin Luther King Jr.’s love for the Lord and his passion for preaching God’s Word.

But almost as important, she says, is that her fiery uncle also loved people. In this video on the day the nation celebrates Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Alveda shares some heartwarming stories about MLK. One of them truly embodies a Christ-like attitude toward a woman who tried to kill him while he was signing autographs of his book, “Stride Toward Freedom,” at a department store in Harlem, New York.

King was in New York City to speak at a crusade with Evangelist Billy Graham.


“He had gone to speak alongside Evangelist Billy Graham, and during his visit, a disturbed woman came up and stabbed my uncle in his chest with a letter opener,” Alveda says. “She was an African American woman, she didn’t agree with his message and she was perhaps demented as well.

“I wasn’t there, but it has been told to me that, even in distress with a letter opener in his body, Uncle MLK Jr. reached out to her and tried to ask her, ‘what’s wrong,’ and ‘why did she do it.’ He was compassionate toward her despite what she did.

“My mother was there and tells that story. He was forgiving toward her even though she wanted to do him harm. In the midst of all of the reality, we know that my uncle was a very loving, caring person.

Izola Ware Curry, a 42-year-old woman approached King with a seven-inch steel letter opener and drove the blade into the upper left side of his chest. King was rushed to Harlem Hospital and underwent more than two hours of surgery to repair the wound.


According to the King Institute website, doctors who operated on the 29-year-old civil rights leader said that had MLK Jr. sneezed or coughed after being stabbed, the weapon “would have penetrated the aorta,” and that “he was just a sneeze away from death.”

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On a lighter note, Alveda King said her mother, Naomi Barber King, says she spoke to MLK Jr. while he was in the hospital and he told her, “I sure wish I had some of your sweet potato pie.”

Naomi promptly baked one and sent MLK Jr.’s wife, Corretta Scott King, to New York with it. Alveda King says she was told the pie was still warm when MLK Jr. received it.

Watch this video to hear personal stories of MLK Jr. during Alveda King’s interview with Charisma News’ John Matarazzo. {eoa}

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Shawn A. Akers is the online editor at Charisma Media.

 

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