Unfortunate news to begin our day: Yolanda King, the eldest daughter of the late Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Coretta Scott King, has died of apparent heart failure.
King followed the follow tradition of advocating for racial and social equality and was a well-known motivational speaker. In addition, she was an accomplished producer and actress, appearing in films such as Ghosts of Mississippi and portraying Rosa Parks in the 1978 TV miniseries King.
Yolanda King and her late mother (both seen in 1963 photo at left, Yolanda wears blue) often spoke out in favor for the rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered persons. Gay rights activists are shocked and saddened by the loss.
Julian Bond, the chairman of the board of the NAACP, says she like a daughter to him. "In Atlanta, she was my neighbor and my children's playmate. She followed her parent's social justice tradition in life.
Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese hailed King as "a passionate advocate for justice and equality for all people. She was a true friend of the GLBT community."
H. Alexander Robinson, the executive director of the National Black Justice Coalition, the nation's largest black LGBT lobbying group, says Yolanda King's short life "should also serve as a catalyst for the continued push for civil rights for all people including gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender individuals. This too was Yolanda's dream and journey and she expressed it beautifully as a motivational and inspirational speaker."
King passed away in Santa Monica, California. She is survived by her brothers, Dexter and Martin III, and a sister, the Reverend Bernice King, who is well-known fundamentalist minister and anti-gay activist.
Pro-Gay King Daughter Dies [Gay City News]