By Carma Henry

Dorothy Cotton, civil rights pioneer, dies at age 88

She was a top official at Southern Christian Leadership Conference

ATLANTA — Dorothy Cotton, who worked closely with the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., taught nonviolence to demonstrators before marches and sometimes calmed tensions by singing church hymns, has died. She was 88.

Cotton died Sunday afternoon at the Kendal at Ithaca retirement community in New York, said Jared Harrison, a close friend who was at her bedside. Harrison said she had battled illnesses recently but didn’t specify a cause of death.

Cotton was among a small number of women in leadership positions at the Southern Christian Leadership Conference during the civil rights era, and she led the Atlanta-based civil rights group’s Citizenship Education Program.

Cotton remained active in civil rights and education after King’s death, later serving as an administrator at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York.

During a commemoration of King’s death in 1993, Cotton said that people need to take responsibility for carrying on the mission of racial equality.

“Rosa Parks didn’t wait to see what everybody else was doing. She just did it,” Cotton said of the woman who inspired the Montgomery, Alabama, bus boycotts by refusing to give her seat to a …read more

Source:: The Westside Gazette