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The tragedies the befell the King family

7/10/2014, 3:38 p.m.

By Opio Lumumba Sokoni

Did you know that one year after Dr. Martin Luther King. Jr. was assassinated on April 4, 1968, his brother drowned in his own pool? And, six years after King's death, his mother, Alberta Williams King, was shot in and killed in her church?

Mrs. King was a source of strength after her son's assassination. The next year, her younger son, Alfred Daniel Williams King I, drowned in his own pool after having become the assistant pastor at the Ebenezer Baptist Church.

Alberta King was shot and killed on June 30, 1974 by a 23-year-old black man named Marcus Wayne Chenault as she sat at the organ of the Ebenezer Baptist Church. Chenault was a deranged gunman from Ohio who stated that he shot King because "all Christians are my enemies."

Chenault claimed that he had decided that black ministers were a menace to black people, and that his original target had been Martin Luther King, Sr, but decided to shoot his wife instead because she was close to him.

During the shooting, one of the church's deacons, Edward Boykin, was also killed, and a woman was wounded. Chenault was sentenced to death; although this sentence was upheld on appeal, he was later resentenced to life in prison, partially as a result of the King family's opposition to the death penalty.

On Aug. 3, 1995, he suffered a stroke, and was taken to a hospital, where he died of complications from his stroke on Aug. 22.