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Sisters of the Assassinated

Welcome to the world of the "Sisters of the Assassinated". I am writing this article because of the injustice that continues around America in the form of Assassinations. We as a nation are continuously bombarded by the news and other media sources of families that are affected by murder, called assassination. This is Betty Shabazz, wife of the deceased Malcolm X. His birth name was Malcolm Little. He was a part of the Muslim community and was a human rights activist. How horrific it must be to get a call that your loved one has been violently shot and killed. Not only does the wife of the deceased must adjust to the trauma that has happened in her life, but also plans for the funeral, while trying to explain the tragedy to her children. The wife needs emotional and spiritual help as well as time to process this unseemly act of violence to her family. The widow has to continue the normal chores of keeping house, washing clothes, combing hair, cooking and so much more. In the case of many strong women, they continue to work on goals and objectives sometimes started by their husbands. So is the case with Betty Shabazz. Malcolm knew that he would be targeted and killed and tried to prepare Betty. He had gotten the revelation that certain behaviors of the Muslim community were not right and spoke outwardly against them, thus endangering his own life. After his death, Betty went on to accomplish great things. Shabazz never remarried. She raised her six daughters alone, aided by annual royalties from her husband’s book The Autobiography of Malcolm X and other publications. In late 1969, Shabazz completed an undergraduate degree at Jersey City State College, followed by a doctoral degree in higher education administration at the University of Massachusetts. She then accepted a position as an associate professor of health sciences at New York’s Medgar Evers College. She worked as a university administrator and fundraiser until her death. See more at

Coretta Scott King another "Sister of the Assassinated" I marvel how

Coretta Scott King was able to do so much to keep her dead husband's dream alive. She was an extraordinary lady. She and her family were responsible for the Federal Holiday named in honor of her deceased

husband, Dr. Martin Luther King. She was proactive in the building of the Dr. Martin Luther King monument built in Washington D.C. and the Dr. Martin Luther King Museum built in Atlanta. What extraordinary work she accomplished. Millions of dollars had to be raised and many meetings

were planned and executed to get it all done. She did all this while raising her children and continuing the fight for civil rights for all human beings. On January 17, 1993, King showed disdain for the U.S. missile attack on Iraq. In retaliation, she suggested peace protests.[113] On February 16, 1993, King went to the FBI Headquarters and gave an approving address on Director William S. Sessions for having the FBI "turn its back on the abuses of the Hoover era." King commended Sessions for his "leadership in bringing women and minorities into the FBI and for being a true friend of civil rights." King admitted that she would not have accepted the arrangement had it not been for Sessions, the then-current director. On January 17, 1994, the day marking the 65th birthday of her husband, King said "No injustice, no matter how great, can excuse even a single act of violence against another human being."

Another "Sister of the Assassinated "is Mary Todd Lincoln.

Mary Todd Lincoln was the wife of America’s 16th president, Abraham Lincoln. She became the White House’s most criticized and misunderstood the first lady who led a controversial and tragic life to the end. Her mother died when she was six years old after which her father re-married. Though he ensured she had the best of education, she did not get along with her stepmother. She was courted by Stephen Douglas of the Democratic Party, but she chose to marry Abraham Lincoln, a Republican. When her husband got elected as the President of America, she had to make a concerted effort to blend her ‘Westerner’ upbringing with the predominantly ‘Eastern’ culture of Washington DC. This was all the more difficult because her relatives were fighting for the Confederacy. She had four sons of whom only one outlived her. Her husband was assassinated in her presence while they were witnessing a play in Ford’s Theatre. Though she was granted a pension and had an inheritance that was more than adequate, she had a phobia of being poor and behaving erratically. Her son ultimately confined her to an asylum from where she had to gain her freedom with the help of a lawyer. During her last days, she lived with her sister in Springfield, where she died and was buried beside her husband.

Here is another "Sister of the Assassinated", Jackie Kennedy. In November of 1963, Jackie Kennedy accompanied her husband on a trip to Texas. She was riding by his side when he was assassinated. In the days that followed John Kennedy's death the image of his widow and children, and the dignity with which they conducted themselves, were very much a part of the nation's experience of mourning and loss. Jackie became an icon and a symbol. In the years immediately after her husband's death, Jackie Kennedy was seen very much in the role of his widow, while at the same time there was constant speculation about whether or not she would remarry. Jackie was actively involved in Bobby Kennedy's bid for election as president in 1968. After his assassination in June 1968, she was again a prominent figure at a very public funeral.

In October 1968 Jackie Kennedy married Aristotle Onassis, a Greek shipping magnate. He was 62 and she was 39. Jackie spent large portions of her time in New York to be with her children. As the years went by, the Onassis marriage was rumored to be a difficult one, and the couple began to spend most of their time apart. Aristotle Onassis died in 1975 and, widowed for a second time, Jackie returned permanently to New York.

I applaud these women who had to continue to live after the horrific deaths of their spouses. Some were able to cope with the drastic life change better than others. But they all shared the pain of a broken heart and sense of loss with their husbands being killed. There is no book that says 10 things you do after your husband has been assassinated. No real comfort from couples who try to be there for you while you are in great despair. These women took one day at a time and persevered to continue living in a new way. Seeing the injustice that they and their children had to live with is unfathomable. However, with courage and the will to move on in life, they took the lemons of their life and made lemon-aide.

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