Christine King Farris
Christine King Farris
Willie Christine King
September 11, 1927
|Education||Spelman College (BA)|
Columbia University (MA, MA)
|Known for||Civil rights, teaching, public service|
Newton Farris, Sr.
(m. 1960; died 2017)
|Children||2, including Isaac Newton Farris Jr.|
|Relatives||Martin Luther King, Jr. (brother)|
A.D. King (brother)
Willie Christine King Farris (born September 11, 1927) is the eldest and only living sibling of Martin Luther King Jr. She taught at Spelman College and is the author of several books and a public speaker on various topics, including the King family, multicultural education, and teaching.
Farris was, for many years, Vice Chair and Treasurer of the King Center and had been active for several years in the International Reading Association, and various church and civic organizations, including the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. She held a tenure professorship at Spelman College for 48 years before retiring in 2014. Farris has also published a children's book, My Brother Martin, as well as the autobiography, Through It All: Reflections on My Life, My Family, and My Faith.
Farris is the first child and only living daughter of Reverend Martin Luther King Sr. (December 19, 1899 – November 11, 1984) and Alberta Christine Williams King (September 13, 1904 – June 30, 1974), and is the elder sister of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and A. D. King. The three siblings spent their early years in the home of their grandfather, Adam Daniel Williams, who died on March 21, 1931. She married Issac Newton Farris Sr. (1934–2017) on August 19, 1960. They have two children: Issac Newton Farris Jr. (born April 13, 1962), and Angela Christine Farris Watkins (born May 29, 1964). She has a granddaughter from her daughter Angela, Farris Christine Watkins (born January 22, 1997).
Farris has endured one brother being assassinated in 1968, the drowning of another brother, A. D., in 1969, and the murder of her mother in 1974. Farris has not returned to Memphis, Tennessee, since traveling there after her brother's assassination to retrieve his body. In recent years, she has attended the funerals of sister-in-law, Coretta Scott King (died January 30, 2006) and niece Yolanda King (died May 15, 2007). In an interview with CNN, she said she would not attend an April 2008 event marking the 40th anniversary of her brother's assassination, because the painful memories of her last visit to Memphis still haunt her. Her husband, Isaac Newton Farris Sr., died on December 30, 2017, at the age of 83.
- Stanford University; Stanford; California 94305 (2017-05-02). "Farris, (Willie) Christine King". The Martin Luther King, Jr., Research and Education Institute. Retrieved 2020-01-14.
- "Founders Day Honoree Christine King Farris Embodies the Dream". www.spelman.edu. Retrieved 2020-01-14.
- "Christine King Farris's Biography". The HistoryMakers. Retrieved 2020-04-14.
- Stanford University; Stanford; California 94305 (2017-04-24). "Assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr". The Martin Luther King, Jr., Research and Education Institute. Retrieved 2020-01-14.
- Blake, John (2008). "Sister remembers 'horrible moment' King was killed -". edition.cnn.com. Retrieved 2020-01-14.
- Burns, Rebecca (2012-06-28). "The murder of Alberta King". Atlanta Magazine. Retrieved 2020-01-14.
- Pin His Ear to the Wisdom Post - Boston University honors Christine King Farris, video, April 3, 2009Template:Dead link
- Christine Farris Bio at Spelman College
- King Encyclopedia Stanford University
- Young MLK The Tavis Smiley Show, January 15, 2003
- Education Update Interview with Christine King Farris
- Honoring Willie Christine King Farris’ 80th Birthday
- Washington Informer
- on YouTube
- Christine Farris visits The Latin School
- TIME for Kids Interview
- CNN: Sister remembers 'horrible moment' King was killed
- Farris, Willie Christine King, ‘‘The Young Martin: From Childhood Through College,’’ Ebony, January 1986.