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Christine King Farris
King in 2011
Willie Christine King

(1927-09-11)September 11, 1927
Died June 29, 2023(2023-06-29) (aged 95)
Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.
Education Spelman College (BA)
Columbia University (MA, MA)
Known for Civil rights, teaching, public service
Newton Farris Sr.
(m. 1960; died 2017)
Children 2
Family Martin Luther King Jr. (brother)
A.D. King (brother)
James Albert King (paternal grandfather)
Bernice King (niece)

Willie Christine King Farris (September 11, 1927 – June 29, 2023) was an American teacher and civil rights activist, the eldest sibling of Martin Luther King Jr. She taught at Spelman College and is the author of several books and was a public speaker on various topics, including the King family, multicultural education, and teaching.

Education and career

Like her mother and grandmother before her, King Farris attended Spelman College in Atlanta, where she received a Bachelor's degree in Economics in 1948. She wanted to continue her studies at the University of Georgia but it did not admit Black students at the time. King Farris then attended Columbia University in New York and received a Master's degree in Social Foundations of Education in 1950. She earned a second master's degree in Special Education in 1958.

King Farris got her first professional job as a teacher at W.H. Crogman Elementary School, Atlanta, in 1950. The school primarily served students from black low-income households. She returned to Spelman as director of the Freshman Reading Program in 1958. Farris held a tenured professorship in Education and was Director of the Learning Resources Center for 48 years before retiring in 2014.

King Farris was, for many years, Vice Chair and Treasurer of the King Center for Nonviolent Social Change and was 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. Farris 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.


King Farris was the first child and only daughter of Rev. Martin Luther King Sr. and Alberta Williams King, and was 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 Isaac Newton Farris Sr. on August 19, 1960. They had two children: Isaac Newton Farris Jr., and Angela Christine Farris Watkins.

Isaac Newton Farris Sr., died on December 30, 2017, at the age of 83.


King Farris died in Atlanta on June 29, 2023, at the age of 95.

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Christine King Farris para niños

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