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Dorothy Cotton, Civil Rights Pioneer and MLK Colleague, Dies | Afro

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Dorothy Cotton, Civil Rights Pioneer and MLK Colleague, Dies | Afro 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.

African American History, Black History, Dorothy Cotton, Civil Rights, African American Activist, Black Activist, KOLUMN Magazine, KOLUMN, KINDR'D Magazine, KINDR'D



Cotton died June 10 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.

“She had a beautiful voice, and when things got tense, Dorothy was the one who would start up a song to relieve the tension,” said Xernona Clayton, who was King’s office manager in Atlanta and organized protest marches and fundraisers.


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