Yolanda King, the eldest child of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King, died on Tuesday, May 15th in Santa Monica, California at the age of 51. "She was an actress, author, producer, advocate for peace and nonviolence, who was known and loved for her motivational and inspirational contributions to society," the King family said in a statement.
Yolanda King earned a B.A. degree with honors from Smith College and a Masters degree in Theatre from New York University. She is co-creator of the book "Open My Eyes, Open My Soul: Celebrating Our Common Humanity," a collection of stories and poems from a diverse range of people including Muhammad Ali and Maya Angelou. An accomplished actress, Yolanda King's performances illustrated her commitment to social justice and included a portrayal of Rosa Parks in the NBC-TV movie "King," and of Medgar Ever's daughter, Reena, in "Ghosts of Mississippi." Yolanda King was the CEO of Higher Ground Productions, a company she founded in 1990.
A memorial service will be take place May 24th at Ebenezer Baptist Church Horizons Sanctuary in Atlanta. Details are sitll being finalized for a second memorial service to be held in Los Angeles.