About this time last year I started a game with my husband I called “Name of the Day”. Each day I pitched him a new name, with details about why it’s worthy of consideration for our future child. The first name I did was Coretta. He agreed it was a worthy name. And I decided that going forward I should put my name notes in sentence form and make them into blog posts. But poor Coretta never got her post. Which is funny because had #3 been a girl, she was most likely going to be Coretta!
Coretta is an elaboration of the name Cora and therefore means little maiden. Cora could be a sweet nickname as could Cory, Etta, Retta, Coco, Cetta or even Coy.
Cora is Peter’s grandmother, so we liked that connection. But the strongest force pulling us towards the name is obviously Coretta Scott King. The wife of Martin Luther King Jr., I find her to have been even more influential than her husband. This is not a criticism of Mr. King at all, but Coretta had many more years in which to make a difference.
What Martin did in his lifetime was obviously ground breaking, and she helped him accomplish all he did. But I believe much of what he worked towards would be forgotten if after his death Coretta hadn’t spent years working to make “Martin Luther King Jr. Day” a national holiday. Now that it’s a holiday Martin’s beliefs, speeches, protests, etc are taught in school. Would he be mentioned in a chapter of a history book if it weren’t for his holiday? Of course. But I don’t believe it would be focused on nearly to the same extent. By giving him a national holiday, our country has to acknowledge all that he did, and what our society was like before him.
Besides being Martin’s backbone during his lifetime and continuing to work towards racial equality after his death, Coretta was also very influential in terms of women’s rights and LBGTQ rights. And she raised 4 kids by herself. And started the Martin Luther King Jr. center for nonviolent social change.
Honestly, I can’t think of a more inspiring namesake than Coretta Scott King. If you want to know more about her I highly recommend My Life, My Love My Legacy, written by her and Barbara Reynolds.