Civil rights leaders reflect on Rosalynn Carter’s support

Carters' love story is remembered and cherished
Published: Nov. 20, 2023 at 10:17 AM EST
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ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - Civil rights leaders are remembering the life and legacy of former first lady Rosalynn Carter after her passing on Sunday afternoon.

Charles Steele Jr. the president and CEO of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, founded by Dr. Martin Luther King Junior, spoke following the heartbreaking news.

“President, Carter, as well as Mrs. Rosalynn Carter, was bigger than being elected and First Lady of this country. It was a calling from God,” Steele said.


Steele said the Carters set an example he admired both personally and professionally.

“You can’t even make it into marriage if you don’t have that faith,” Steele said. “Because my wife and I been married 46 years and emulate people like President Jimmy Carter and Mrs. Carter,” he said. “I have studied them over the years, and what I’ve learned is that they are very faithful at what they do. They believe in the Trinity. The father, son and the Holy Ghost,” he said.

The Carters were married for 77 years. Steele said the Carters’ motivated him.

“It brought about the core lesson of my wife and I. We travel the world,” Steele said. “President Carter and Mrs. Carter brought about a closeness with,” Steele said.

As Mrs. Carter stood by her husband. Steele said his wife has been by his side.

“Her life is like my wife’s life and my support. I know how he feels because I don’t make a move without my wife,” Steele said. “And guess what people might not know this, Dr. King didn’t make a move without Mrs. Coretta Scott King. It’s a package. You cannot operate as an individual alone,” he said.

“They support each other,” Steele said.

A value that has proven true as the Former First Lady took her last breath on Sunday. Her husband, Former President Jimmy Carter, released a statement that said:

“Rosalynn was my equal partner in everything I ever accomplished,” the Former President said. “She gave me wise guidance and encouragement when I needed it. As long as Rosalynn was in the world, I always knew somebody loved and supported me,” Former President Carter said.

Steele said the Carters’ faith and devotion to each other and God – are things he will always remember and pattern after.

“It’s a package. You cannot operate as an individual alone. You have to have someone you can trust. Even though you believe in the trinity, the father, son, and the Holy Ghost, you have to have a person of the same spirit that can warn you and that can have the vision that surpasses your vision. My wife’s vision is always better than mines,” Steele added.