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'A genuine lady': Port Arthur woman reflects on friendship, partnership with Coretta Scott King

Hargie Faye Savoy, 93, of Port Arthur befriended wife of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Coretta Scott King in the 80's. Together, they fought for the Black community.

BEAUMONT, Texas — A Southeast Texas woman is reflecting on her work with Coretta Scott King, the wife of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 

Hargie Faye Savoy of Port Arthur is 93 years old. In the 80's, she befriended Coretta Scott King.

That friendship led to a years-long partnership of fighting for the African-American community. 

In the year 2023, Savoy still holds dearly a framed image of her and Coretta Scott King, signed "love and joy". 

Savoy carries that sentiment with her to this day. 

"We got to have love. We have to believe in ourselves and know to respect one another," Savoy said. 

Savoy has lived in Port Arthur her entire life and she says, she can't envision any other place she'd rather be. 

"One of the privileges of my life is one that I was told that Mrs. King, Coretta Scott, king was coming to Port Arthur," Savoy said.

She admits at first, she was a little worried about how she would get along with Mrs. King. 

"She came through the door, she grabbed me by hand, she kissed me on the cheek and I knew then that I had nothing to worry about. A genuine lady," Savoy said. 

At Mrs. King's request, Savoy started the Port Arthur Martin Luther King support group.

This group is still a thriving organization, with hundreds of active members.

"She asked me to do this work and i'm the messenger and I've got to reach the people if I want them," Savoy said. 

It's very clear that the passion still burns inside Savoy. 

"When you are working in different capacities working for different things and you try to embrace the community and try to get everyone to feel like you are good and you're somebody you got to bring them in. You can't just leave them on the side," Savoy said.

Before meeting Coretta Scott King, Savoy volunteered at her church, in her community and became a staple and an inspiration for others.

"When I see young ladies come up and they say, you know Hargie Faye, Miss. Savoy it was because of you that we do such and such a thing," she said.  

Savoy's influence doesn't stop there. She's now the proud grandmother of District 22 Texas State Representative Christian Manuel. 

When you ask Savoy what she's most proud of, she says it's easily the love and joy of her family.

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