Living Revolutionary, Nothing Less than Legendary: Martin and Coretta

Martin and Coretta

Martin and Coretta

Imagine sitting on the living room floor playing with your daughter and a brick flies through the window. No one is hurt but you hear someone scream, “Nigger go home!” There’s glass everywhere, your heart is racing, your child won’t stop shaking and crying. All you can do is grab her and run to the bedroom to lock the door. Not knowing who’s outside or if they’re coming back. This was the life of Coretta Scott King.

Sitting in a meeting, stressing because the non-violent approach isn’t working. Tired, hungry, missing your wife and young child; someone runs into the church! “Martin! Martin!” They scream, out of breath, fear in their eyes. “Someone shot at your house!” The first thought racing through your mind, “Is my family okay?” The second thought, “I want revenge but revenge goes against the movement. Revenge means that they won.” Going home to find your family hurting, afraid, crying because they’re safe but hating you were working instead of there to protect them. This was the life of Marin Luther King.

Coretta packed up and went to Atlanta, Birmingham wasn’t safe anymore in her eyes. She loved Martin, she loved the movement but she just needed time. Needed to breathe. Driving all night, worried State Troopers might recognize him and pull him over. Worried about sit-ins and beatings he drove. “I’m here for my family, I can’t do this by myself Coretta. I need you.” Holding her hand, embracing her, his heart racing, his heart calming. She sang to him when they were alone, her voice the calm before the storm that was the South.

You can the full story on www.stylemagazine.com

Coretta Scott King: More than the Wife of a King

Coretta Scott King in college.

Coretta Scott King in college.

“If a man had nothing that was worth dying for, then he was not fit to live.”
~ Coretta Scott King

There are some women that just make a lasting impression. It doesn’t matter when you meet them or for how long, once you do, you’re just impressed. I’m sitting at my computer researching an article I’m writing about the early years of Dr. King and Coretta Scott King’s relationship and something strange happened. I realized that I was falling in love with Coretta Scott King, Dr. King has been gone for a while and so has she but I almost felt as though I was doing something wrong.

I just couldn’t help it though, the more I read about her, the more I became fascinated by not just her strength after he was assassinated but with the woman she was before she became his wife. I could go into full writer mode and break it down but we live in a 15 minutes of less society so I’ll make it simple.

I’ll tell you all why she may be my favorite woman of all time!

One- When she was ten she picked cotton with her siblings so that her family could have extra money. Her father was the first black man in their town to own his own pickup truck and he built a lumber mill. When he refused to sell it they white men in the town burned it down. She knew struggle, sacrifice and hard work from an early age.

Two- Her sister was the first African American girl to go to an all white college. She took it one step further and tried to be the first woman to become a teacher in that district but they wouldn’t let her. So she left and took a scholarship at a college in Boston. She was willing to fight but knew that some battles just couldn’t be won.

Three- She’s a sorority girl. A member of Alpha Kappa Alpha to be exact. Who doesn’t love a sorority girl?

Four- She gave up her singing career to be the wife of a Baptist Preacher in Alabama. She wasn’t singing in lounges and clubs she was a degreed, talented opera singer. For her love and being with a man that could make a difference mattered more than her career.

Five- She’s gorgeous and all we have is black and white pictures. Could you imagine what she would look like in color and if she had Instagram filters? Beautiful, brave, hard working, smart and can sing? She’d be huge!

Six- The first time she met Dr. King’s father he told her that he didn’t think a singing career was cool for a minister’s wife. She told him, “Who told you I was taking your son seriously?” She then told Martin that she couldn’t talk to a man that couldn’t stand up to his father. She also asked that the word “obey” be removed from her vows. This was in the 1950’s where women rarely spoke up like that. That’s confidence and heart.

Seven- After his death she hesitated in taking a leadership role in the Civil Rights Movement but eventually she did and she kept his legacy and the legacy they created together going.

Eight- She was cool with JFK, everyone wants to be cool with JFK.

Nine- MLK Day, the King Center in Atlanta, all of these are monuments to her husband that she built. She was the one that pushed through legislation to get her husband a Holiday because of all he’d done. She was the one that fought Boston University to get his papers even though she lost.

Ten- She never remarried after Dr. King, never dated or gave her time to any other men. For as long as she lived she kept her vows even though he was gone. That’s loyalty, that’s incredibly cool.

49 Years Ago Today…

black history ~ July 2, 1964 – U.S. President Johnson signed the “Civil Rights Act of 1964” into law banning discrimination against others because of their race.

People love to complain that black people as a race need to move on, need to let go of bitterness and excuses from slavery, reconstruction, Jim Crow and criminal and financial slights that have occurred for the past 200 years. How do you rebound from all of that injustice and ignorance in 49 years? Sure, a few will rise and prosper but it takes generations, not decades to change the fortunes of a race.

Last week the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was butchered. I’ll give you all the cliff notes version; they basically said that people have to have a State ID to vote. Now understand this, the reason why voter turnout is so high is because you can vote using a Voter ID. There are a lot of people that don’t have drivers licenses or State ID’s. Older people, college students, people that lost their license for some reason.

They also passed law that for all intent and purpose will cut affirmative action. Why do we need it a lot of people say? We need it because we have to keep the haves honest. 80% of the University of Texas is white, that means 20% is split between every other race you can imagine. Do you think the people at UT will add more minorities or accept less if they don’t have affirmative action hanging over their head?

I respect hard work, I respect people’s ability to create their own way and be great but understand this… Life isn’t fair and sometimes we need a little help making it just a little more fair.