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.

Past the Infatuation Stage

better“I love you.”

He said again, this time louder, maybe he thought I didn’t hear him the first time. If I looked up from my phone my eyes would betray me but he didn’t give me a choice snatching the phone out of my hand and throwing it on the couch.

“I said I love you.” The closer he stepped to me the further back I moved. What we had wasn’t supposed to be love. Love is messy and jealous and insecure and mean. I had love before, I cried because of love, fought because of love. I needed a break from love.

“You don’t love me Scott, you’re infatuated with me. We flirt, we text, I send you nudes and you write about me. Starbucks and iTunes and candy and material shit that’s nonbinding. What we have is fun and sexy and we don’t have to think about it, we just do it. Why bring love into that?! Love always messes shit up! Can’t we just stay in this infatuation stage?”

“Maybe we could stay in this stage if you weren’t so damn perfect! You call me even when I don’t call you just because you know I’ll answer the phone. You accept my randomness and I accept your quirks. You don’t think I notice how you pull away when the conversations turn serious or bite your lip when to fight screaming when it feels to good. I know you’re holding back but what choice do I have? Keep pretending I’m not falling in love with you… I can’t do that anymore.”

There was no hesitation in his voice. No doubt in his eyes. What scared me the most is that I felt the same way but if love never looked out for me before then why would the bitch look out for me now?

To Be Continued…

The crosses I bear do not define me but strengthen me…

There are nights when I don’t know if I’m strong enough.

There are nights when my fears and insecurities far outweigh my strengths.The crosses I bear do not define me but strengthen me. They do not hold me down but they give me the courage I need to keep walking. Because if Jesus could walk with a cross on his back to die for our sins… What complaints shall I have? What should I fear when I know it’s in me to be strong enough?

Pain and hate have a way of eating at you, those feelings have a way of tearing at the core of what makes us likeable and loveable and spontaneous. There are moments that I wonder if I’ll make it, if I’ll survive.

Not physically necessarily but giving up on my dreams to be more than just another statistic. More than just another guy trying to make it.

I want to make my grandparents proud before their time comes.

I want my mother to be comfortable.

I want my wife and children to never want for anything even though they aren’t even in my life yet.

I carry these burdens and crosses because it’s the only way I know how. Pride may come before the fall but I guarantee you I will not fall! I will not give up nor retreat! I will become successful, holding my shield up for the world to see or be carried away to God on that shield.

The crosses I bear do not define me, they do not weaken me, but they strengthen me.