Coretta Scott King – wife of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., founder of the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change (The King Center), and twentieth-century American civil and human rights hero toward the end of her life commissioned Rev. Dr. Barbara Reynolds to write her memoir. It will be released on January 17th 2017.
Dr. Reynolds, a journalist and author of six books, first came into contact with Coretta King in 1975 when she was assigned to write a magazine article for the Chicago Tribune. From that encounter a 30-year life-changing relationship of mentorship and friendship evolved, resulting in King turning to Reynolds, an ordained minister, to write about her most noteworthy accomplishments but also her deepest pain and setbacks.
From the pages of this compelling book, Coretta King emerges from the shadows, the margins of history and more importantly from behind the labels of wife of … mother of … and leader of … which – while correct – never went deep enough to reveal the fullness of her life.
In her memoir, readers will see both character and courage, a woman who was not only married to Dr. King, but was married to the movement of which she was a partner. She was born in April 27, 1927 into the troubled and twisted times in Alabama, where her house was burned down as a teenager; she was in her home with her 2-year-old baby when her home was fire-bombed during the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott.
Although she never knew if the same hate that killed the love of her life would also claim her life and those of her children, she refused to step aside even as threats continued long after the assassination of her husband.
In her own voice, the book reveals a Coretta, moving on through many lonely days as the architect of her husband’s legacy working tirelessly to found and develop The King Center as a quasi-international West Point of Non-violence, lobbying for 15 years for the U.S. national holiday in honor of her husband and campaigning for the rights of the disadvantaged around the globe and at home.
In this memoir, for the first time Coretta King talks candidly about her marriage and the rumored reports of Dr. King’s infidelity; she offers her thoughts on the reasons behind SCLC co-founder Ralph Abernathy’s unfavorable characterization of Martin in his autobiography, as well as some unproductive characteristics within the inner circle of the civil rights movement.
Legendary leaders, such as Maya Angelou, former U.N. ambassador and U.S. congressmen Andrew Young; Myrlie Evers-Williams, a past chairman of the NAACP, whose civil rights active husband Medgar Evers was assassinated; Rep. John Conyers, who played a major role in legislating the King Holiday bill as well as Dr. Bernice King, also provide reflections in this historic work.
Dr. Reynolds views Coretta King as one of the world’s most trusted moral leaders, and effective disciples of non-violent direct action, who left a model of self-less, compassionate leadership that is sorely needed today.