Coretta and Martin: A Love Story

BlogHer Original Post

Imagine waiting for some word, any word, from your beloved that he is alive, that he is still on this Earth with you and being afraid to close your eyes because you fear waking up and learning that he is not.

Now, imagine, as CNN reported in 2008, your husband receiving threatening suggestions from the government itself that he take his own lifeā€”or his extramarital affairs would be made public, in an attempt to bring him, and the entire movement, down.

Imagine learning that the government so hated his attempts to help your people gain equality that they would seek to shame him, and you, by exposing alleged infidelities you may or may not have been aware of until those threats were received. Imagine the sinking feeling that might be a mix of betrayal, sorrow, confusion, and grief ... or maybe something completely different.

Maybe Coretta was aware and loved him anyhow. Maybe her love for her husband and father of her four children, for her people and her country, were far greater than the weight of hearing such allegations. Maybe her faith in the destiny that God created for her strengthened her more than anything ,and maybe it guided her to remain steadfast in her commitment to the man she loved because she knew her love would sustain an entire movement.

Whatever took place during that time was between Coretta and Martin, and I argue that it should remain between them, taken to the graves where their earthly bodies now rest. I want to focus more on the endurance of their commitment to each other and to the "Negro Cause."

I want to focus on the strength of the woman who was left to raise four children without their father because the country was not ready to accept her children's right to freedom and equality. I want to focus on the bravery of the woman who took up her husband's mantle when he was killed and spent the rest of her life honoring the love that the two of them shared by upholding his legacy as only his wife could.

Coretta loved Martin. Martin loved Coretta. The Kings loved each other and they believed in everything America could be at her very best. They dreamed about it together and moved forward together, propelled by love, to help America reach her fullest potential. Written on Coretta's burial crypt is a passage from I Corinthians 13:13, which reads:

"And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love."

If theirs isn't one of the greatest examples of the power of Love, I don't know what is.


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