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My Life, My Love, My Legacy
Cover of My Life, My Love, My Legacy
My Life, My Love, My Legacy
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Named a Best Book of 2017 by NPR
The New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice
The Washington Post's Books to Read in 2017
USA Today, "New and Noteworthy"
Read it Forward, Favorite Reads of January 2017
A Parade Magazine Pick

"This book is distinctly Coretta's story . . . particularly absorbing. . . generous, in a manner that is unfashionable in our culture."New York Times Book Review

"Eloquent . . . inspirational"—USA Today

The life story of Coretta Scott King—wife of Martin Luther King Jr., founder of the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change (The King Center), and singular twentieth-century American civil and human rights activist—as told fully for the first time, toward the end of her life, to Rev. Dr. Barbara Reynolds.

Born in 1927 to daringly enterprising parents in the Deep South, Coretta Scott had always felt called to a special purpose. While enrolled as one of the first black scholarship students recruited to Antioch College, she became politically and socially active and committed to the peace movement. As a graduate student at the New England Conservatory of Music, determined to pursue her own career as a concert singer, she met Martin Luther King Jr., a Baptist minister insistent that his wife stay home with the children. But in love and devoted to shared Christian beliefs as well as shared racial and economic justice goals, she married Dr. King, and events promptly thrust her into a maelstrom of history throughout which she was a strategic partner, a standard bearer, and so much more.

As a widow and single mother of four, she worked tirelessly to found and develop The King Center as a citadel for world peace, lobbied for fifteen years for the US national holiday in honor of her husband, championed for women's, workers' and gay rights and was a powerful international voice for nonviolence, freedom and human dignity.

Coretta's is a love story, a family saga, and the memoir of an extraordinary black woman in twentieth-century America, a brave leader who, in the face of terrorism and violent hatred, stood committed, proud, forgiving, nonviolent, and hopeful every day of her life.

Named a Best Book of 2017 by NPR
The New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice
The Washington Post's Books to Read in 2017
USA Today, "New and Noteworthy"
Read it Forward, Favorite Reads of January 2017
A Parade Magazine Pick

"This book is distinctly Coretta's story . . . particularly absorbing. . . generous, in a manner that is unfashionable in our culture."New York Times Book Review

"Eloquent . . . inspirational"—USA Today

The life story of Coretta Scott King—wife of Martin Luther King Jr., founder of the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change (The King Center), and singular twentieth-century American civil and human rights activist—as told fully for the first time, toward the end of her life, to Rev. Dr. Barbara Reynolds.

Born in 1927 to daringly enterprising parents in the Deep South, Coretta Scott had always felt called to a special purpose. While enrolled as one of the first black scholarship students recruited to Antioch College, she became politically and socially active and committed to the peace movement. As a graduate student at the New England Conservatory of Music, determined to pursue her own career as a concert singer, she met Martin Luther King Jr., a Baptist minister insistent that his wife stay home with the children. But in love and devoted to shared Christian beliefs as well as shared racial and economic justice goals, she married Dr. King, and events promptly thrust her into a maelstrom of history throughout which she was a strategic partner, a standard bearer, and so much more.

As a widow and single mother of four, she worked tirelessly to found and develop The King Center as a citadel for world peace, lobbied for fifteen years for the US national holiday in honor of her husband, championed for women's, workers' and gay rights and was a powerful international voice for nonviolence, freedom and human dignity.

Coretta's is a love story, a family saga, and the memoir of an extraordinary black woman in twentieth-century America, a brave leader who, in the face of terrorism and violent hatred, stood committed, proud, forgiving, nonviolent, and hopeful every day of her life.

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About the Author-
  • Coretta Scott King was an American civil rights activist, international human rights champion and author, the wife of Martin Luther King Jr., and the mother of four. Born in 1927 in Heiberger, Alabama, she died in 2006 in Rosarito Beach, Mexico.
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    November 28, 2016
    Reynolds (Out of Hell and Living Well), an ordained minister who was a confidante of Coretta Scott King (1927–2006) since 1975, has produced from their many conversations together a posthumous memoir largely focused on King’s public life. There are few intimate glimpses, although a wife and mother’s anxieties come through strongly, as they did in King’s 1969 memoir, My Life with Martin Luther King, Jr. The present work includes an array of afterwords (from her daughter Bernice, Maya Angelou, and others) and Reynolds’s postscript, “The Making of Her Memoir.” It begins by revisiting King’s life story and her part in historical events from the Montgomery Bus Boycott to her husband’s assassination. The book’s latter part traces King’s political activism and spiritual commitment since Martin Luther King Jr.’s death, and the roles of their children, Yolanda, Bernice, Martin III, and Dexter, in sustaining his legacy. Overall, though some political disagreements are mentioned, this is a spiritual narrative with God as a frequent directing presence. Readers for whom the Civil Rights Movement is ancient history may get a lot out of Reynolds’s rendering of King’s account. As oral history, aspects will interest academic historians. “In reading this memoir, I hope somehow you see Coretta,” King confides in her introduction. One does, but without the vibrancy, immediacy, and clarity one might hope for.

  • Kirkus

    November 15, 2016
    A posthumous memoir by Martin Luther King Jr.'s widow, told via a journalist, minister, and longtime friend.In an afterward, Reynolds, a journalist and friend to Coretta Scott King (1927-2006) and a former USA Today editorial board member, offers the "making of her memoir," which required many recorded interviews since her first article about King for the Chicago Tribune in 1975, with their formal contract signed in 1997. Overall, the tone is as gracious, elegant, and soft-spoken as the legendary Southern lady and concert singer, who was born in the deeply segregated town of Heiberger, Alabama, where her black family was regularly terrorized by whites, including the burning of her house when she was 15 years old. Resilient and fearless due to the example of her harassed father, King was inculcated in the Mount Tabor AME Zion church, where her grandfathers were leaders. Attending the Lincoln missionary school, she found her "escape route" from the South in multicultural Antioch College (Ohio), then followed her passion for classical music to the New England Conservatory, in Boston, where she met the "too short" and unprepossessing minister from Atlanta, MLK Jr. Coretta wanted to be a concert singer and live comfortably in the North, while Martin wanted her to be his wife and have children and move to Montgomery to fight desegregation with nonviolence. Eventually, she came around to embrace his ideals. While her memoir is very much her own journey, it is also about her collaboration with her husband, and she insists they both had a calling by God: "God appeared to have appointed Martin and me...to become the messengers." The author does not countenance rumors that her husband was unfaithful, insisting that the FBI planted evidence as a smear campaign. In the end, her four children and her "fifth child," the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change, in Atlanta, remain her greatest legacies.A touching memoir from an important figure in the civil rights movement.

    COPYRIGHT(2016) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Library Journal

    September 1, 2016
    At the end of her life, King disclosed her full story to a close friend, Dr. Barbara Reynolds, an ordained minister and journalist who was on USA Today's founding editorial team. The narrative emphasizes King's early scholarly endeavors and feminist beliefs and shows how she challenged the era's all-male African American leadership after her husband's death.

    Copyright 2016 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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