My Life, My Love, My Legacy is the life story of Coretta Scott King as she told it the Rev. Dr. Barabara Reynolds towards the end of her life. In this posthumous memoir, we get to see Coretta’s story–not just Mrs. King’s.
The story begins with Coretta’s life as a young, determined girl growing up in rural Alabama. Her house was burned to the ground when she was fifteen, and she watched her parents’ “internal fortitude” as they dealt with the terrorist acts taking place in the Deep South. The strength of her father and the discernment of her mother during this time shaped her into the woman she became.
There are so many different insights into her life and the King family, including, but not limited to:
- Her dreams to pursue a professional singing career
- She was in a serious relationship with a Jewish man in college but felt stymied at the thought of the many barriers they would cross as a married interracial couple
- She wasn’t really into MLK when she first met him
- The effect that death had on her young children
- How she created her “fifth child”–the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change
- Her opinion on Rev. Jesse Jackson
- Other interesting things you’ll have to read to find out 🙂
The book was so full of gems that I had to grab a pen and underline quotes.
“I was brought up in the southern tradition and was taught to have manners, to be ladylike and polite. That, however, did not mean allowing other people to walk all over me or treat me like a wallflower.”
“Before I was married to Martin and became a King, I was a proud Scott…”
“Most [men] thought that women should stay in the shadows; however, I felt that, as women, we had much to contribute… I believed that women should allow our essence and presence to shine, rather than letting ourselves be buried or shunted to the sidelines.”
“I saw a premise working that I didn’t like but had learned to accept: often you can go out on a limb, and when you’re attacked, few people will come to your rescue if it means crawling out on a limb with you.”
“I want people to know that I was committed to leaving an eternal flame, built on love, that would never be extinguished.”
This is a truly touching story because it’s not just about Coretta, it’s from Coretta’s point of view–it is her voice. I enjoyed reading this book and learning more about the woman so many have looked up to. It’s a memoir I’m likely to pick up again.
Disclaimer: I received an advanced reader copy of this book from the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review.