Coretta Scott King: A Posthumous Memoir

15Williams-blog427Patricia J. Williams at The New York Times:

Nearly every image of Coretta Scott King since her husband’s death has seemed suffused with preternatural stillness, her face fixed with the brave solitude of timeless interior bereavement. For all of her accomplishment and vivacity in real life, she has remained frozen in the collective imagination, among that sad pantheon of civil-rights-era icons: the political widow in a pillbox hat. King describes the weight of that identity in “My Life, My Love, My Legacy,” her posthumous memoir, as told to the journalist Barbara Reynolds over a period of 30 years. “There is a Mrs. King. There is also Coretta. How one became detached from the other remains a mystery to me,” King says.

This book is distinctly Coretta’s story. While there is nothing to radically challenge the impression of her as carefully restrained, what makes “My Life” particularly absorbing is its quiet account of a brutal historical era, as experienced by a very particular kind of African-American woman: well educated, cautious, a prototypically 1950s-style wife and mother. The book’s cover features a picture of King, young and smiling, but still radiating that unmistakable aura of church-lady reserve.

more here.