After John F. Kennedy's assassination in 1963, the public witnessed firsthand the grief that his widow and children experienced. The same can't be said for the widows of slain African-American leaders Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X. It's not widely known, for example, that Coretta Scott King and Betty Shabazz developed a friendship following the slayings of their husbands. This Saturday, Lifetime Television aims to educate the public about the relationship between these women in the film "Betty & Coretta."
I'm so excited to see a major cable network devote an entire film to the friendship of these women, both of whom were activists in their own right and who led incredibly inspirational lives. Did you know, for example, that Betty Shabazz was not only a nurse when she married Malcolm X but went on to earn a doctorate in education after his death? Before marrying her civil rights activist husband, Coretta Scott King studied opera at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston in 1952. She hoped to become a classical singer and raised money for the civil rights movement by performing at "freedom concerts."
Angela Bassett, who starred as Betty Shabazz in "Malcolm X" and has also played Rosa Parks, portrays Coretta Scott King this time around. Mary J. Blige stars as Shabazz. I have no doubt that the magnificent Angela Bassett will do the role justice, but I've never seen Blige act before, so the jury's out on her. Don't forget to watch "Betty & Coretta" on Lifetime Saturday night or on Lifetime's website on Sunday. Tell me what you think! The civil rights movement would never have succeeded had it not been for the contributions of these women and so many nameless, faceless others.