Lifetime movies are more of my mother and grandma’s cup of tea, but the upcoming biopic Betty & Coretta may force me to violate man-law #345 for historical purposes only. As the title suggests, the film depicts the stories of the wives of arguably the two most important civil rights leaders in American history and how their losses helped create a bond which has carried on long after their own passings. Angela Bassett will play the role of King while Mary J. Blige portrays Dr. Shabazz.
There’s a level of respect that should be paid to these ladies because of their sacrifices during America’s most tense racial period. Waking up everyday with the realization they were one security botch away from becoming single parents is a hell of a charge. My grandma, more than most anyone I know, will appreciate this film. In 1963, while working at Elizabeth City State University, she met Coretta and her children who were placed on campus because of recent threats on Dr. King’s life. Mrs. King was genuinely a kind-hearted individual who hid her concerns and fears admirably for the betterment of her children. To say Mrs. King and Dr. Shabazz handled the task admirably would be an understatement and disservice.
Betty & Coretta airs Saturday, February 2, at 8 p.m. on Lifetime. Don’t confuse this with a chick flick. It’s a historical adaptation we (hopefully) can all take something from.