Lifetime TV debuted Betty & Coretta, a movie about the friendship of Dr. Betty Shabazz and Coretta Scott King. This movie, executive produced by singer Mary J. Blige, tells the story of the widows of civil rights activists Malcom X and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. While we all know about Martin Luther King and Malcom X, before this movie, most people did not know about the deep friendship that Betty and Coretta formed after the tragic deaths of their husbands. They turned to each other for strength and support. And even though their husbands had different ideaologies on how to accomplish their goals, they did indeed share the goal of improving the social status of Blacks. And Betty and Coretta continued that fight for civil rights and equality to preserve their husbands' legacies.
This movie, starring Angela Basset (King) and Mary J. Blige (Shabazz), showcased these powerful women as more than just Martin Luther King and Malcom X's wives. It allowed the audience to see how they were civil rights activists and forces to be reckoned with in their own rights. It showcased how supportive and inspirational these women were for their husbands. But it also showed how they picked up the torch and empowered themselves after their husbands' deaths.
The movie is narrated by actress Ruby Dee, 90, who lived during that time and knew both women. According to Wikipedia, "Dee and [her husband Ossie] Davis were both personal friends of both Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcom X,, with Davis giving the eulogy at Malcom X's funeral in 1965".
The actors did an excellent job portraying these historical figures, especially Malik Yoba as MLK. The storyline did a great job covering the depths of their friendship and how they leaned on each other for support as mothers, as activists, and as women in general. The only flaw with the movie is the fact that time seems to pass quickly without relaying to the viewer what decade we're in. For instance, there is one scene in particular where it is suddenly the mid-90s and the only way the viewer can tell is because Shabazz's grandson has grown up. But overall, this is a good movie and a great way to kick off Black History Month. It is important for this story to be told, especially for those who did not live through that time period and perhaps take some of our privileges for granted.