Soul Mates: Dr. Martin Luther Jr. & Coretta Scott King

Hello World,

As you know, I love to write about love and marriage. In fact, I have dedicated a whole section on my blog to married couples, Soul Mates. While I know that many people do not believe in soul mates, I would like to believe that God has a hand in orchestrating great love stories that end in marriage. Tomorrow, we will officially celebrate the life and contributions of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  But from Dr. King to President Obama, their wives had a hand in making them great men. While I will never get the opportunity to interview Dr. King and Mrs. Coretta Scott King, I still want to feature their story on my blog. So I have decided to post interesting quotations about their marriage. Read, enjoy and take note…

  • Born and raised in Marion, Alabama, Coretta Scott graduated valedictorian from Lincoln High School. She received a B.A. in music and education from Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio, and then went on to study concert singing at Boston’s New England Conservatory of Music, where she earned a degree in voice and violin. While in Boston she met Martin Luther King, Jr. who was then studying for his doctorate in systematic theology at Boston University. They were married on June 18, 1953, and in September 1954 took up residence in Montgomery, Alabama, with Coretta Scott King assuming the many functions of pastor’s wife at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church. (from The King Center website)
  • While studying music, she met King, then pursuing a PhD at Boston University. “…he was looking for a wife. I wasn’t looking for a husband, but he was a wonderful human being,” she told an interviewer. “I still resisted his overtures, but after he persisted, I had to pray about it…I had a dream, and in that dream, I was made to feel that I should allow myself to be open and stop fighting the relationship. That’s what I did, and of course the rest is history. ” (from
  • Martin, about their first date: “So you can do something else besides sing? You’ve got a good mind also. You have everything I ever wanted in a woman. We ought to get married someday.” (from
  • She was studying music at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston in 1952 when she met a young graduate student in philosophy, who on their first date told her: “The four things that I look for in a wife are character, personality, intelligence and beauty. And you have them all.” A year later, she and Dr. King, then a young minister from a prominent Atlanta family, were married, beginning a remarkable partnership that ended with his assassination in Memphis on April 4, 1968. (from The New York Times)
  • Her first encounter with the man who would become her husband did not begin auspiciously, as recounted in “Parting the Waters,” by Taylor Branch. Dr. King, very much in the market for a wife, called her after getting her name from a friend and announced: “You know every Napoleon has his Waterloo,” he said. “I’m like Napoleon. I’m at my Waterloo, and I’m on my knees.” Ms. Scott, two years his elder, replied: “That’s absurd. You don’t even know me.” (from The New York Times)
  • Still, she agreed to meet for lunch the next day, only to be put off initially that he was not taller. But she was impressed by his erudition and confidence, and he saw in this refined, intelligent woman what he was looking for as the wife of a preacher from one of Atlanta’s most prominent ministerial families. When he proposed, she deliberated for six months before saying yes, and they were married in the garden of her parents’ house on June 18, 1953. The 350 guests, elegant big-city folks from Atlanta and rural neighbors from Alabama, made it the biggest wedding, white or black, the area had ever seen. (from The New York Times)
  • Even before the wedding, she made it clear she intended to remain her own woman. She stunned Dr. King’s father, the Rev. Martin Luther King Sr., who presided over the wedding, by demanding that the promise to obey her husband be removed from the wedding vows. Reluctantly, he went along. After it was over, the bridegroom fell asleep in the car on the way back to Atlanta while the new Mrs. King did the driving. (from The New York Times)
  • “I had no problem being the wife of Martin, but I was never just a wife. In the 1950s, as a concert singer, I performed ‘freedom concerts’ raising funds for the movement. I ran my household, raised my children, and spoke out on world issues. Maybe people didn’t know that I was always an activist because the media wasn’t watching. I once told Martin that although I loved being his wife and a mother, if that was all I did I would have gone crazy. I felt a calling on my life from an early age. I knew I had something to contribute to the world.”  (from The Washington Post)
  • The Kings had four children: Yolanda Denise King (November 17, 1955 – May 15, 2007) (October 23, 1957 in Montgomery, Alabama), Martin Luther King III, Dexter Scott King (January 30, 1961 in Atlanta, Georgia), Bernice Albertine King (March 28, 1963 in Atlanta, Georgia) All four children later followed in their parents’ footsteps as civil rights activists. (from Wikipedia)
  • Scott King became an activist in her own right, as well, carrying messages of international peace and economic justice to organizations around the world. She was the first woman to deliver the Class Day address at Harvard University and the first woman to preach during a service at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London. When King was assassinated outside a motel room in Memphis, Tenn., on April 4, 1968, Scott King channeled her grief into action. Days later, she led a march through the streets of Memphis, and later that year took his place as a leader of the Poor People’s March in Washington, D.C. (from ABC News)
  • And to carry on that legacy, she focused on two ambitious and daunting tasks. The first was to have a national holiday in his honor, the second was to build a nationally recognized center in Atlanta to honor his memory, continue his work and provide a research center for scholars studying his work and the civil rights era. The first goal was achieved despite much opposition in 1983 when Congress approved a measure designating the third Monday in January as an official federal holiday in honor of Dr. King, who was born in Atlanta Jan. 15, 1929. (from The Washington Post)
  • Over 14,000 people gathered for Coretta Scott King’s eight-hour funeral at the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia, Georgia on February 7, 2006 where daughter Bernice King, who is an elder at the church, eulogized her mother. The megachurch, whose sanctuary seats 10,000, was better able to handle the expected massive crowds than Ebenezer Baptist Church, of which Coretta was a member since the early 1960s and which was the site of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s funeral in 1968. (from Wikipedia)

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Any thoughts?

Marriage Makes Good Cents…

Hello World!

Before I get started on today’s post, I have to shout out Cam Newton, College Park, Georgia’s own, who was awarded the Heisman Trophy last night! Way to go Cam! Way to go CPK! I grew up in the CPK so I gotta recognize!

Alrighty….today’s topic…According to the recently released 2010 report from The National Marriage Project, which provides research and analysis on the health of marriage in its yearly State of Our Unions Report,  achieving the American Dream is very much bound to the success of marriages. And it seems that highly-educated people (defined in the report as those with a college degree) are achieving the American Dream more than their less-educated counterparts in part because they are choosing to get married. Moderately-educated individuals (people who have a high school diploma and possibly some college) are becoming less likely to walk down the aisle than in years past and have started to resemble the poor in their attitudes toward non-marital child-bearing, divorce and marriage quality, according to the report.

I have selected some interesting findings from the report for your perusal and analysis:

  • In a historic reversal, the cultural foundations of strong marriages – adherence to a “marriage mindset,” religious attendance and faith in marriage as a way of life – are stronger now among the highly educated than among the moderately educated. For example, teenagers from highly-educated homes are more likely to report that they would be embarrassed by a pregnancy (76 percent) than their peers from moderately- educated homes (61 percent). Highly-educated Americans are also now more likely to attend church on a weekly basis (34 percent) than moderately-educated Americans (28 percent); in the 1970s, highly-educated Americans were less likely to attend church than the moderately educated.
  • Divorce rates are up for moderately-educated Americans, relative to those who are highly educated. From the 1970s to the 1990s, divorce or separation within the first 10 years of marriage became less likely for the highly educated (15 percent down to 11 percent), slightly more likely for the moderately educated (36 up to 37
    percent), and less likely for the least educated (46 down to 36 percent).
  • Middle Americans are shifting toward a culture that still honors the ideal of marriage but increasingly accepts departures from that ideal. They have also not been well served by the rise of the “soul mate” model of marriage (more on this below), which is less accessible to them—for both cultural and material reasons—than is the older “institutional” model of marriage.
  • Over the last four decades, many Americans have moved away from identifying with an “institutional” model of marriage, which seeks to integrate sex, parenthood, economic cooperation, and emotional intimacy in a permanent union. This model has been overwritten by the “soul mate” model, which sees marriage as primarily a couple-centered vehicle for personal growth, emotional intimacy, and shared consumption that depends for its survival on the happiness of both spouses. Thus where marriage used to serve as the gateway to responsible adulthood, it has come to be increasingly seen as a capstone of sorts that signals couples have arrived, both financially and emotionally—or are on the cusp of arriving.
  • Although this newer model of marriage—and the new norms associated with it—has affected all Americans, it poses unique challenges to poor and Middle American adults. One problem with this newer model—which sets a high financial and emotional bar for marriage—is that many poor and Middle American couples now believe that they do not have the requisite emotional and economic resources to get or stay married. By contrast, poor and Middle Americans of a generation or two ago would have identified with the institutional model of marriage and been markedly more likely to get and stay married, even if they did not have much money or a consistently good relationship. They made do. But their children and grandchildren are much less likely to accept less-than-ideal relationships.
  • Moderately-educated Americans also registered the biggest declines in religious attendance from the 1970s to the present. Over the last 40 years, then, Middle America has lost its religious edge over their more highly educated fellow citizens…Accordingly, Middle Americans are now markedly less likely than they used to be to benefit from the social solidarity, the religious and normative messages about marriage and family life, and the social control associated with regular churchgoing, especially in comparison with their neighbors who graduated from college.

To read the entire report, please go here. I must admit much of this report did not surprise me, but it is interesting to see all of the data that supports what I see going on all around me.  What did cause me to ponder a bit, however, was the whole “soul mate” reference. I’ve always been a sucker for the whole “soul mate” thing…I mean it’s even a category on this blog, but I wonder if having overly romanticized views about marriage is actually detrimental. From eHarmony commercials to any given romance movie nowadays, finding your “soul mate” is akin finding the Holy Grail. Based on this premise, there is one ideal person out there who is your perfect match and whose presence will take you to new heights in every area of your life….what do you think? Is that true or false?

Anyway, that’s all….

Any thoughts?

P.S. It is still the Christmas season…Enjoy “Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer.” Hearing this song always makes me laugh… 🙂

My soul mate is married and other conundrums of life…

Hello World! 

If you are anything like me, you are pondering and saddened by the news that American Idol winner and The Color Purple star Fantasia Barrino is recovering after an overdose of aspirin and a sleep aid…Apparently, she took the combination after  feeling “overwhelmed by the lawsuit and the media attention”  concerning her alleged relationship with her married boyfriend Antwaun Cook, her rep told

Cook’s wife Paula recently filed a lawsuit against her estranged husband in North Carolina, and Barrino is mentioned in the lawsuit. According to, Barrino and Cook made a sex tape and now Paula is seeking custody of their young children, child support and alimony…To me, it’s pretty obvious that Barrino and Cook were not trying to hide their alleged relationship…She has a tattoo with his last name on her shoulder and there are  pictures on the Internet of the couple cavorting all over the world it seems…

Now, the Bible thumping part of me wants to say that Barrino is dead wrong and should leave that man alone – at least until he is truly divorced…But there is another part of me that has a different opinion…Anyone that has lived longer than about 25 years knows that life is not cut and dry…Is it possible to meet your soul mate after you are married to someone else? And if it is possible, what should one do?

In the movie Walk the Line, it was clear that Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash were soul mates — but they were married to other people when they met…And although they fell quickly in love, for a time the only time they could really spend together was on stage…And it appears that at least once Johnny cheated on his first wife with June (at least that is what happened in the movie)…and the two were Christians…Roseanne Cash, the eldest daughter of Cash and his first wife, has written a memoir, Composed, which arrived in stores yesterday.

Christian singer Amy Grant has been accused of having an affair with her now husband country music star Vince Gill. The two were married for years to other people and after they divorced their former spouses, the two married. Though they deny having an affair while they were married to other people, the two admit they felt a deep connection to each other when they first met…

So what say you? What would you do? I think part of the reason that I did not want to get married in my ’20s was that I wanted to wait until I really knew myself before I made that commitment…It seems that in both of the examples that I shared, these couples originally married very early in their lives…Would they have made better decisions if they had waited until they were older? I say yes. I’m not saying that every couple that gets married at a young age is doomed and will meet people better suited for them once they get older…but I do think that when you get older you tend to make better decisions…at least it should be that way…ain’t nothin’ worse than an old fool…

As I alluded to in my title of this post, life can present some interesting conundrums if you live long enough…I’m sure we’ve all heard stories of couples remarrying after they have gotten divorced…Is that wrong or right? Is cheating really grounds for divorce?…A minister told me and a group of other people that many people should not be so quick to divorce after cheating has been revealed, and that he has counseled many that wished they would have forgiven rather divorced their spouses for this offense…

At any rate, aside from all of the philosophizing, we should all pray for Barrino as it’s obvious that this immensly talented singer is suffering right now…

Any thoughts?