Famous folks

Coretta, Betty and Rita Get Props for Putting Up With Historical Groupon Peens

Yeah, I said it. YOLO!

Last night was Lifetime’s movie Betty and Coretta about Betty Shabazz and Coretta Scott King, wives of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. They were played by Mary J. Blige (who also executive produced) and Angela Bassett. Y’all know Angela can act so good she’d play you and me better than we would ourselves.

I missed the movie for no good reason at all but was reading the tweets about it. Some folks were talmbout how Betty and Coretta stood tall by their men, even through disrespect and infidelity. They were a part of history, recognized it and dealt with all the crap that came with being with these icons.

They say behind every great man is a great woman. But really, behind every great man is a woman with patience, resilience and the strength of the best titanium steel. And she can clearly forgive like a saint. The wives of the men we put on these #PEDALSTOOLS (hashtags in front of words in my posts means I’m mispelling on purpose. For those ready to leave me angry comments) had to deal with some crap, infidelity being high on that list.

I throw Rita Marley in this too, because she had to deal with a powerful man who couldn’t keep his peen to himself. Treating his ‘talia like Living Social deals. Y’all know Bob was a rolling stone.

MLK and Coretta Scott King kiss

It’s known fact that MLK was cheating on Coretta (you know, since the FBI was being the TMZ of his day) and we all know Bob Marley had about fiddy eleben kids and only like 3 were by Rita. Malcolm? Well I’ma leave him outta this since folks still debate whether he cheated or not. But yeah… Coretta and Rita? Chile… them ladies went through it!

It couldnta been me married to Martin Lutha tha Kang! I’da cut his good tie in pieces the morning he was ‘posed to talk about what dream he had! He’da stepped up on that podium rocking neckwear he had to borrow from one of his homies. I’da hid his favorite wing tips before he went out on the Monument. Because I’m petty. Thank God Coretta was a better woman, with foresight to recognize history was happening.

Breaking news: “Martin was in the Birmingham City jail when his wife Luvvie showed up and told him he better go to Jesse’s house cuz she had heard…”

Exclusive story: “Civil Rights Leader Dr King not allowed in his own house as his wife Luvvie changed the keys on him.”

I am not about that life. Stand by your man has expiration dates if you treat our vows like iTunes Terms of Services. Yeah, you checked the “I agree” box but you don’t really care what the agreement said.

And Rita Marley took “ride-or-die” to epic levels that I truly do not understand. She was Bob’s wife only by paper cuz he was ALLOTHERWOMENERRTHANG. Dude thought marriage was that one day you wore a nice suit. Watching the “Marley” documentary really spoke of Bob’s Ain’t Shitness when it came to being a husband. He used to make Rita help him get rid of the groupies who were bothering him, like she was some sort of wingman or something.

Rita Bob Marley

Rita watched her hubby hoe out one day and show up the next day to sing backup for him. I’d kick the mic down in the middle of a concert. Once again, Rita’s better than me. I’d be pissed like “you just slept with 5 women yesterday and you want me to harmonize? EFF YOU!” Chile, the course of history surely would be different.

Breaking news: “Luvvie Marley kicked Bob in the shins in the middle of Redemption Song.”

“Turn Your Lights Down Low” was apparently about Miss Jamaica and Rita sat back there and crooned along with it on stage. You wrote a love song about some other broad and I’m supposed to meet you in the key of C-flat??? Choke on gum.

michelle talk to the hand gif

They didn’t e’em live in the same house. Bob basically had a frat house where all his boys would come and hang out and play soccer and all his groupies would come to. Rita was blocks away, helping to raise the kids other women had for him. It’s that island peen syndrome. No ma’am.

But yeah. All these women deserve props for not losing their minds dealing with the men who were, made and changed history. I pay ALL THE AMISH to each of them. And all the other women who don’t get enough credit for the roles they played.

Let the record show that this is not to take away from the greatness of MLK, Malcolm and Bob. THEY DID THAT. So much respect for these fellas for the footprints they left. But I am HERE for Rita, Coretta and Betty. TRULY ride-or-die.

Betty Shabazz. Coretta Scott King. Rita Marley. we speak your name. YES!

So could you do it? Would you have stood by Martin an’ em?

P.S. It took me about 5 tries to have the nerve to title this post. But it was my first choice. I was gonna go with the more filtered “History Didn’t Thank Coretta, Betty and Rita Enough” but that’s no fun. Ok carry on.

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  1. Mia
    February 3, 2013 at 12:40 pm

    No ma’am. I couldn’t do it. As you put it: Mics would have been knocked down. Shins would have been kicked. Ties would have been shredded. Things would have happened. My mother would have to come collect her daughter.

    • Taj Mahal
      February 4, 2013 at 8:16 am

      Whenever I hear of a person being collected, I chuckle hard! All I can imagine is kicking, hollering, arms flailing…

  2. Shevonne
    February 3, 2013 at 12:48 pm

    Yes, props to them because Lawd knows I’m not strong enough to share my man’s peen with the community. Rita had it to do with Bob. I would’ve been in jail all now over all those chillun he had with God knows who. And J. Edgar claimed to have recorded proof that MLK liked white prostitutes. NAWL! I don’t give a damn what color those hoes were. He would’ve been up on that podium looking Harpo after Sophia gave him that eye jammy. O_*

    • milaxx
      February 3, 2013 at 3:21 pm

      Considering the fact that J Edgar was prolly more interested in the skirts MLK’s hoes was wearing than what race they were he needs to have a seat. I don’t condone the cheating, but J Edgar ain’t the one to cast stones.

      • Shevonne
        February 3, 2013 at 5:56 pm

        LMAO!!! I know that’s right. J. Edgar was a tranny, but the F.B.I. said that they’re not allowed to release those recordings for fifty years. Hope I’ll still me around.

        • JoeBeau
          February 5, 2013 at 2:37 pm

          Hey yo Alicia!
          What up Kandi?
          Man, these Jane Doe’s be killin’ me thinkin’ they slick widdit.
          For real?
          Drop the beat!

          I’d be crazy,
          To let my man go,
          And let some other Jane Doe
          Come and try to steal him.
          Oh no, oh no.

          • JoeBeau
            February 5, 2013 at 2:46 pm

            When I sing it, it’s Django’s instead of Jane Doe’s, though. Still, no loose-moral having, wannabe-homewrecker is taking mines.

          • foxxtalltrees
            February 8, 2013 at 7:59 pm

            LOVE IT!!! SANG IT MS. KEYS

        • JoeBeau
          February 5, 2013 at 2:42 pm

          J. Edgar Hoover was a cross-dressing closeted gay man. Transsexuals have balls to come out as such in today’s culture, whether they decide to keep their testicles or not.
          But above all else, he was a control-freak segregationist fascist wannabe. As a gay man, I retroactively pull any sort of LGBT card he may have carried. He may technically be family, but, “he ain’t no kin of mine, ain’t no friend of mine.” OKAY?!

    • Pepp
      February 4, 2013 at 10:09 am

      Did you say “eye jammy”? *Hollers* This made my day!

  3. Erica
    February 3, 2013 at 12:53 pm

    I wudda cut the butt outta all MLK pants and holes in all of his socks where the toes go.
    And YES island peen is str8 form da DEVIL * I knows from experience*

    • Taj Mahal
      February 4, 2013 at 11:56 am

      Yeah, that island sugar cane. I too know from experience. Makes you do irrational things like cook a full dinner in the middle of the night.

      • Erica
        February 8, 2013 at 5:07 pm

        you ant neva lied!!

      • foxxtalltrees
        February 8, 2013 at 8:06 pm

        CHURL!!! I LIVED ON THAT STREET FOR A MINUTE!!!! Now I have a migraine from that ratchet memory! Now I want to go kick somebody in the shins on GP. I swear it will make this migraine go away faster than Excedrine. HEAVENS TO BETSY!!!

  4. Cherry
    February 3, 2013 at 12:56 pm

    If putting up with community c*ck makes a wife great…I would be a ‘she aint sh*t’ one and I’d wear that badge with pride *smh*

    • Margaret
      February 3, 2013 at 1:41 pm

      Uhmm can I get that on a tshirt in a 1x?


  5. Nakita
    February 3, 2013 at 1:17 pm

    Luvvie, Jesus did not die on the cross so I could lose my can’ning abilities. No no woman! Lmao! Wow!

    On another note, you wana go sleep with another woman and father her kids? Kindly take your suitcases with you, thanks!!! These men though, history bless them, but noh!

  6. KemaB
    February 3, 2013 at 1:32 pm

    Being of Jamaican decent loves me some Robert Nesta Marley lord knows I do but ill be damned if I ever see another chick on his arm and we married and I sing back up for him.

    Man listen I would’ve been on the original unaired episode of Snapped! Coretta knew MLK was destined for greatness and she played the good wife well but I don’t believe she didn’t give him the business a few times for his infidelity.

    I think in a marriage as it is for better or worse you make sacrifices and forgive somethings you shouldn’t but these woman held it down in away that even Mother Teresa woulda been like oh hell naw. Much respect to them.

  7. Bri
    February 3, 2013 at 1:49 pm

    I think it’s safe to say that Malcolm never cheated on Betty. The way he spoke of women in his autobiography seemed as though he just didn’t care to even be around them. He didn’t trust women (save for Betty and his sister Ella). And he was also an extremely loyal Muslim who followed the laws of the Nation. Had he been a philanderer, he probably wouldn’t have spoke about the distaste he had for Elijah Muhammad. That would have made me look like a huge hypocrite. And I like to believe Malcolm would’ve admitted to any infidelity since he was so bluntly honest about everything else.

    • Bri
      February 3, 2013 at 1:50 pm

      made him look like a hypocrite*

    • Pepp
      February 4, 2013 at 10:14 am

      I was thinking the same thing. On the other hand since he had so little trust for women I could see him cheating because of that. but then again there was his distaste for elijah so Imma have to concur that he didn’t cheat. Unless of course Betty said otherwise.

  8. JessiLou
    February 3, 2013 at 2:11 pm

    This movie had me feeling all sorts of ways. Ain’t nothing like a big cup of historical tea to get my Saturday going…big ups to those women…ain’t enough greatness in the world that would make me put up with that. ALL of Dr. Kang’s hopes and dreams would’ve been SHATTERED!! Now, lets discuss this tho…that tyrant who set his grandmother ablaze! Who else was MERKED by this? I know I wasn’t the only one.

    • Aisha
      February 5, 2013 at 1:58 pm

      I haven’t seen the movie yet but it still disturbs me how Betty died due to her psycopathic grandson.

  9. February 3, 2013 at 2:19 pm

    I actually watched the “Marley” documentary today myself, and Rita explained her role as Bob’s “guardian angel.” I believe what these women saw themselves as and what their “marriage” became was a partnership in something greater. I believe in that. They basically accepted that the romantic relationship was over and went on with greatness. Not to mention they name still on the check. So yeah, I can see reasons to “suck it up.” It’s all about what will make you happy at the end of the day.

  10. B
    February 3, 2013 at 2:29 pm

    Salute to those women.

    There is evidence Malcom did in fact cheated on Betty also. Dude was hardly ever home traveling around the country and abroad. Heck, its even said Betty had a lil somethin somethin on the side.

    Clara Muhammad is definitely another woman who held it down while Elijah was humpin around. She ran the NOI during his illness while living in Arizona.

    There needs to be a book written on these women and the unsung for real!

    • Jasmine
      February 3, 2013 at 3:24 pm

      Dare I ask what evidence? And no, not that ONE (with no solid evidence) book. The FBI had an open file on Malcolm X for years detailing his every move and there was never any evidence to suggest he cheated on his wife. I know that this is not the focus of this post, but..

      Anyway, I salute these women and these very flawed men for all that they’ve done!

      • B
        February 3, 2013 at 4:31 pm

        Youre asserting its not possible to slip through the cracks under the watchful eyes of the FBI. I can cite one book that states Malcolm had an affair with another woman. Matter of fact there are other books such as Bruce Perrys “Malcolm” that he also engaged in homosexual activity with a wealthy white man for payment…pre FBI. Im not saying I rely on books for solid information especially concerning our historical black men with iconic images, its so easy to lie about them in an attempt to discredit them. However, given Malcolm’s past, ive only remained skeptical. He was not perfect even after joining the NOI.

        • Jasmine
          February 3, 2013 at 9:39 pm

          As I said, we’re not discussing his life before marriage. And I too have read many books on Malcolm and I maintain that based on books that included extensive research, he did not cheat on his wife.

  11. JLL
    February 3, 2013 at 3:13 pm

    I ain’t saying I’m a murderer, I’m just saying…he should probably sleep with one eye open once I find out.

    And once outside kids get involved, good luck and god bless. I’d be accepting that the kids and my kids are family, but you got to GO.

  12. February 3, 2013 at 4:24 pm

    Rita mothered 4 children. Bob fathered 11. SEVEN KIDS BY OTHER WOMEN? Oh. No.

  13. February 3, 2013 at 4:25 pm

    …but, there’s also the opposite. I’m looking at YOU, Winnie Mandela and Eleanor Roosevelt.

    • Anna
      December 19, 2014 at 5:49 pm

      Don’t mean to speak ill of the dead but google “Evelyn Mase”, the first wife of Nelson Mandela. He cheated on her. People should give Winnie a break. Men in politics stray and history make it a footnote in their biographies; women in politics stray and it obliterates everything they ever did: they’re just a punch line. Just sayin…

  14. Creepa
    February 3, 2013 at 4:40 pm

    Say what you want about Coretta and MLK but Bob Marley was trippin’. I read that Rita was pissed about Bob running here, there, and everywhere so she was refusing to give him any……so he took it by force. Rita applauded him for being a “real man”….if that isn’t an abused wife syndrome I don’t know what it. Just because you cut a few hit records doesn’t make you great. How was we praise Bob and then side-eye Ike Turner?

  15. Lashawn
    February 3, 2013 at 4:41 pm

    Turn you light down low my ass! I would have been down under the jail! Like ms Sophia said: Id kill em dead!!!

  16. Taj Mahal
    February 4, 2013 at 7:59 am

    Bob, I would have turned his lights low and put his lights out. Have him wishing he never shot the sheriff, because he would need that mufukka. Have him on his knees singing a redemption song.

    Martin, shhheeit, I heard he hit on Coretta. I think he would have to be put into a real dream state. A nice long coma would do it. For how long? Not long.

    Malcolm, hmmm, I have no evidence (yet. Haven’t seen the movie, read secret docs, etc.), and I think he’s dope for a number of reasons. So I couldn’t be mad at that fine mufukka. Besides, did YOU see the famed picture of him holding that gun by the window? Last thing I want to hear in my own living room is “get yo hand outta my pocket!”. And you know the Nation would help him cover it up. I’d have to do something devious like mix pork into his meatloaf. But he was cool, so I guess it wouldn’t have to come to that. 😉

    • February 5, 2013 at 2:27 pm

      So… I almost lost my shit (and my job) when I read “have him wishing he never shot the sheriff, because he would need that mufukka” This had me laughing so hard. Why must you murk me at work?

      I couldn’t deal with Bob at all though. I swear they’d be singing “Man Down” at his #funegro

  17. Christie
    February 4, 2013 at 9:18 am

    “Luvvie Marley kicked Bob in the shins during Redemption Song.” iCackled.

  18. Aisha Johnson
    February 4, 2013 at 10:59 am

    Chile! I thee am petty as well. However, to be honest, I couldn’t stand cutting up clothing and ish for too long. That’s too much negative energy and a toll on my body and spirit. I don’t like to share my food, what makes you think I want to share my contractual peen?

    I’m sorry did Rita help babysit Bob’s other youngins? I would have dropped those children off at the frat house with their Mamas (after they were fed of course), took my babies, and kept it moving. Ain’t that much peen in the world to be dealing with that trifling mess.

    Maybe it’s a cultural thing or religious that one didn’t divorce in those days. Especially not a woman from her husband. I’ve heard many tails of men beating their wives and the wives still held him and the household down. What part of the game was that? I suppose since in those days the men were the primary bread winners, the women may have thought that they could not take care of themselves. Not in 2013 Ma’am, ain’t nobody got time for dat!

  19. LadyLarke
    February 4, 2013 at 12:41 pm

    Betty, Rita, Coretta, Eleanor, Winnie, Jackie O, hell even Hillary. If someone writes a book about all these unsung ladies and what they went through while their men made all kinds of history best believe I would be first in line collecting my copy. Strong women!

  20. Annettte
    February 4, 2013 at 1:08 pm

    HMMM nope there would have been a confrontation. But then again it was a different time and a different America.

  21. Rachael
    February 4, 2013 at 3:12 pm

    Not saying that I agree, or would do the same thing. But in all these situations in the end the women who stayed got all the cash, fame, and control of the man’s legacy when he passed. And all the side pieces got nothing. In Rita’s case, she controlled who got what of the legacy of Marley, to the point that she even controlled use of the name, and she was an ‘aspiring’ singer until she met him and he actually made her into a paid professional. I wouldn’t stick around, but I have a feeling these women are a little more thoughtful than we think. Just think Mellie on Scandal.

  22. KDS
    February 5, 2013 at 1:29 pm

    As someone who has been married for almost 20 years I have to say that you can’t really say what you would do in a situation until you are actually in it. I also think that it is harder for some women to leave after they have invested a good part of theirselves into a marriage (especially when children are involved). I also think that as women we don’t always realized how strong we are until we are in a situation so they may have thought that they couldn’t make it without their husbands.

    Like someone else said in another post those were different times. I know of a family friend whose husband had an outside child and she would take the baby shopping!!!

    I doubt that I could ever stay but that is me. Some people would say otherwise.

  23. Aisha
    February 5, 2013 at 1:52 pm

    Giirrl!!! You went in! I’ve been saying all this for years. I’m sorry but I could not have done it. Dealing with an absentee husband, death threats, cheating, etc. That’s too much to ask of anyone. These men get the benefits of marriage but still get to act like single men. God bless these women for real.

  24. February 7, 2013 at 8:12 pm

    I agree with you 100%! Ain’t no way I could’ve been Rita! Mics would’ve been knocked over, dreads would’ve been snipped, soccer balls deflated! And to be babysitter to his other children? HA! Nah, not I.

    Great post!

  25. GeminiBabe
    March 26, 2013 at 8:41 pm

    Babysitter? Rita Marley raised those outsiders like they were her own chirrens… Bless her heart, as a married woman of 12 years, can’t say I’d have the gumption. In my opinion Coretta or Betty didn’t know exactly what they were in for when they married but decided to ride it out. They loved their men. Let’s not forget Myrlie Evers-Williams who also made a way for her children after her hubby was gunned down. I’ve never read anywhere that Medgar cheated but he def put his family in danger while on his quest for equality in 1950s Mississippi.. All in all Betty, Coretta, Myrlie, and Rita are all strong women indeed.

  26. LMJ
    June 16, 2013 at 6:17 pm

    Great Article! Although, I have to add my two cents and say that I don’t think these women deserve props for staying around through cheating, lying, and blatant disrespect. Bottom line, there is nothing strong about standing by a man who does not honor his vows, your body and the covenant he made before God. If if were me, somebody’s balls surely would’ve been Cut Off! Lol…that is all.