Coretta Scott King and Betty Shabazz Formed an Unbreakable Bond After Their Husbands’ Tragic Deaths


After the shocking assassination of Malcolm X on February 21, 1965, his widow, Betty Shabazz, received a telegram from someone long thought to be one of her husband’s rivals — Martin Luther King Jr. While both were outspoken civil rights leaders of their time, their means to achieve the goals didn’t exactly line up — and King addressed that in his message of sympathy.

“I was certainly saddened by the shocking and tragic assassination of your husband,” King said in the Western Union telegram, stamped February 26, 1965. “While we did not see eye to eye on methods to solve the race problem, I always had a deep affection for Malcolm and felt that he had a great ability to put his finger on the existence and root of the problem.”

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After offering his condolences, he also reached out with an olive branch of sorts: “Always consider me a friend and if I can do anything to ease the heavy load you are forced to carry at this time, please feel free to call on me.”

Of course, as fate would have it, King himself met the same cruel fate a few years later, when he was tragically assassinated on April 4, 1968, in Memphis, also leaving behind his widow, Coretta Scott King.

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