Mary J. Blige and Angela Bassett Play the Wives of Malcolm and Martin: An even Match-Up?

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Angela Bassett has been a staple in black Hollywood for decades. Her greatest role ever might have been when she played the wife of the late Malcolm X 20 years ago, but she has done quite a few great things besides that.  Her next adventure is playing the wife of Martin Luther King in a film set to appear on Lifetime.

The new film, called “Betty and Coretta,” focuses on the lives of the women who supported two of the most respected black men in history.  One of them fought for integration and the other fought for independence, but they both fought and gave their lives for what they believed in.

Oddly enough, the woman playing Betty Shabazz will be Mary J. Blige, who doesn’t quite match Angela Bassett when it comes to acting skill or experience.  Some have wondered how Blige received the role after not having played a role of this significance at any point in her career.  But people love her, especially black women.  It is also odd to see Angela play the wife of Malcolm in one epic film and then play opposite the wife of Malcolm in another.

The title “Betty and Coretta” is just a working title for the time-being, so the official title will be announced shortly before the movie hits the airwaves.  The film focuses on the challenges of becoming single mothers after their husbands were killed.  These are the stories that were never told and often the ones that are the most painful.

This leads us to two questions:  Should Mary J. Blige be playing such an important role opposite Angela Bassett?  Also, was the sacrifice of Dr. King and Malcolm worth it when compared with the hardship their families endured after their deaths?