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I SHARED THE DREAM by Georgia Davis Powers

I SHARED THE DREAM

The Pride, Passion and Politics of the First Black Woman Senator from Kentucky

By Georgia Davis Powers

Pub Date: April 1st, 1995
ISBN: 0-88282-127-X
Publisher: New Horizon

 As one of the few women to hold a leadership position in the civil rights movement, Powers has a compelling story, but it is far overshadowed by her kiss-and-tell tales about her affair with Martin Luther King Jr. Powers makes a real effort here to narrate her evolution from small-town girl to the first black--and first woman--to be elected to the Kentucky state senate (in 1967). After two unfulfilling marriages and some equally unfulfilling jobs, she volunteered for a local campaign. She then advanced to become a member of the Executive Committee of the Jefferson County Democratic Party before running for office. Having only completed community college, Powers had to learn on the fly, and it's inspiring to read how she schooled herself in the arts of politics and government and sponsored several influential bills. As a political pioneer who served 21 years in the Kentucky Senate, Powers is a ripe prospect for a straight political memoir. But what she's really selling here is details of her affair with King. It's no secret that King had extramarital affairs, which were documented by the FBI. But never before has one of his lovers stepped forward to share the pillow talk. Powers tells how she was first approached by King, and she goes into specifics about how rendezvous were arranged. She writes that she saw him as a man, not a god, and how their friendship blossomed into romance. She doesn't mention King's wife or family until after she tells of the assassination, when she goes to the house to offer her condolences. The scene is straight soap opera- -the innocent wife and the repentant mistress meet at last. One can't help but wish that Powers had decided what book she really wanted to write--her political autobiography or her schoolgirlish romantic diary. (photos, not seen) (First printing of 30,000; author tour)