Friday, February 16, 2024

the last book I ever read (King: A Life by Jonathan Eig, excerpt sixteen)

from King: A Life by Jonathan Eig:

The week after the huge march in New York, King told Levison he had been in the hospital briefly for a series of tests. Doctors said he was fine, but King said he had been hoping they might order him to rest for a few weeks.

There was no rest in sight. King took to the road again in late April, visiting Cleveland, Berkeley, and Cambridge, Massachusetts. The journalist David Halberstam tagged along for ten days, conducting interviews for a profile in Harper’s Magazine. He found his subject “elusive, formal, gracious, distant.” Halberstam witnessed at least one tender moment, however. One day in Atlanta, when King took his children swimming at a friend’s house, Bernice fell and scraped her knee. King grabbed a piece of chicken as he tried to comfort her. “Let’s put some fried chicken on that,” he said playfully. “Yes, a little piece of chicken, that’s always the best thing for a cut.”

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