Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated 10 years before I was born.
As an elementary, middle and high school student, I learned about him once a year through plays, books, lectures and his ever-quoted “I Have a Dream” speech delivered on August 28, 1963 during the March on Washington. However, like many of my classmates at that time, I did not truly understand Dr. King.
Something happened while I was attending Prairie View A&M University that gave me a deeper understanding of Dr. King, especially the post-“I Have a Dream” Dr. King. I heard someone talking about how Dr. King was more than a dreamer.
I learned more about a wide-awake Dr. King that rallied against the Vietnam War to call on America to take care of its poor at home; a Dr. King that delivered an anti-war speech titled “Breaking the Silence” in 1967; a Dr. King that said, “I'm tired of marching for something that should have been mine at birth”; a Dr. King that was spied on and plotted against by J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI COINTELPRO from 1961 to 1968; the Dr. King that was lied on by the government; the Dr. King that met one-on-one with the Honorable Elijah Muhammad in 1966; the Dr. King that many in America did not like.
I was introduced to a different Dr. King than the one my teachers gave to me. This man wanted an end to what he called the "triple evils of racism, economic exploitation, and militarism."
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