Every child learns about the historic efforts of civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr. to stop systemic racism in a society that continually treated Black people as inferior. But what they don’t often learn is how the Federal Bureau of Investigation, led by J. Edgar Hoover, was ordered to provide surveillance of King in order to get enough evidence to destroy him and the movement that he was leading. The new documentary MLK/FBI uncovers rarely seen facets of the FBI’s investigation into Martin Luther King Jr., and the first trailer has arrived online. Read More »
There’s a dark shadow cast over the life and career of J. Edgar Hoover, the infamous FBI Director who created the G-Man persona and ruled the Bureau with an iron fist for over four decades. Even if you want to overlook the unconfirmed rumors, the fact remains that for all his righteousness, Hoover did not do things by the book. He made the rules up as he went along, and bent them to suit his own needs. And when it comes to Martin Luther King, Jr., it’s common knowledge that Hoover despised the Civil Rights leader and his mission.
But in the years since King and Hoover’s deaths, a presumption has sprung-up that Hoover was acting on his own, independently, and that the much of the power structure of the U.S. government was oblivious to his actions. But as Sam Pollard‘s excellent documentary MLK/FBI reveals, that’s simply not the case. Hoover wasn’t a rogue actor. People in power knew what Hoover was doing – and they were fine with it. As one interview subject puts it, “The FBI was part of the mainstream political order.”
Read More »