The Rev Martin Luther King Jnr sits in a church basement surrounded by a small circle of men in folding chairs. He looks pensive and uneasy – legs tightly crossed, his chin resting ever so slightly on the back of his hand as if lost in thought.
This could have been a scene from a Sunday prayer meeting or a glum visitation before a parishioner’s funeral. But the tension in the soft shadows and the men’s anxious expressions evokes something far more momentous.
Indeed, King was preparing for a high-stakes press conference. It was 1966, and he was deeply troubled by the recent shooting of James Meredith, the black activist who’d famously enrolled at the all-white University of Mississippi four years...
Start a 30-day free trial for unlimited access to Premium articles
- Unlimited access to Premium articles
- Subscriber-only events and experiences
- Cancel any time
Free for 30 days
then only £2 per week
Save 25% with an annual subscription
Just £75 per year