By Elaine Hegwood Bowen, M.S.J.
It should come as no surprise that the FBI mounted a relentless campaign of surveillance and harassment of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., but this astonishing documentary “MLK/FBI” reveals both the shocking details of the operation and the complexity of the iconic man in its crosshairs. Using newly discovered and declassified files, Oscar-nominated filmmaker Sam Pollard provides interviews with dozens of people, including James Comey, Andrew Young and King historians.
In the 1950s and 1960s, FBI Director Edgar J. Hoover was obsessed with Dr. King and his meteoric rise within the country and the world over, as Dr. King aligned with others to promote peace while fighting for social and racial justice for Blacks and poor people. Files that were supposed to be released in 2027 were released a few years back, and this information is what is shown in this documentary.
Allegations of Dr. King cheating on his wife, Coretta Scott King, seemed to give Hoover great pleasure, as he doggedly planted bugs in hotel rooms and in the phone of Dr. King’s attorney, Clarence Jones. Hoover also made up allegations, as it beat him up that Dr. King won a Nobel Peace Prize.
There are many revelations shared in this explosive documentary, in which Dr. King was called a “racial agitator.” Hoover feared “the rise of a Black Messiah” and also thought that King was “morally unfit to be the leader of the Black man.”
Watch the film, and you decide. Take a look at the trailer: https://youtu.be/Lvfxzht9KUA.