New MLK Documentary Sheds Light on the Civil Rights Leader’s Fraught Relationship With the US Government

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There is a new documentary about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and according to a review on NPR, it is worth watching. The documentary doesn’t sugarcoat the life of Dr. King or romanticize the way he was treated by the FBI. It is well done and reminds us that not everyone was a fan of Dr. King during his lifetime.

Today, as we prepare for MLK day, a national holiday, it might be easy to think that Dr. King was always held in high respect. After all, his “I have a dream” speech is iconic, but at the time, he was also monitored closely by the FBI.

The goal of the documentary is to give us a well-rounded image of Dr. King and his life. His imperfections, such as extramarital affairs, are far from ignored. He was not perfect, but that makes him human; however, it made the government nervous, especially considering his connection to a lawyer and businessman named Stanley Levison who had ties to the Communist party.

The FBI called Dr. King “the most dangerous Negro.” They didn’t like that he didn’t approve of the United States’ involvement in the Vietnam War. The documentary mentions a poll that was taken after a public disagreement between King and Hoover. Of the people polled, 50% agreed with Hoover and only 15-20% sided with King.

For a sneak peak at the documentary, watch the video below.

The documentary is called “MLK/FBI” and it includes interviews from scholars, former FBI officials and some of King’s close friends. Most of the story is told via voiceover which ends up being very effective.

“MLK/FBI” is playing at a theater near you starting January 15, 2021. It is also available on demand.

Are you going to watch “MLK/FBI”? Did you know that the FBI closely monitored Dr. King?