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MLK: The Real Man Behind the Dream

October 6, 2010

Thus far, I have found Martin Luther King Jr. to be the most interesting writer.  There are a countless number of articles and books about MLK, most of which contain the same message.  Most media gives the King we all know and love, the saint and martyr for the common good.  To really understand King and his philosophies we must delve deeper into his life outside of the speeches and peaceful marches.  So I’m going to play devil’s advocate and tell everyone about the real man behind the dream.

To many peoples surprise King’s secret life started at a young age, Dr. King was not born as Martin but Michael a name which he never legally changed.  King, being the genius he was, attended college at the age of 15.  He went on to earn his doctorate at Boston University, and the rest is history. Not so fast, after his death people began to look back at King’s work, people quickly came to realize it’s harder to find something that is original than plagiarized.  King’s thesis for his Ph.D at Boston was reanalyzed, and it was proven that over 50 sentences of his work were taken directly from another source with no credit given. His first sermon was stolen, the list goes on and on. Last but certainly not least, King’s most famous speech “I have a Dream” was stolen! Yes you read it right… stolen.  Archibald Carey gave a similar speech 11 years before King did.  The main phrase is Archibald’s speech just happened to be “Let freedom ring!”, this was no coincidence.

Martin Luther was a leading member of SCLC, a group that was investigated by the FBI and was deemed a communist front.  This caused King to be under constant watch by the FBI for the last several years of his life.  One of King’s best friends, Reverend Ralph Abernathy, later wrote that  Martin had a “weakness for women”, many of which would leaves King’s room beaten with money coming directly from King’s church.  This comes to a complete shock to most Americans who know King as a family man who was married with four children.

One may begin to wonder, how could King just slip through the cracks his whole life? The answer is simple, King was quite possibly the greatest orator in American history, and you would be hard pressed to find anyone that would say a negative word about such a ‘great man’.  King took the peaceful approach to his cause while others such as the Black Panthers and Malcolm X stole all of the negative media with their radical and often times violent views.  King was liked by all from a young age, and his legacy will never be tarnished.  King is the only person in American history to have his own holiday, not to mention 700 streets and 125 schools named in his honor.  The American media has never tried to attack King even after all of the ‘dirt’ came out in other countries, the stories are safely burrowed in American soil for the rest of history.  The video attached is from the night of King’s death and gives a perfect insight to how America perceived Dr. King.  This essay has not discredited the wonderful things Dr. King did as a revolutionary, it is a direct attack on the skeletons in the closet of Dr. Michael Luther King Jr.


Plagiarism and the Culture War: The Writings of Martin Luther King Jr. and Other Prominent Americans, Gavan Tredoux,

King’s Plagiarism: Imitation, Insecurity and Transformation, The Journal of American History, June 1991, p. 87) David J. Garrow,

New York Times of October 11, 1991, page 15.

The FBI and Martin Luther King, Jr., David J. Garrow, (1981).,
And the walls came tumbling down, Rev. Ralph Abernathy (1989),
  1. kathbail permalink
    October 7, 2010 10:26 AM

    I enjoyed reading this post because I not only find it beneficial to know many views of subjects of study, but I also had never heard any of the negative finding about MLK (as expected). Immediately after reading this post, I took the attached poll. And guess what? I still think of MLK as an American hero. You might think that my views would be skewed negatively immediately after reading such shocking truths about MLK, but I couldn’t put them ahead of the MLK that I’ve learned about since 1st grade. MLK did more good than bad- at least he did more good than bad for our country. What he did behind closed doors, what he did in his doctorate thesis- those are all bad, but they’re not what he’s known and respected for in our country. He’s loved for all the achievements you skimmed in the last paragraph of your post, he’s loved for his public speaking skills, and he’s loved for his compassion for his cause. Whether or not he had a “love for women”, MLK’s image will not be tainted in my mind. In a post I wrote earlier I wrote about the corruption of politics, and I think this is just another example about how not everyone is completely innocent or uncorrupt. I’m sure many other adored public figures have skeletons in their closet, but so long as those skeletons do not have an impact on their achievements for the American public, we let those skeletons remain in the dark, dusty, untouched closets.

  2. Andrew Babat permalink
    October 9, 2010 9:30 PM

    This is an interesting point the King was able to “slip through the cracks his whole life.” Everybody admires the way he went about himself. He made people aware of injustices through peaceful actions. Regardless to the fact that MLK was a member of the SCLC, people have so much respect for him that they will forget that and remember him for all the good things he did for African Americans. He will always be remembered for his non-violent direct action to put an end to injustices.

  3. thacarter4 permalink
    October 9, 2010 11:06 PM

    Even if everything in this blog is true, how much should it matter? We don’t revere MLK for being perfect, we respect the things he said and the lessons he taught. Whether or not he was a wonderful person to be around, his teaching still rings true. These revelations are disturbing but do not change the substance of anything King said, nor do they in any way lessen the goals he was fighting for.

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