The MLK You Were Taught About is Not Real

Yes. Reread that headline again. The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. you were taught about in school was not real. Oh yes, the man himself existed. He lost his life for the betterment of African Americans. However, the idea of this docile negro fighting for civil rights being loved and revered in his lifetime is not real. It’s a whitewashing of his legacy to present a standard of how African Americans should act when facing racism.

I was once filled with the whitewashed version of Dr. King that is displayed today. Speeches filled with nothing but nonviolent resistance. Quotes such as “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” They made him seem almost saintly, and it turned me off. How can he just give speeches while African Americans were dying for the right to vote? Then, I started to research Dr. King for myself. The more I read and wrote about him the more respect I gained for him. In fact, I was completely wrong. Dr. King wasn’t this nonviolent speech giving passive person I was told.

Dr. King was a menace to an established racial hierarchy.

He was eloquently gritty. He spoke about the racism established in American systems (HINT: It’s still there!). He pulled no punches about the economics of whites accepting blacks. He made people uncomfortable. He was strategically relentless understanding what it was going to take for change to come. He was hated. Talked about. Lied on. Jailed for no reason. Much like we see today within the African American community. After the I Have a Dream speech, J. Edgar Hoover listed Dr. King as the most dangerous man in America, and they HUNTED him. Wiretapping his phone calls. CIA agents following him everywhere he went. All because Dr. King was calculated in organizing a fight for civil rights.

That’s the Dr. King we need to know about.

So, on this #MLKDay, before you share a Facebook quote please think about the person you’re quoting. Think about the racism that still resides within several American systems. Think about what you’ve been taught regarding Martin Luther King, Jr. Odds are what you’ve been told…..?

It’s not real.