Richard T. Watkins: Samuel L. Jackson: The Right One to Play MLK

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Richard T. Watkins was a sophomore at Morehouse College in 1968.

There could be no better choice than actor Samuel L. Jackson to portray Martin Luther King Jr. in the upcoming Broadway play The Mountaintop. Jackson was a student at King's alma mater, Morehouse College in Atlanta, that fateful April evening in 1968 when the civil rights leader was assassinated. The actor acknowledges that his life and career were profoundly affected by that event.

It will be Jackson's Broadway debut, in a role he relishes. The play takes place on April 3, 1968, the night before the civil rights leader was slain. The plot follows King back to the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tenn., after his prophetic "I've Been to the Mountaintop" speech. There he confronts his legacy shortly before death.

A Night to Remember

The evening 45 years ago when the awful news of King's assassination was broadcast is permanently etched in the memories of all of us who attended Morehouse at the time. "I was angry about the assassination but not shocked by it," Jackson, who'd been a budding social activist at the time, later told Parade magazine....

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