Black History Month: Meeting Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.


In Chicago in 1964, a young man named Mel Jackson attended a small group meeting that included a special invited guest. That guest was Doctor Martin Luther King Junior. David Williams tells us how that encounter changed Jackson’s life forever.

Reverend Mel Jackson’s first words to Dr. King were memorable.

“I told him I thought he was a wimp. I thought he should be ashamed of himself, leading people to get beat upside the head,” said Rev. Mel Jackson, Marched with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

You see, Jackson was 35 at the time and had recently gotten out of the military. Soon after, Jackson left his home in Dayton, Ohio and traveled the Midwest, organizing his own civil rights demonstrations at factories and business offices.

Jackson says Dr. King told him about something different, fundamentally changing how the nation’s system operates.

“He said, ‘if a man doesn’t have anything to die for, he really is not fit to live.’ Boy, that gripped me. He said I’m willing to die for people I love,” said Jackson. 

Fast Forward to 1968, Memphis, Tennessee. Reverend Jackson marched with Dr. King, demanding racial equality. That’s when Dr. King told Jackson something that completely changed his philisophy. 

That tragedy came true April 4th, 1968, the day Dr. King was assassinated at Memphis’ Lorraine Motel. President LBJ called King Jr. the Apostle of non violence. 

50 years later, Dr. King’s words, Jaskcon says, still resonate hope.

Jackson says through his time with Dr. King, he has learned that love is about being willing to give all you are for the betterment of your fellow man.

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