Martin Luther King: the Man Behind The Myth


On the Court House Building in downtown Portland, Oregon, is a quotation from Martin Luther King, Jr.’s, Letter from Birmingham Jail, written April 16, 1963, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”  Many of the famous civil rights leader’s statements are immortal.  “I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character,” from March on Washington Speech, August 28, 1963.  We can certainly say a hearty “Amen!” to these inspiring words!

In 1983, Congress decreed that a National Holiday be established in honor of the late civil rights leader.  Nationwide, hundreds of cities have renamed streets, parks, schools, convention centers, and freeways in honor of King. Hundreds more plan to do so. In death, Martin Luther King is much more popular than when he was alive!

Any criticism of King and his legacy is roundly condemned as being racist, bigoted, and narrow-minded, if not altogether Neanderthal.  However, like any human being, Martin Luther King, Jr., must be judged by the content of his character, rather than the color of his skin.  Black, white, purple, or polka dot, it is character that matters.

What type of individual was the late Martin Luther King?  Was he a saint, or a man of questionable character?  Was he dedicated to improving the lot of black people, or was he marching to the beat of a different drum?  What motivated him?  What was his educational background?  Who was behind him?  Who financed him?

What was King’s personal philosophy? Was his personal life exemplary, befitting a preacher of the gospel? Or did King have what J. Edgar Hoover described as “the morals of a tom cat”?  Why were so many of King’s top associates Communist party members? Why did King preach a Marxist/Leninist “social gospel” of salvation by works and political manipulation? 

Des Griffin’s book, Martin Luther King: The Man Behind The Myth, documents details about King’s life and death, as well as his protégé, Jesse Jackson.  Ask for order code E-124, $7.00, from: Emissary Publications, 9205 SE Clackamas Road, Box 1776, Clackamas, OR 97015, telephone: (503) 824-2050.  Additional information, pro and con, can be found on the Internet.  A pro site is, and a con site is