After Samuel L. Jackson posted his video this weekend urging his fellow celebrities to speak out against police violence, I was bopping around on the Internet and ended up rediscovering a fascinating bit of trivia on Jackson: He once held Martin Luther King, Sr. hostage.
Ironically, it was also part of a protest, which demonstrates how long Sam Jackson has been actively advocating for the rights of African Americans. The Internet doesn’t provide too many details, but the gist of it (from Thespiannet.com) is this:
Jackson attended Morehouse College in Atlanta, and in 1969 he was briefly suspended for taking several members of the college’s board of trustees, including Martin Luther King, Sr., hostage during a sit-in to protest the absence of black trustees and a black studies curriculum.
The gambit ultimately worked. Though Jackson was charged with and eventually convicted of unlawful confinement, the college board of trustee did agree to change its policies. Jackson also returned after his suspension from Morehouse and graduated in 1974.
There was some additional irony to the fact that Martin Luther King, Sr. was among those who Samuel Jackson helped to take hostage because, just the year before, Jackson had served as an usher at the funeral of Martin Luther King, Jr.
In related news, Samuel Jackson may be older than you thought he was, but he looks damn good for 65.