A Testament of Hope
Martyrs of Hope

A Testament of Hope

I’m a troubled soul. That was Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s mood in the late 1960s. After more than a decade of making strides against racial injustice, the Southern Baptist minister had hit a wall. His triumphant marches from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, which secured his position as the leader of the civil rights movement, were well in the rear-view mirror. Black Panther leader Eldridge Cleaver and other militants now had the national spotlight on race issues and were leading what they called a militant black revolution. They didn’t mention Rev. King; his nonviolent protests that changed the country suddenly seemed passé in the fire of the Vietnam War and national turmoil. King himself had grown weary. Depressed, he’d gained weight as he anguished over his next steps. But during a visit with Playboy editor and publisher Hugh M. Hefner at the mansion in October 1967, King seemed to at last be emerging from the wilderness. Over the course of several hours, King confided…

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