The Real Meeting, Martin Luther King and the Honorable Elijah Muhammad meet in Chicago in February, 1968
Rarely discussed by the co-opters of Dr. Martin Luther King’s legacy, from 1966 until his assassination, Martin Luther King, Jr. had a relationship with fellow Georgian, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad (who was born Elijah Poole in Sandersville, Georgia). Archival records suggest contact was made as early as 1958.
Dr. King was considered a pariah by most of his fellow ministers, who couldn’t withstand the pressure King received after his stance against the Vietnam War. On July 6, 1966, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad wrote Dr. King a letter calling for “walking toward one goal; freedom justice and equality from the common enemy—Let us realize that in unity there is strength.”
On the eve of his assassination, Martin Luther King was one of the most unpopular leaders in America primarily because of his anti-war stance. A fact conveniently overlooked by those who have co-opted Dr. King’s legacy. In consideration of the public pressure on Dr. King, Elijah Muhammad added, “The meeting nor place need not be public.” The letter is preserved in the archives of the King Center in Atlanta, Georgia.
Held on a Saturday in February of 1968, Martin Luther King visited with the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, for over 5 hours. Some reports suggest 6 hours. Major networks and reporters remained outside. When asked “What did you and Elijah talk about?” Dr. King said, “We agreed that we wouldn’t say to anyone what we talked about.”