The Baton Foundation Presents Jonathan Eig Author of King: A Life on October 29th at 3PM
On October 29th, The Baton Foundation will host a virtual conversation with Jonathan Eig, author of the latest biography of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., titled King a Life. This biography reads like a novel but includes information from recently released FBI files and previously unpublished works from Martin Luther King, Sr., and various other leaders of the Civil Rights Movement. Eig is an award-winning author who has made the New York Times Bestseller list with other works, including a biography of Muhammad Ali. His book is in discussion to become a film with Stephen Speilberg and Chris Rock in the mix.
I asked Eig if he thought the declassified information from the FBI would provide enough new insight for a new biography of King. He explained that he didn't think that would be enough but spoke about the archival materials available from various civil rights leaders' papers. He also said he had access to unpublished works from several leaders, including Martin Luther King, Sr., Bernard Lee, and the Reddick Papers.
Eig's work exposes the hesitancy felt by Dr. King with his leadership position. He was a reluctant leader, but he didn't feel he could abandon the role once in position. Eig speaks about King's desire to become a college professor and an interview at an HBCU in New Orleans.
One of the most surprising things for me was the strength of patriarchy in the Civil Rights Movement. He mentions that it was a factor of the times, and the leadership was mostly Southern Baptist preachers. He speaks about Ella Baker being overlooked for leadership opportunities within the movement.
I asked Eig what was most surprising to him, and he spoke about the depression that Dr. King experienced due to the relentless pursuit of the FBI to destroy him. They intentionally set out to drive King to commit suicide. Eig describes the FBI's campaign as personal and vicious.
To Register for The Baton Foundation Virtual Conversation with Jonathan Eig
For more information on Jonathan Eig
For more information on King A Life