*Actor Samuel L. Jackson has played some rough-guy movie type roles in his long career in Hollywood. Yet, it was learned in real life, Jackson, once held the father of a civil rights icon hostage.
It all happened when Jackson attended Morehouse College in 1969. There was a two-day protest on campus, and Jackson, along with a group of fellow student protesters, held Morehouse board members as hostages for 48 hours. One of the hostages was Martin Luther King, Sr., father of civil rights legend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Jackson, who was heavily influenced by Black Power pioneers Stokely Carmichael and H. Rap Brown, joined with other protesters, to demand changes to the curriculums at Morehouse, and more Blacks be put on the governing board of Morehouse. The college gave in, but not before Jackson was expelled.
“I was in that radical faction,” Jackson told Parade magazine. “We were buying guns, getting ready for armed struggle. ‘All of a sudden,’ he said proudly, ‘I felt I had a voice. I was somebody. I could make a difference. ‘But then one day,’ he added quietly, ‘my mom showed up and put me on a plane to L.A. She said, ‘Do not come back to Atlanta.’ The FBI had been to the house and told her that if I didn’t get out of Atlanta, there was a good possibility I’d be dead within a year. She freaked out.’”
Jackson stayed in L.A. for two years working in social services. He applied to Morehouse, hoping to have a second chance. He returned to the college in January of 1971, where he majored in drama. After graduating from Morehouse, Jackson became an actor. He is now the highest all-time box office star in the history of Hollywood, with more than $4.572 billion total box office gross.