Samuel L. Jackson Was Reportedly Expelled From Morehouse College For Holding Martin Luther King Sr. & Other Board Members Hostage In Protest

Samuel L. Jackson Was Reportedly Expelled From Morehouse College For Holding Martin Luther King Sr. & Other Board Members Hostage In Protest

A rare fact about veteran actor Samuel L. Jackson has just surfaced from his time in college.  The actor was allegedly expelled from historically black college Morehouse in 1969 for reportedly locking board members in a building for two days protesting Morehouse’s curriculum and governance.

Of the board members held hostage was Martin Luther King Jr.’s father, Martin Luther King Sr.

The award-winning actor enrolled in the HBCU in Atlanta in 1966. Morehouse is also the alma mater for civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.  After Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in 1968, his body was allegedly brought to Atlanta to lay in Spelman College, the historically black college for women adjacent to Morehouse. Samuel L. Jackson attended MLK Jr.’s funeral as an usher, then flew to Memphis to be apart of an equal rights protest.  Samuel L. Jackson once said that he was “angry” but “not shocked” by Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination. He added:

“I knew that change was going to take something different – not sit-ins, not peaceful coexistence.” 

In 1969, Jackson and a group of Morehouse activists decided to hold the college’s board of trustees hostage.  The group demanded changes at the school and requested for more Black people to be on the school’s governing board. Although Morehouse agreed to the changes, Jackson was expelled for the protest.

Samuel L. Jackson

Jackson said the following summer he felt like he had a voice and him and his progressive group wanted to spark change.

“I was in that radical faction.  We were buying guns, getting ready for armed struggle. All of a sudden, I felt I had a voice. I was somebody. I could make a difference.”

But he says that his mother was afraid for his life and told him to go to Los Angeles.

“But then one day 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.’”

In January of 1971, Jackson returned to Morehouse as a drama major and put all of his rage into acting.

“I decided that theater would now be my politics. It could engage people and affect the way they think. It might even change some minds.”

While at Morehouse he met his current wife, actress LaTanya Richardson, who was a drama major at Spelman.  The couple got married in 1980 and have been married ever since.  They have one child Zoe Jackson, 38.

Samuel L. Jackson & wife LaTanya Richardson

What are your thoughts on Samuel Jackson holding Morehouse board members hostage? Let us know in the comments!

Authored by: Demi Lobo