- King convinced “Uhura” on Star Trek, Nichelle Nichols (who incidentally later went on to work for NASA), to continue on with the role after the first season. Nichols stated he told her not to leave the show because she was not only playing a black person as a main character on TV, but she was also playing a character that didn’t conform to the stereotypical black person of the day, usually portrayed. Rather, Uhura was portrayed as an intelligent member of the crew and an equal to those around her.
This seems to have had the intended effect. Whoopi Goldberg once stated when she first saw the character of Uhura on TV, she said “Momma! There’s a black lady on TV, and she ain’t no maid!” It was partially because of this that Goldberg became a huge Star Trek fan and later pushed so hard to get a character on Star Trek the Next Generation, despite the disbelief of the producers that she’d actually want to be on the show.
2. His “I Have a Dream” speech painted an even bigger target before on his back, not just with certain people in the general public, but with the FBI. This was a memo circulated throughout the FBI offices after the speech:
In the light of King’s powerful demagogic speech yesterday he stands heads and shoulders over all other Negro leaders put together when it comes to influencing great masses of Negros. We must mark him now, if we have not done so before, as the most dangerous Negro of the future in this nation from the standpoint of communism, the Negro, and national security.
The FBI later discovered King was supposedly having numerous affairs and sent him various anonymous letters stating such things as “You are a colossal fraud and an evil, vicious one at that” and threatening to blackmail him. In another anonymous letter supposedly from the FBI, they stated,
The American public, the church organizations that have been helping—Protestants, Catholics and Jews will know you for what you are—an evil beast. So will others who have backed you. You are done. King, there is only one thing left for you to do. You know what it is. You have just 34 days in which to do (this exact number has been selected for a specific reason, it has definite practical significant). You are done. There is but one way out for you. You better take it before your filthy fraudulent self is bared to the nation.
Many of the FBI’s surveillance records, written and audio records, concerning King are currently held in the National Archives, but are sealed from public access until 2027.