The Kneeling Man

My Father's Life as a Black Spy Who Witnessed the Assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.

April 2023 9781787389243 304 pp
Forthcoming
EU customers purchase here

Description

In the famous photograph of Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination, one man kneels beside him, trying to staunch the blood. He was an undercover Memphis police officer who had infiltrated the Invaders, a potentially violent Black activist group then in talks with King. This spy, the kneeling man, was Leta McCollough Seletzky’s father.

Marrell ‘Mac’ McCollough was a Black man working secretly with the white power structure. This was so far from Leta’s own understanding of what it meant to be Black in America that she decided to learn what she could about her father’s life–his motivations, his career with the police and the CIA, and the truth behind accusations that he was involved in King’s murder. What would Leta uncover, and did she want to know? How might Mac’s story change her own feelings about her place in Trump’s America?

The Kneeling Man is a compelling personal and political tale of alienation and ambivalence; struggle, self-definition and compromised choices. Set vividly in the sharecropper South, on the streets of Memphis and in the halls of power, the twists and turns of this one man’s life tell the story of twentieth-century Black America.

Author(s)

Leta McCollough Seletzky is a National Endowment for the Arts 2022 Creative Writing Fellow. A litigator turned essayist and memoirist, she has written for The Atlantic; The New York Times; O, The Oprah Magazine; and The Washington Post. She grew up in Memphis, Tennessee, and lives in Walnut Creek, California.

Request an academic inspection copy Request a press review copy
Inspection Copy Request
Review Copy Request
Join our mailing list

Subscribers receive exclusive discounts and early access to new books from Hurst.