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The Assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.: Background information when reading Dr. No

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Dr. No

A Novel

by Percival Everett

Dr. No by Percival Everett X
Dr. No by Percival Everett
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  • Paperback:
    Nov 2022, 232 pages


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Book Reviewed by:
Chloe Pfeiffer
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About this Book

The Assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.

This article relates to Dr. No

Photo of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, site of MLK's assassination, with commemorative plaque in foreground and red-and-white wreath visible on the balcony In Percival Everett's novel Dr. No, a character named John Sill vows to become a "Bond villain" after his parents' deaths, which he suspects are connected to the assassination of the civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. When Sill visits James Earl Ray, the man convicted of murdering King, Ray insists that the FBI was behind the assassination, and that the chief of police pulled the trigger—although he does admit to killing Sill's father. In real life, some theorize that Ray was not King's actual killer but a scapegoat for larger forces.

Martin Luther King, Jr. was killed on April 4, 1968. He was standing on the balcony of his motel room in Memphis, Tennessee—where he was visiting to support the sanitation worker strike—when he was shot.

The FBI investigation into the assassination led to James Earl Ray, a white fugitive (he had escaped from prison a year earlier) who was a supporter of segregationist George Wallace. The bullet's trajectory was traced ...

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