SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Two brothers met up to reminisce on the fond memories they had growing up in the Civil Rights Era Wednesday. They remembered their times with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. decades after he visited Shreveport.
C.E. and Asriel McLain were young children when they met Dr. Martin Luther King. He stopped through Shreveport back in 1958 to speak at Old Galilee Missionary Baptist Church.
“My dad said ‘I don’t march, cause if somebody puts their hands on me Martin, there’ll be at least six funerals. So King said, ‘Well Mack, you stay here and pray for us,'” said the oldest McLain brother, C.E.
Dr. King was originally shunned from the other churches in the city out of fear of white retaliation. Even a few deacons at Old Galilee tried to convince the McLains’ father not to host Dr. King.
“They said ‘They’ll burn our church down.’ He told them, ‘Well, we’ll build another one. You had to have backbone. Spine. Courage. Cause those were dangerous times.”
The youngest McLain brother, Asriel recalls just how racist the era was.
“I remember going to an office building with my cousin growing up. It was so hot, and we asked just for a glass.. A swallow of water. The man ran us out there with dogs,” he said.
They’re proud of the fearless legacy their father had. They believe that revolutions aren’t brought forth by the masses. They’re brought forth by just a handful of people brave enough to make a change.