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‘The Meeting': Imagining A Moment In History

Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X meet during a Senate Debate on the Civil Rights Act of 1964. (Marion S. Trikosko/ Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, Washington, D.C.)

Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X meet during a Senate Debate on the Civil Rights Act of 1964. (Marion S. Trikosko/ Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, Washington, D.C.)

On a March afternoon in 1964, two major historical figures finally met. The handshake between Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X resulted in an iconic photograph, remembering a peaceful moment shortly before both were assassinated. What would they have said to each other?

That’s exactly what playwright Jeff Stetson wondered.

So he penned a play.

“The Meeting” was written in 1980, and it imagines an extended conversation between King and Malcolm X, a conversation that never happened. In their time, they offered very different approaches to the struggle for civil rights and black empowerment. King, was famous for his non-violent approach, Malcolm X, for his willingness to confront white oppression “with any means necessary.”

“The Meeting” will be staged at the Cambridge Multicultural Arts Center on Friday, Jan. 18.

We speak with Jeff Stetson about the play and why he believes it’s still relevant.

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Hosts Meghna Chakrabarti and Anthony Brooks introduce us to newsmakers, big thinkers and artists and bring us stories of relevance to Bostonians here and around the region. Live every weekday at 3.

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