The Kneeling Man

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

Free delivery worldwide

Available soon, pre-order now.
When will my order arrive?


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.
show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 304 pages
  • 156 x 234mm
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1787389243
  • 9781787389243

Review quote

'A searing portrait of a man divided between his country and his identity. At once historical and timely, Seletzky gifts us a captivating, charged and wholly nuanced narrative that grips you from the first page and does not let go.' * Margaret Wilkerson Sexton, author of 'A Kind of Freedom' and 'On the Rooftop' *
show more

About Leta McCollough Seletzky

Leta McCollough Seletzky is a National Endowment for the Arts 2022 Creative Writing Fellow. A litigator turned essayist and memoirist, her work appears in 'The Atlantic'; 'The New York Times'; 'TheGrio'; 'O, The Oprah Magazine'; 'The Washington Post'; and elsewhere. She holds a BA from Northwestern University and a JD from the George Washington University Law School. She grew up in Memphis, Tennessee, and now lives in Walnut Creek, California.
show more