Harry Edwards, Professor Emeritus of University of California in Berkeley and Jim Brown, Hall of Fame running back for the NFL Browns during interview with general press at the Civil Rights Summit at the LBJ Presidential Library. (Photo by Marsha Miller)

NFL great Jim Brown has earned many accolades in the NFL. He was the 1957 NFL Rookie of the Year that became an eight-time Pro Bowler, a three-time NFL MVP, and an NFL champion. He also was a prominent actor, starring in “The Dirty Dozen,” “The Split” and “Any Given Sunday.”

Brown is also an activist, he created the Black Economic Union that helped created urban athletic clubs, black-owned businesses, and youth programs. He also created Amer-I-Can, an initiative that helps prison inmates and gang members.

Like Martin Luther King Jr., Brown worked to help marginalized Black people. However, he did not agree with Dr. King’s approach.

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“His philosophy was passive resistance and I am totally against passive resistance or nonviolence,” Brown said. “All of us should not be violent, but that’s not a movement.”

Despite disagreeing with his approach, Brown admires King’s sincerity and courage. He felt that non-violent resistance was a way to appeal to oppressors.

“People that took care of themselves and dealt with economic development and had high family values and didn’t try to integrate would do a better job of integrating,” Brown said. “But integration can’t be your goal.”

He did not agree with the idea of integrating, but the notion of financial empowerment.

“I thought economic development and a sense cultural power would be a better way to fight,” Brown said. “Capitalism in America was riding high and you need resources.”

King did work with A. Philip Randolph, and Bayard Rustin worked on A Freedom Budget For All Americans which battled against poverty. He also preached a sermon called “The Drum Major Instinct” which explained the importance of budgeting.