You might know Tony King for his past as a football player for the Buffalo Bills, or as a movie star in iconic films like “Shaft” or “Gordon’s War”. You might have seen his face touring the world next to Chuck D of the legendary hip hop group Public Enemy, whose security he’s been in charge of for the past 20 years. Political activist and brother in faith of the Nation of Islam who has since changed his name into Malik Farrakhan, his life is a parable spanning the last 40 years of African-American history.
What we are going to tell is a story that goes deeper than the ocean.
In the 1960s, African-Americans faced moments of hardship in the struggle for civil rights alongside figures such as Malcolm X and Muhammad Ali Klai (Cassius Clay).
Tony King (Canton, Ohio. 1947), professional football player who then became a model and actor in New York, experienced these events firsthand.
Between 1965 and 1967, he was one of the first African-American professional football players on the Buffalo Bills team.
Tony and his brother Charlie King were the first African-American siblings to play in the AFL on the same team at the same time. Inspired by Malcolm X’s biography and frustrated by the racial oppression his family endured, he soon decided to leave his hometown in Ohio and move to New York.
In the 70s, he established himself as a model, working with famous photographers worldwide; then as a Blaxploitation actor, starring in over 40 films. He also stood out as the only black actor in Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather (1972). After a spiritual awakening, which led him to the Black activist community, he began working as security for Nation of Islam Minister Louis Farrakhan.
In the 80s, he officially became a member of the Nation of Islam, hence abandoning his “slave name” and becoming Malik Farrakhan.
He now works as head of security for Public Enemy, a legendary Hip Hop group that was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (2013), and as bodyguard for Chuck D, founder and singer of the group.
In 2009, Malik and his brother Charlie King were elected to the prestigious (NFL) Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Check out the website to learn more about Malik and the Film: http://www.thelongroadproject.com/