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When he was 17 years old, the retired British high court judge turned film maker Nick Stadlen ran away from a New York school and became a busboy in a restaurant. The night he heard that civil rights leader Martin Luther King had been assassinated, it brought into sharp relief two moments seared into his childhood memory: the police turning water cannons and dogs on civil rights protesters in Birmingham, Alabama, and an interview with Father Trevor Huddleston, the Anglican priest who had been involved in the anti-apartheid struggle. Stadlen caught a bus to Memphis and from there hitchhiked to King’s hometown of Atlanta, Georgia. He carried a placard with "Atlanta" written on one side and "Honour Martin Luther King" on the other. A man who gave him a lift for part of the journey opened his glove compartment and pulled out a gun: "This is for any of those …", as Stadlen puts it, "n-word-loving outsiders that I come across." He worried for the rest of their journey which side up he’d l...

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