Latest News on the MLK Jr. Pool Table

Restoring MLK Jr.’s Pool Table

Restoring Martin Luther King by Jr.’s Pool Table was no game.
From 1948 - 1951, while a student at Crozer Seminary School, MLK Jr. played billiards on a pool table which was located on campus called the Main.
In 1971, when Crozer closed its doors, Crozer gave the pool table to Rev. Dr. T. Weeden - who had been a professor at Crozer. In 2021, Rev. Dr. Weeden and his family generously donated the pool table to civil rights attorney Van White. The process of restoration began with moving the pool table out of Rev. Dr. Weeden’s basement and loading it into a U Haul truck.
While Rev. Dr. Weeden was an excellent caretaker of this priceless historic gem, the 50 + years that had passed since it was moved from Crozer to Rochester, NY had taken its toll on this unique one of a kind piece of history. So the decision was made to take it apart and have an expert craftsman take a look at it. Accordingly, the pool table was broken down and put in the back of attorney White’s mini van and taken to nationally renown billiard experts - Bank Shot from Albany, NY
As part of Bank Shots restoration efforts, the bumpers were restored and new leather pockets replaced the existing pockets which, overtime, had become bitter and frail.
Even though the King/Crozer pool table is nearly a century old, the foundation of the pool table was, remarkably, strong and in great condition. But just to be certain that this continues to be the case for the next 100 years, the tiger oak legs and frame were reinforced with steel braces prior to replacing the slate and putting the new felt on top of the table.

As you can see from this video, getting the base of the King/Crozer pool table into the CFSCHRL was not easy. But because the movers “kept pushin’ (and lifting and pulling), the movers got it, safely, up a full flight of stairs.

After getting it to its second floor home, the next step also required an experienced hand.  Getting the new felt to lay smoothly over the slate was not a DIY project. Again, we had to call upon the experts.  This time it was Watkack’s Billiard Service.  We think they did an excellent job!!
After the experts at Watlack’s finished their work, just a few finishing touches remained - including removing an old ceiling lamp and hanging a custom made billiard lamp. Removing the old hanging lamp was definitely a DIY project.
The new lamp, which hangs above MLK Jr.’s pool table, has the police mug shot images of four of the major leaders (MLK Jr., Mary Jo Robinson, John Lewis, and Fred Gray) who got arrested in various civil rights protests – including the Montgomery bus boycott.


Other News Stories on the History of MLK Jr.’s Pool Table, it’s Restoration, and It’s Unveiling.