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The Times-Delphic

The Student News Site of Drake University

The Times-Delphic

Drake alum acts in National Geographic Series

Drake Alum Freddie Fulton plays Malcolm X’s brother, Reginald Little, in series “Genius: MLK/X.” It came out in early February. Headshot courtesy of Freddie Fulton

Born in Little Rock, Arkansas, Drake University alum Freddie Fulton’s migration to a small city called Des Moines opened up doors of endless possibilities. 

Fulton recently starred in National Geographic’s series titled “Genius: MLK/X,” a biographical anthology drama series about the early lives of civil rights leaders Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcom X. Fulton plays Reginald Little, Malcolm X’s younger brother. 

This eight-episode series aired on Feb. 2, 2024, starting off Black History Month. 

While Fulton first got into acting in high school, he initially wasn’t sure if he would pursue acting as a career.

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“The entire staff and acting department at Little Rock Central High School [helped me],” Fulton said. “Without their help, I do not know if I would have had the confidence to choose acting as a career.” 

After graduating from Little Rock Central High School, Fulton spent a year at Arkansas State University before transferring to Drake. 

“[Victoria Van-Pelt], a friend of mine had passed away], so I felt that God had led me [to Drake] because I had another Little Rock, Arkansas, native, Ken-Matt Martin, that attended Drake University, and I did not want to leave [Martin] by himself,” Fulton said. 

At Drake, Fulton was a member of the Coalition of Black Students, later becoming president of the organization.

“Des Moines was beautiful, and I’ve come to consider it my second home. It was the first time I had to leave home and be on my own, so I consider it a home away from home,” Fulton said. 

After graduation, Fulton, among others, founded Des Moines-based Pyramid Theatre Company, in 2015. 

“He’s accomplished many things since graduating from Drake in 2013, earned his [master’s in fine arts degree] and has premiered in several shows with Pyramid and across the nation. Pyramid is proud of Freddie and his achievements,” said Alexis Davis, another founding member of Pyramid Theatre Company and its current managing director. 

Pyramid Theatre seeks to highlight Black actors and artists in the Des Moines area. It was named after the ancient pyramids, which were often polished to reflect light up to miles away, according to their website. This serves as a metaphor for attracting audiences. 

I really would like for my art to inspire other artists from the environments I’ve come from, to push their stories as well, so we can inspire all generations through the arts,” Fulton said. 

As time went by, Fulton found himself utilizing his degree and starring in theater plays. He played P-Sam in Long Wharf Theatre’s production of “Paradise Blue,” Brutus in Classic Stage Company’s production of “Julius Caesar” and Bama in Edinburgh Fringe Festival’s production of “Someone Dies at the End,” among other roles. He earned his master’s degree from Columbia University. 

During this time acting and auditioning, Fulton never directly auditioned for his role in “Genius: MLK/X.” 

“I act, I act, I act, and I also am an audition reader,” Fulton said. “I had to rehearse lines with a fellow actor. One day, a friend of mine sent a script to my Instagram, and I read it, then I read it again, this time on a Zoom meeting in front of the directors and production team. They asked me if I wanted to be involved with a project that would be airing on multiple platforms, and the rest was history.” 

Fulton said that community and networking were two of the most important parts of being in Des Moines. 

“Des Moines is part of my story. When we came into the community of Des Moines, we saw ourselves,” Fulton said. 

The series “Genius: MLK/X,”can be streamed on National Geographic, Hulu and Disney+. 

Lily Wasserman contributed to writing.

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