Black Lives Matter leaders want to 'reclaim' Martin Luther King as a 'radical,' according to a new report. The civil rights icon's history of forceful demonstrations has been suppressed in favor of a more popular image of him utilizing peaceful protests to achieve greater racial equality, the social justice movement said Monday on the national holiday celebrating the historic figure's birthday.

King's commitment to holding government officials accountable for the socio-economic conditions negatively impacting black communities across America defined him as radical for his time, Patrisse Cullors, co-founder of Black Lives Matter, told Fox News in comparing the civil rights leader and her organization. The Fox News report pointed to King attributing racial equality protests in the U.S. to the conditions in inner cities in June 1967.

"He was really focused on poor black people," Cullors, 33, said. "Let's remember the King who was invested in changing the country that he loved so much, who called out elected officials who continued to endanger black people."

"There is a Martin Luther King that is important to the resistance movement that we don't hear about," Abdul Aliy-Muhammad, the founder of the Black and Brown Workers Collective, a social justice group in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, told the Associated Press. "We always hear about love and forgiveness. ... There was also a King who was radical."

The Chicago chapter of the Black Lives Matter movement created a #ReclaimMLK hashtag on Twitter in order to raise awareness about King’s more aggressive demonstration tactics involving civil disobedience, which sometimes conflicted with his image of passive resistance while protesting a segregated America.

Four days after the December 1955 arrest of Rosa Parks in Montgomery, Alabama, for refusing to give up her seat on a public bus to a white person, King led the nonviolent protesting urging blacks to withhold from using the bus system that lasted 381 days and resulted in the U.S. Supreme Court ordering Montgomery to integrate its public transportation system. 

In a speech in 1967, King referred to similar protests against the level of racial inequality in the U.S. as, "Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars."

Black Lives Matter has become synonymous with street protests after grasping the national spotlight over the 2014 police killing of unarmed black teen Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and launching demonstrations in major U.S. cities like, Chicago, Baltimore and Cleveland. More than 258 black Americans were killed by U.S. police officers in 2016, according to a The Guardian report