Hampton Sides likes to say he was born to tell the story of Martin Luther King Jr. and his assassin, James Earl Ray. He was 6 when his hometown snapped. Hampton’s father worked for the Memphis law firm that represented King when the civil rights leader led protesters down Beale Street in support of the city’s striking sanitation workers, most of them black. As King’s march grew violent, riots broke out. Tanks and troops moved in to quell the roiling racial tension.