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Day: January 20, 2014

January 20 (Martin Luther King, Jr. Day): PBS American Experience ~ Citizen King

Citizen King is a two-hour biography of the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. produced by WGBH for the PBS series American Experience in honor of Dr. King’s 75th birthday. The original movie aired January 19, 2004. Clicking the link above will bring you to the web page devoted to the movie, including a timeline, teaching materials and more.

The fact is, Citizen King centers around Dr. King, and on what he achieved in just 39 short years. I think it’s a good but incomplete picture. Before you watch the movie, though, I strongly suggest reading this Blog entry from the Daily Kos.

My birth year, 1963, was a turning point in the Civil Rights movement. I grew up in Rochester, NY and had little experience with the southern states until I moved to Maryland in 1986, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have experience with racism. The question is the degree.

I have tried to honor Dr. King’s messages and am glad to have a platform for sharing these important words, so that those who might learn more can remember that we are not done with the search for justice and equality for everyone, but need to work every day to achieve Dr. King’s goal:

We are not so far removed from those days in the 1960s. Not all of us are ready to join hands, though we are much closer than we were.

… when we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual:
Free at last! Free at last!
Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!

I believe we aren’t done with the work and we aren’t all free. Not yet.

On this rare occasion, I’m providing a link to the entire YouTube playlist, so you can watch all 13 parts in sequence if you wish. Each part is roughly nine minutes long. Click the link below to go straight to YouTube to watch.

Citizen King (Parts 1-13) on YouTube on History Monday.

Or you can watch each segment here, on WordPress:

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