CET and ThinkTV to Air "Black America Since MLK" on November 15 & 22
From Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to President Barack Obama and James Brown’s “I’m Black and I’m Proud” to Beyonce’s “Formation,” the last 50 years of African American history has been remarkable – but there are still many obstacles.
CET and ThinkTV16 are airing a new four-part, two-night series – Black America since MLK – at 8pm Tuesday, November 15, and Tuesday, November 22. The series is hosted, executive produced and written by Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates.
Black America Since MLK begins in 1965 in the wake of Malcolm X’s assassination and the passage of the Voting Rights Act – which was followed five days later by an incendiary explosion of black rage: the Watts riots. It moves on to explore the burgeoning Black Power movement which took much of America (including many old-school black leaders) by surprise, telling stories of Stokely Carmichael, the Black Panthers and cultural icons like James Brown alongside an exploration of the cultural trends that expressed black pride – from Afros and dashikis to “Soul Train.”
The series continues, charting a wave of new opportunities and new consciousness that would lift African Americans to new heights – in Ivy League schools, major corporations, the Supreme Court and even the White House.
“Over the past 50 years, following the remarkable strides made during the civil rights movement of Dr. King, African Americans have achieved a level of cultural, political and economic influence that those early civil rights leaders could hardly have dreamed of. At the same time, poverty remains a stubbornly persistent way of life for far too many African Americans, incarceration rates in our community are at an-all time high and people are crying out to have their basic human dignity recognized, leading some to wonder if things really have changed. This series looks at the rich history of how we arrived where we are today, through all the highs and lows, and poses provocative questions about how we keep up a momentum of progress,” Gates said in a press release.
While portraying these unprecedented victories, Gates also questions why another swath of African Americans have been left behind – as the country’s class divide has deepened over the last 50 years. This has caused the most vulnerable to suffer in ways that Dr. King and his peers in the civil rights movement would never have thought possible.
Black America Since MLK also features interviews with Oprah Winfrey, Nas, Ava DuVernay, Jesse Jackson, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, Donna Brazile, Robert L. Johnson, Former Attorney General Eric Holder, Shonda Rhimes and many more. Each individual provides compelling reflections upon key events that have occurred in the last 50 years, creating a personal, yet idiosyncratic, tone to the series.
In essence, Black America Since MLK chronicles the extraordinary changes that have marked our nation through the eyes of members of the black community who represent its great diversity.
Learn more and watch a preview here at either http://www.thinktv.org/air/featured-programs/black-america-mlk-and-still-i-rise/ or http://www.cetconnect.org/featured-programs/black-america-mlk-and-still-i-rise/.