This weekend, we celebrate the life of a man credited with so many triumphs and strides made during the Civil Rights Movement.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. dedicated his life to fighting the racial disparities and injustices of the United States.
While he faced opposition from every angle—ranging from the federal government to other Blacks who felt he was causing more harm than good—ultimately Dr. King’s work left such an impression on history a day was named as a federal holiday in his honor by President Ronald Reagan in 1983, and began being nationally observed from 1986.
To learn more about Dr. King’s and his work, check out these films painting the picture of the man behind the holiday.
The 2014 drama by famed director Ava DuVernay brought perspective to the 1965 marches to Selma in regards to the voting rights movement. The film scored critical acclaim for actor David Oyelowo as MLK and the song “Glory” from the soundtrack won a Golden Globe, though the film was snubbed at the 2015 Oscars.
This television film stars Jeffrey Wright as the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The film is based on the book Daybreak of Freedom by Stewart Burns and tells the story of the Montgomery Bus Boycotts.
The Witness: From the Balcony of Room 306
A documentary short film released in 2008, The Witness: From the Balcony of Room 306 commemorated the 40th annual remembrance of MLK. The film was nominated for an Academy Award in 2008. It highlights the events of that fateful day when Martin was shot outside of Room 306 at the Lorraine Hotel in Memphis.
Selma Lord Selma
A 1999 film based on the events of March 1965 known as Bloody Sunday in Selma, Alabama. The story is told through the eyes of 11-year-old Sheyann Webb, played by Jurnee Smollett, with Clifton Powell as MLK.
Our Friend, Martin
This is an animated film about Martin Luther King, Jr. and the civil rights movement. Two best friends travel through time and meet MLK at different points during his life. It features an all-star voice cast including John Travolta and was nominated for an Emmy award.