Historical dramas often stick to a tried-and-true formula: Important figures face struggles, then they triumph, becoming the great people we know today. We can usually count on a scene from their conflicted childhood, scenes showing their romantic troubles, any issues with drugs or alcohol, and how they persevered through it all to deliver whatever divine message or artistic gift they possessed.
Ava DuVernay’s new Martin Luther King Jr. biopic, Selma, avoids this formula—much to its benefit.
Today is not just any Wednesday—it's the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr's "I Have a Dream" speech. All of today's links are about the impact of the speech and the civil rights issues we still face today.
• What problems still limit equality in our country? This piece sums it up: "It's about systematically cutting off certain groups of people from the right to vote, to earn a living wage, to make choices about their own bodies, to recognize and provide for their families." [Advocate]
• The name of the original march was actually the "March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom." We've made progress promoting civil rights, but many of the march's original goals for creating economic equality have been forgotten. [PolicyMic]
As Nadra put so well yesterday, it's likely few Americans actually spent the Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday engaging in civil rights activism or even reflection. And like Nadra, I spent part of the day watching The Oprah Winfrey Show and her retrospective on the program's most memorable discussions on race. So much was discussed during the episode that we thought it deserved more coverage, which hopefully compliments her terrific Race Card series post.