via press release:
SMITHSONIAN CHANNEL™ TRIBUTE TO
BLACK HISTORY MONTH FEATURES PREMIERE OF MLK: THE ASSASSINATION TAPES
ON SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 12 at 9 PM ET/PT
Encore Presentations of “Seizing Justice: The Greensboro 4” and “Black Wings” Among Other
Black History Month Offerings
New York, January 25, 2012 – Smithsonian Channel celebrates Black History Month in February with a programming slate that is anchored by the premiere of MLK: THE ASSASSINATION TAPES, on Sunday, February 12 at 9 p.m. ET/PT. The story of the last days of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is told through rare television and radio news accounts, much of which has not been seen or heard since 1968. Other primetime highlights include encore airings of SEIZING JUSTICE: THE GREENSBORO 4 and BLACK WINGS.
MLK: THE ASSASSINATION TAPES is a chilling, immersive experience, created almost entirely through the use of television and radio news footage from the weeks leading up to Dr. King’s visits to Memphis through the aftermath of his murder. The one-hour special draws extensively from the unique materials at the Special Collections Division at The University of Memphis.
When Memphis’ mostly black sanitation workers went on strike on February 11, 1968, several University faculty members, believing this was a seminal moment in the civil rights movement, began collecting every piece of media they could find – television, radio and print. When Dr. King arrived in town to lend his voice to their cause, the team from the University was already gathering material in full-force. The process continued throughout both of Dr. King’s visits – and after his killing. Much of the footage has not been seen by the public since it was first gathered in 1968…until now.
MLK: THE ASSASSINATION TAPES can be accessed for free on multiple platforms beginning February 12 including SmithsonianChannel.com (http://www.smithsonianchannel.com/mlk) as well as on Smithsonian Channel’s iPhone®, Android™ and Nook™ apps.
SEIZING JUSTICE: THE GREENSBORO 4 – Saturday, February 4 at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT and Thursday, February 9 at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT: What transpired at the Woolworth’s lunch counter in Greensboro, North Carolina on February 1, 1960 sent shockwaves across America. SEIZING JUSTICE: THE GREENSBORO 4 tells the story of four college freshman who led a nonviolent sit-in and taught a country that it was finally time to serve everyone. Their simple request for coffee at America’s favorite five-and-dime store sparked a series of events that would help put an end to the Jim Crow laws of the South. This one-hour program details the extraordinary story of four otherwise ordinary young men – Franklin McCain, Joseph McNeil, David Richmond and Ezell Blair, Jr. – African-American college students, whose nonviolent sit-in helped launch a revolution.
BLACK WINGS – Saturday, February 11 at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT and Thursday, February 16 at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT: For early aviators, conquering the forces of gravity was a daunting challenge. But black aviators had an additional challenge – the forces of racism. BLACK WINGS celebrates the stories of those black aviators who broke the color barrier and proved that the dream to fly transcends all boundaries. The one-hour special introduces an amazing range of black pioneers, pilots who flew everything from biplanes to commercial jets, from barnstormers to war fighters and opened the skies to all.
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Smithsonian Channel is owned by Smithsonian Networks™, a joint venture between Showtime Networks Inc. and the Smithsonian Institution. Its programs are largely inspired by the assets of the world’s largest museum complex. Smithsonian Channel features award-winning original documentaries, series, and groundbreaking programs highlighting America’s historical, cultural and scientific heritage. Smithsonian Channel brings the American experience home in high definition and Dolby Digital 5.1 and is available to customers of DirecTV, Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Charter Communications, Cablevision, Verizon, AT&T, and more. Learn more at www.smithsonianchannel.com.