A film that captures the drama of King’s final year. From his speech at Riverside Church in New York where he came out against the Vietnam War to his dream of leading a Poor People’s March from Mississippi to Washington DC. We place the legacy in the context of the state of race relations in America today. Visiting a homeless shelter in King’s birthplace in Atlanta, the projects in South Central LA – site of the 1964 Watts riots, and finally to the town of Marks Mississippi which became the starting point for King’s final campaign. Civil Rights leaders such as Joseph Lowry, John Lewis and Andrew Young reflect on King’s life but also the far more radical final message that demanded both racial and economic justice.
Behind The Scenes
We traveled across the south meeting people who knew King in that final year. From Atlanta to Philadelphia Mississippi, from Montgomery to the LA county jail. We tried to answer the question posed by Governor Otto Kerner in 1968. Has America become “two societies, separate and unequal?” The documentary was commissioned by the BBC to commemorate the 25th anniversary of King’s death. The success of the film led to BBC’s Director-General Tony Hall to suggest expanding on the idea of examining the tumultuous days of the 1960’s through Sir Charles Wheeler’s own reporting in what would become the series “Wheeler on America”.