Thursday, December 25, 2014

Selma offers teaching lessons to today's protests and gives a glimpse into MLK's legacy

          Presenting current historical information to students is tricky. This is especially true when it involves race and does not teach the standards you are supposed to teach in the classroom. What I really like is the movie Selma. Taken from Ava DuVernay and her research into speaking with members of Dr. King's family speaking with US Rep. John Lewis and Andrew Young who are were confidants of King and were there, the movie gives a first hand accounting of what happened in the moment of history that sprung the Civil Rights Act of 1965. This type of movie has become popular. Made as a snippett, it does not look at King's full life but like Spielberg's look at Lincoln, it takes a deep look at one aspect of what made his work so important and can allow viewers a chance to 'incubate' on what they have just seen. In the article below by Jennifer Brett of the AJC, she looks at DuVernay's journey into making the movie and working around paraphrasing everything MLK said as there are still intellectual property disputes among the King children. As for teaching as a social studies teacher, the content is not a part of my curriculum but using primary sources from people who where at Selma deserves a mention to the principal.
CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT  ‘Selma’ a nod to past, present
MLK biopic filmed in metro Atlanta has growing Oscar buzz.
By Jennifer Brett jbrett@ajc.com     
 
The day the Ferguson grand jury’s decision was announced , actor David Oyelowo was in Atlanta to discuss his portrayal of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in “Selma.” In a matter of hours, the St. Louis suburb would be rocked by protests and a spasm of violence that gave way to more peaceful demonstrations around the country, including Atlanta, following the decision not to indict Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown.    “Selma,” filmed largely in metro Atlanta with key scenes shot in the Alabama town made infamous when hundreds of peaceful civil rights marchers bound for Montgomery were attacked by state and local police officers in 1965, opens today in New York, Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles and at two Atlanta theaters, AMC Phipps and Regal Atlantic Station. It will be released nationwide on Jan. 9.   A powerful work already nominated for a best picture Golden Globe and highly expected to pick up an Academy Award nod, it tells the story of the Selma-to-Montgomery march and the movement that ultimately led to the Voting Rights Act of 1965. In addition to Martin and Coretta King, the movie prominently includes characters playing Atlantans such as U.S. Rep. John Lewis, Andrew Young and the late Hosea Williams.    Oyelowo prepared to march in Martin Luther King Jr.’s shoes with prayer. “When I first read the script in 2007 I literally felt God telling me I was going to play this role,” he said. “I wrote it down in my prayer diary. I took a gamble and said, ‘Dear God, I pray that something will come through me that is not of me.’”    Shortly before filming began at locations including the Georgia State Capitol and the Marietta-Cobb Museum of Art, Oyelowo visited the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change and met with the Rev. Bernice King, the center’s CEO and daughter of the civil rights icon.
To read the rest, go to  http://www.ajc.com/     December 25th 2014