Martin Luther King, Jr. Tribute

Martin Luther King, Jr. Tribute (1993)
Duration: 00:29:07

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Themes: Education and Families | Leadership | Urban Challenges |

Guests: Coretta Scott King, Young people from Detroit and across the country
Host : Cliff Russell
Producer : Carlota Almaza

Summary: This program, produced to mark the Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday in January 1993, is an intriguing exploration of the continuing legacy of King and his principles of nonviolence.

Host Cliff Russell first introduces and narrates a segment that describes a special program in July of 1992 when more than 300 young people from Detroit had traveled to The King Center in Atlanta. The purpose of the program was to introduce the young people to a system of nonviolent action that they could take back to their own communities and neighborhoods. The segment shows the workshops in action and includes brief comments from the participants about their reaction to what they have learned and how it applies to their lives.

The majority of the program is devoted to an extended interview with Coretta Scott King. She discusses the principles behind Martin Luther King's "beloved community," and how the King Center tries to promote those principles. The interviewer's questions have been edited out, giving the effect of an informal talk by Coretta King on the state of the Civil Rights Movement in the 1990s.

She discusses how the movement has extended beyond simple issues of white and black to embrace the multicultural nature of American society. "It's not just about ourselves," King states. "It's not just about we poor blacks and what's been done to us. We've got to understand what's been done to other people too. Not that we give up on our struggle . . . but at the same time, let's find common ground with others and then we can force the system to act on the problem."

The biggest contribution that the principles of Martin Luther King can make today, King says, is helping America examine and redefine its values. "We can't change the situation as it is today unless, it seems to me, there's a revolution of values," she argues. "If your values are not right, your priorities are going to be mixed up."

This program provides an interesting example of how Dr. King's ideas and principles were being used to teach young people about dealing with conflict in hopes of reducing urban violence. It also shows, very clearly, the thinking of Coretta King as she sought to continue the struggle for justice to which her late husband had given his life.

Related Production Materials held at MSU Libraries, Special Collections:
Box 7, File 9, Martin Luther King Jr. Tribute – January 18, 1993 – Show # 2412
Box 18, File 12, Coretta Scott King