As President Obama is sworn into office for a second term on Monday, he shares the spotlight with Martin Luther King Jr. as we celebrate the civil rights leader’s birthday January 21. This is a great time to reflect on the history of the United States and the progress made for African Americans in recent years. Join us beginning at 9:30am on Monday, as we spend the day revisiting key moments of the civil rights movement. And don’t forget! At 11:00am Monday, WETA is airing the PBS NewsHour Inauguration 2013: A Special Report.
Read the full article for video previews of each show including a special behind the scenes look at the making of Slavery By Another Name and the WETA Around Town tour of the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial.
American Experience: Roads to Memphis
This is the story of one man’s desire to be forever infamous. James Earl Ray lived a life of crime and was always in and out of prison. After he failed to get adequate attention from his prison escape, Ray plotted and carried out the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Birmingham, Alabama. Through eyewitness accounts, this story is told by people who knew King and officials who helped capture Ray. Investigate the steps leading up to the murder and the manhunt which ensued after.
Watch on WETA TV26 & WETA HD Monday January 21 at 9:30am and 5:30pm.
American Experience: Freedom Riders
From May until November of 1961 a revolution was happening in an unconventional place; public transportation. 600 Americans of diverse races, genders, and ages became Freedom Riders as they deliberately broke Jim Crow Laws traveling on buses and trains in the South. This was life-threatening activism and its participants were often attacked verbally or physically. Their efforts weren’t in vain however, and on September 22, the Interstate Commerce Commission issued its order to end the segregation in bus and rail stations. Follow the story of these heroes on the move and their efforts during the civil rights movement.
Watch on WETA TV26 & WETA HD Monday January 21st at 2:00pm
Slavery by Another Name
Based on the 2009 Pulitzer Prize-winning book by Douglas Blackmon, Slavery by Another Name follows the lives of African Americans from 1865 up until World War II. Even though the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863 is commonly thought to have ended slavery, the struggles of African Americans in the South persisted with new forms of forced labor known as “neoslavery.” This documentary is brought to life with archival footage and interviews with decedents of former slaves and scholars.
Watch on WETA TV26 & WETA HD Monday January 21st at 4:00pm
Learn more about the film and go behind the scenes with this PBS video: The Making of Slavery By Another Name.
Watch the WETA Around Town tour of the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial in Washington, DC.