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Black History Month: Celebrating the Civil Rights Movement at the Museum of Television & Radio

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Los Angeles, CA and New York, NY—The Museum of Television & Radio celebrates Black History Month with The Civil Rights Movement on Television: Images from the Collection of The Museum of Television & Radio, a Museum-produced program highlighting many significant events during the African-American struggle for equal rights in post-World War II America. Incorporating live coverage and documentary interpretation from the Museum's collection, the compilation examines such critical issues as desegregation, the student movement, voter registration, and urban unrest, and follows movement leaders and ordinary individuals who, though their courage and action, made extraordinary changes in America. The 90-minute screening of The Civil Rights Movement on Television: Images from the Collection of The Museum of Television & Radio will be presented every day at 3:00 p.m. starting on February 1 in New York and on February 2 in Los Angeles. 

Recommended Additional Selections from The MT&R Collection

Available for Console Viewing

We All Have Tales: Koi and the Kola Nuts

Whoopi Goldberg tells this African folktale in which Koi, the son of a chief, inherits only a single kola tree when his father dies. Offended at his small inheritance, he sets off into the jungle, looking for a village where people know how to treat the son of a chief. Music composed and produced by Herbie Hancock. Recommended for younger viewers. (1991; 25 minutes) 

The Wonderful World of Disney: Selma, Lord, Selma

Based on a true story by Sheyann Webb and Rachel West, two of the youngest recruits in the civil rights movement, this fictional account tells the story of how the two young schoolgirls were inspired by the leadership of Martin Luther King, Jr. Along with a young white seminary student from the North, Webb and West join their community in the historic march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama. Recommended for younger viewers. (1999; 90 minutes) 

Art Blakey: The Jazz Messenger

Art Blakey took pride in the fact that jazz was the only art created in America and that it originated in black culture. This British documentary highlights Blakey's continuing efforts to spread his love of jazz to listeners around the globe, particularly to young black artists, through his band the Jazz Messengers. Musicians Dizzy Gillespie, Wayne Shorter, Bobby Watson, Benny Golson, and Wynton Marsalis, among many others, talk about Blakey's influence. Blakey himself is seen playing and talking about jazz. (1987; 80 minutes) 

The American Experience: Malcolm X: Make It Plain

This documentary, by filmmaker Orlando Bagwell, explores the life of black leader Malcolm X. The film explores Malcolm's childhood, prison years, conversion to Islam, marriage, activism, and his ultimate spilt with the Nation of Islam. Interviews with other black leaders and friends such as Maya Angelou, Alex Haley, Sonia Sanchez, and Gordon Parks, as well as his wife Betty Shabazz, complete the portrait. (1994; 150 minutes) 

Ailey Dances

One of America's most important choreographers, Alvin Ailey revolutionized dance by infusing the formal discipline of classical ballet with the vibrant rhythms and cadences of African-American music and dance traditions. The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater performs the dancesNight CreatureCryThe Lark Ascending, and Revelations, with introductions by former Ailey dancer Judith Jamison. (1983; 90 minutes) 

A Different World: "Mammy Dearest"

In this episode of the critically acclaimed and popular comedy series, produced and directed by Debbie Allen, the students are planning a performance celebrating African-American history and are forced to find a way to deal with some unsettling aspects of that history. (1991; 30 minutes) 

South Central: "Co-op"

In this hard-hitting comedy/drama series, an African-American family struggles with the stark realities of life in South Central Los Angeles. This episode finds Joan Mosley having to put up with her boss's use of questionable tactics to stay in business, while at home, Tasha is having her own difficulties watching the family's foster child. CCH Pounder guest stars. (1994; 25 minutes) 

Hallmark Hall of Fame: The Piano Lesson

This film adaptation of playwright August Wilson's Pulitzer Prize-winning play The Piano Lesson, centers on a family heirloom—a beautifully carved piano heavy with the weight of the family's slave history. Berniece, who is intent on keeping the piano and remembering the history that it holds, is pitted against her brother Boy Willie, who wants to sell it so he can buy a piece of land. Alfre Woodard and Charles Dutton star. (1995; 110 minutes) 

CBS News Special Report: The March on Washington

Roger Mudd reports live from Washington, D.C., on the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. This segment of the coverage includes Martin Luther King, Jr.'s celebrated "I Have a Dream" speech. (1963; 65 minutes) 

CBS Reports: "Who Speaks for Birmingham?"

Broadcast during the tumultuous rise of the civil rights movement, this newscast reported on the divide between the white and black communities of Birmingham, Alabama. Both black and white residents talk about their views of racial integration and how it will affect their lives. Although Howard K. Smith is the on-screen reporter for this program, an uncredited Edward R. Murrow developed the topic and got it approved by CBS management. (1961; 55 minutes)                                                                                                                                                 

The Museum of Television & Radio, with locations in New York and Los Angeles, was founded by William S. Paley to collect and preserve television and radio programs and advertisements and to make them available to the public. Since opening in 1976, the Museum has organized exhibitions, screening and listening series, seminars, and education classes to showcase its preeminent collection of over 100,000 television and radio programs and advertisements. Programs in the Museum's collection are selected for their artistic, cultural, and historic significance.

The Museum of Television & Radio in New York, located at 25 West 52 Street in Manhattan, is open Tuesdays through Sundays from noon to 6:00 p.m. and until 8:00 p.m. on Thursdays. The Museum of Television & Radio in California, located at 465 North Beverly Drive in Beverly Hills, is open Wednesdays through Sundays from noon to 5:00 p.m. Both Museums are closed on New Year's Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Suggested contribution: Members free; $10.00 for adults; $8.00 for senior citizens and students; and $5.00 for children under fourteen. Admission is free in Los Angeles. The public areas in both Museums are accessible to wheelchairs, and assisted listening devices are available. Programs are subject to change. You may call the Museum in New York at (212) 621-6800 or in Los Angeles at (310) 786-1000. Visit the Museum's website at