Looking down at inscription of "I Have a Dream"
Courtesy: Cuban human rights activist Leonardo Calvo

Legacy of King Speech Featured Worldwide on BBG Networks

Looking down at inscription of "I Have a Dream"
Courtesy: Cuban human rights activist Leonardo Calvo

WASHINGTON – To mark the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s I Have a Dream speech on August 28, the networks of the Broadcasting Board of Governors will provide special programming including live reports from Washington, DC, topical original features on human rights and civil disobedience in the United States and abroad, and interviews with key figures in the U.S. civil rights movement.

“Dr. King’s message of acceptance and his strategies for bringing social and political change have ongoing relevance,” said Dick Lobo, director of the International Broadcasting Bureau. “The BBG is uniquely poised to bring coverage of — and context to — this seminal moment to people worldwide who face human rights struggles and political violence in their countries.”

Coverage highlights include:

Voice of America will air a 30-minute television program looking at the civil rights movement through the eyes of those who took part in the 1963 March on Washington. Narrated by U.S. Representative John Lewis (D-GA), a prominent participant in the movement, The King Legacy, Marching Forward includes interviews with Congressional Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, Ambassador Andrew Young and Reverend Jesse Jackson and will be broadcast around the world on the anniversary of the speech. Online, VOA will feature interview highlights and a series of in-depth video reports focusing on the tactics of non-violent protests and the men and women who fought to end segregation in the United States.

In addition, VOA will broadcast a special two-hour TV and radio simulcast edition of Straight Talk Africa, featuring host Shaka Ssali and his guests discussing the significance of the 1963 March and how it has impacted human rights in Africa and around the world.

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) is marking the speech anniversary by asking rights activists throughout its broadcast region about their dreams for the future of their countries. RFE/RL is featuring a photo gallery of classic images from the U.S. civil rights movement, excerpts from Dr. King’s speech, and VOA interviews with veteran U.S. activists about the March on Washington and the continued relevance of the civil rights movement today.

For audiences in the Middle East, Alhurra TV and Radio Sawa will provide comprehensive coverage in Arabic, including live translation of key events in Washington, and will also use the occasion to discuss protest movements in the region. Alhurra‘s Eye on Democracy will focus on nonviolent civil disobedience and how it was used to affect change in the United States. Almajalla (Magazine) will host a discussion of whether people across the globe, especially in the Arab world, are, or are not, living up to Dr. King’s ideals.

Rev. Jesse Jackson will appear on Alhurra’s Al Youm (Today) to discuss Dr. King’s teachings, his legacy and the impact he had on the world. Radio Sawa has covered the lead up to the August 28 celebrations, and will dedicate an episode of Sawa Magazine to Dr. King’s lasting impact.

The Martís will use the occasion to examine race relations in Cuba. Throughout the day on August 28 Radio and TV Martí, as well as martinoticias.com, will follow human rights activist and member of the Committee for Racial Integration, Leonardo Calvo, who recently returned from the United States and who will participate in commemorative celebrations at the U.S. Interest Section in Havana.

TV Martí will air a special report featuring interviews with Calvo and other AfroCuban activists on the island; Radio Martí programming will examine Cuba’s racial divide and the role of AfroCubans in the nation’s growing peaceful opposition; and online the Martís will feature a series of stories and a photo gallery about the current state of race relations in Cuba.