MLK Streets – Roads from Dreams to Realities

When the name Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is heard many words come to mind, words like – dreams, freedom, hope, equality and justice. Yet, years after his death, after a national holiday has been proclaimed in his honor, post the unveiling of a monument bearing his likeness on the National Mall and his life and leadership explored in all forms of visual art, music, literature and performance there are some things with his name on it that don’t always bring to mind the words that are associated with him or his legacy.

In cities throughout the United States, streets, boulevards and avenues bearing the name Martin Luther King Jr. often bring to mind words like poverty, segregation, injustice and despair. It is a very stark contrast to the dream that Dr. King was known for promoting. Comedians have joked for years that when you want to find where the poor African American population is located in any major American city you simply have to find your way to MLK and what you find, you may not like.

In the documentary film, The MLK Streets Project this connection, or disconnection between the dream of Martin Luther King Jr. and the reality of MLK streets is explored. Through funding support of One Common Unity and A Nu View filmmaking program, eight Washington, DC high school students, were able to travel across the country and collect video and interviews for the film and produce this documentary. The footage and interviews tell the stories of progress and pause through the eyes of the residents in each city and the lens of these young filmmakers.

The Black Philanthropic Alliance in partnership with Woolly Mammoth Theater and the emerging creative powers of Straight, No Chaser Films will present a screening of The MLK Streets Project along with a community discussion Monday, January 9, 2012 at the Woolly Mammoth Theater, 641 D Street NW from 5:30pm – 8:00pm. The panelists for the community discussion include Rain Pryor, Terrie Freeman, President and CEO of the Community Foundation of the National Capital Region, Ray Bell Jr. of the HOPE Project and Joseph Speight of Friendship Southeast Elementary Academy.

Learn more here.


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