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Learn about MLK and the Civil Rights Movement in a nutshell. I am reposting my review about the movie Selma, which shares nuggets about MLK’s heroic efforts.

On our flight home from a most delightful trip to Ireland, I watched the movie Selma. Some controversy surrounded this film. President Linden Johnson was portrayed as a reluctant advocate for Civil Rights who only passed legislation dragging his heels, kicking and screaming about the importance of other legislative issues all the way.

As a writer of historical fiction, I do not condone taking license with historical facts, even when you claim not to be a documentary. I think I owe it to my readers to give as accurate a picture as possible. I realize what I write may be the closest thing to a history book my audience may read. Having said that, I must tell you I thoroughly enjoyed this film. Here are the positives I found:

1. Nonviolence was a successful path in fighting the injustice of racial inequality. The Civil Rights Movement garnered much sympathy in the North when people across America could see on television the way protesters were cruelly and unfairly treated.

2. MLK not only faced opposition from the Jim Crow culture of the South, but from those with idealogical differences in the African-American community. This was a transparent portrayal that did not try to romanticize or cover up the difficulties that are always faced when one tries to change injustices within a culture.

3. Many whites took up the cause. Motivated by faith, compassion, and a sense of justice, white civil rights workers joined the fight for freedom as Martin Luther King led the way. Whites and blacks alike lost their lives so African-Americans could have equal rights.

4. We can learn lessons from the past. With racial tensions on the rise, we need to study heroes who overcame racial injustice and follow in their footsteps. Self-interest on either side fuels racial tension. Faith, compassion, love, and self-sacrifice feed unity and responsible community.

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