January 18 & 19
Sunday at 2pm & Monday at 9pm

The Promised Land: Martin Luther King Tribute

It’s more than four decades since Martin Luther King spoke the words:

“I’ve seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land.”

Activist, environmentalist, and humanitarian Majora Carter examines the reach of King’s influence during this one-hour special. How far have we come? What has been the impact on our kids? On our communities?

You’ll meet a minister who suggests that King’s legacy holds no meaning for today’s children, and a composer whose newly commissioned work “The Homecoming: In Memoriam Martin Luther King” had its premier in September 2008, sung by the San Francisco-based chorus Chanticleer. Paul Mooney, whose pen is behind many of the top African-American comedians, will help sort out how humor fits into discussion.

Current voices in civil rights will weigh in on the subject. Author and activist Dr. Vincent Harding recalls his association with Dr. King. United Farm Workers co-founder Dolores Huerta talks about continuing the efforts begun by César Chávez and what it was like to work and live in his shadow. And Judy Bonds, a rural white woman fighting mountaintop mining and land desecration in her community, talks about a time when she’d never heard of King, yet her battle echoes his in unexpected ways.

And, what’s in a name? What if yours is Martin Luther King? Majora Carter finds out by calling people from the Atlanta phone book.

Host Majora Carter is founder of Sustainable South Bronx (SSBx), a community organization established to advance the environmental and economic rebirth of her hometown. Her honors include the NYU Martin Luther King Jr. Humanitarian Award and the Lewis Rudin Award for Public Service. In 2005, she was awarded the MacArthur "genius” grant. Carter was also named one of Essence magazine's "25 most influential African-Americans" and one of Newsweek's "25 to Watch."

This special presentation from Launch Minneapolis is a winner of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting’s Talent Quest. Produced by Peabody Award winner Marge Ostroushko, with Emily Botein and Ben Shapiro, and edited by Mary Beth Kirchner.

The Promised Land: Martin Luther King Tribute is part of the weekly documentary series Showcase, Sundays at 2pm and Mondays at 9pm.