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Sunday January 15, 2023
What I learned this week | MLK Jr. Day
In 2015, my old coworker (and now great friend) Rich texted me on MLK day.
I think all he said was, “I’m going to see an MLK movie later at The Film Forum. You should join.” Typically anything Rich invites me to is awesome. Hanging with Rich, in general, is awesome. So I said, “sure, see ya there.”
For the non-New Yorkers in the chat, The Film Forum is a nonprofit theatre on Houston St. that showcases independent cinema; just down the street from The Angelika, another classic indie theatre.
I was living on Houston St. at the time between A and B. I walked west, met Rich, and entered the theatre. The film was: King: A Filmed Record...Montgomery to Memphis. I thought we would see Selma since it was released a month earlier. Instead, we watched a 3-hour documentary filled with actual footage of Selma and other MLK Jr. speeches and marches.
Today as I was writing this, I had to look up that the documentary really aired in January 2015 at The Film Forum to ensure I wasn’t hallucinating. To me, it’s still bizarre that there was all this real footage of MLK Jr. and many others marching in the streets for civil rights—and I had never seen it.
Seeing the actual footage humanized the civil rights movement in a way that reading about it didn’t. It made me think about leadership and community in a whole new light. And it made reminded me that, among the holidays I could observe, this one was really important. Thanks, Rich.