The Promised Land: Different Takes on the Legacy of Martin Luther King

Sat, 02/07/2009 - 3:00pm
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Host Majora Carter

© 2003-2008 PRX

Martin Luther King had a dream. “I’ve seen the promised land,” he said. “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.” The Promised Land: Different Takes on the Legacy of Martin Luther King airs Saturday, February 7 at 3 p.m. on AM 1370 and WXXI-FM HD 91.5-2.

It’s more that four decades since he spoke those words — words that still ring in our ears, especially as we celebrate what would have been Dr. King’s 80th birthday.

During a one-hour special, The Promised Land: Different Takes on the Legacy of Martin Luther King, activist, environmentalist, humanitarian Majora Carter gauges the reach of King’s influence. How far have we come? What has been the impact on our kids and 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 discussions of King.

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

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

Get a complete schedule of Black History Month programming from WXXI.

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