New flicks explore the civil rights giant’s legacy in the Trump era.
Martin Luther King Jr. died 50 years ago this April 4, hours after he was assassinated in Memphis, Tenn. A half century later, the good reverend’s legacy looms large: A dedicated memorial in the nation’s capital places the civil rights legend on the same revered plane as FDR and Lincoln; his birthday is celebrated as an American holiday; and the power of his example has inspired thousands of non-violent marches, both here and abroad.
So is there more to learn from the 39 years that King was alive? New documentaries that commemorate the 50th anniversary of his murder make a convincing positive case. “Hope & Fury: MLK, The Movement and The Media,” which recently aired on NBC, draws parallels between the racism King faced in the Jim Crow era and today’s internet-inspired neo-Nazis. And now HBO’s “King In the Wilderness,” premiering on Monday, dwells on how the Baptist minister’s legacy survived the difficult last years of his life.