Celebrating King with ‘Selma’

In honor of Martin Luther King Day, the Austin Human Rights Commission will present “Selma” at the Paramount Theatre at 6:30 p.m. on Monday.

“Selma” is a 2014 American historical drama based on the 1965 Selma to Montgomery voting rights marches led by James Bevel, Hosea Williams, Martin Luther King Jr. and John Lewis. The marches ultimately paved the way for the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which marked a pivotal victory during the Civil Rights Movement. The film — which received a slew of nominations from the Oscars as well as the Golden Globes — stars actors David Oyelowo as King, Tom Wilkinson as President Lyndon B. Johnson, Tim Roth as George Wallace, Carmen Ejogo as Coretta Scott King, and rapper and actor Common as Bevel.

While the Austin chapter of the HRC has hosted an annual dinner honoring Dr. King in the past, Richard Lemons — chair of the AHRC — said that, after discussing the need for “a different kind of event” this year, the group thought a screening of the recent award-winning film would be an interesting change of pace. In fact, the event will provide a second chance to see the film on the big screen, in case you blinked and missed it on its first release (the movie received a very limited local run).

The AHRC isn’t presenting the event alone, either.

“As chair of AHRC,” said Lemons, “I was asked to look for a some other organizations to join as partners in the event. Christ Episcopal Church and the Riverland Community College Chapter of Amnesty International agreed to join as partners.”

The partnership is a great example of how our community organizations come together regularly to promote significant programming that adds meaning to our daily lives.

Following the screening there will be a discussion about the film as well as the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. The event is free and open to the public.

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