The mission of The Department of Afro-American Research Arts and Culture to identify the global significance of the creative contributions pioneered by an international diaspora of Blackness
The Department of Afro American Research, Arts, and Culture's Archive is a subdivision of DAARAC that digitally preserves Afro American films. On this website, you may browse our archive that consists of film posters, screenshots, and movie synopsis. All information provided here is for research and reference purposes. We do not host full-length films on this website.

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Tuesday, January 17, 2023

King (1978, Part Three) [TV Movie]


























"King" (1978, Part III)  is the third and final installment of the NBC made-for-television miniseries about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. written and directed by Abby Mann.

After the first episode of the miniseries performed poorly in the National Neilson Ratings, there was a slight improvement for the last two episodes. However, NBC had already accepted the fate of the miniseries not achieving the same success as "Roots." Nevertheless, the show received several Primetime Emmy nominations, including Outstanding Lead Actor and Actress for Paul Winfield and Cicely Tyson. Mann also received nominations for Outstanding Writing and Directing in a Drama Series. Unfortunately, none were able to earn an Emmy Award.

Paul Winfield gave an excellent performance as Dr. King. While the film suffers in historical accuracy, people can correct the information to fill in the holes. Dick Anthony Williams portrays Malcolm X in an iconic scene between him and King. In the Miami Herald, Wednesday, February 15, 1978, in an article written by Terry Ann Knopf, Mann stated that he obtained information about the meeting directly from King before he died and from Bernard Lee, one of King's aid. But the when and where of the discussion could have been more evident in the movie. Their actual meeting occurred in 1964 in Washington, D.C.

Overall, episode three was an outstanding performance by everyone involved. This movie would benefit many looking to gain some understanding of Dr. King's life.

Director: Abby Mann
Writer: Abby Mann

Starring Paul Winfield, Cicely Tyson, Ernie Hudson, Howard E. Rollins, Al Freeman Jr., Roscoe Lee Browne, Ernie Lee Banks, Ossie Davis, Steven Hill, Lonny Chapman, Cliff De Young, Clu Gulager, William Jordan, Warren J. Kemmerling, Lincoln Kilpatrick, Kenneth McMillan, David Spielberg, Dolph Sweet, Dick Anthony Williams, Art Evans, Frances Foster, Charles Robinson, Roger Robinson, Sheila Frazier, Tony Bennett, Julian Bond, Bill Cobbs

Storyline
Part two of a three-part biographical portrait of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. concludes with his direct involvement in urban housing and unemployment, his meeting with Malcolm X, his stand against the Vietnam War, and his 1968 assassination.

Monday, January 16, 2023

King (1978, Part Two) [TV Movie]























"King" (1978, Part II) is the second installment of the NBC made-for-television miniseries about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Written and directed by Abby Mann, the first episode of "King" suffered in the National Neilsen Ratings coming in 64th out of 64 shows. Dead last. 

The lack of viewership was due to multiple factors. For example, "King" aired against Burt Renyolds' "Gator" on CBS and "How the West was Won" on ABC. Both shows brought in large audiences more interested in the entertainment factor. "King" was an honest portrayal of a civil rights leader killed in recent American history. However, just a year before, "Roots" ranked as one of the highest-rated television shows for that year. Plus, "King" had events that were still ongoing in American society. As good as the cast was for "King," "Roots" had more extensive and relatable characters in comparison. While two different shows, these major network companies look to demographic information when greenlighting certain films.

Part II of "King" was driven mainly by Windfield, while everyone else seemed to have faded into the background a little more. Still, the movie addressed critical issues with valuable historical context, which draws you into the film's story. So, perhaps, the film serves better today than when NBC aired it because that history was fresh; that same history today, at least the details of it, is slowly withering into the abyss of time.

Director: Abby Mann
Writer: Abby Mann

Starring Paul Winfield, Cicely Tyson, Ernie Hudson, Howard E. Rollins, Al Freeman Jr., Roscoe Lee Browne, Ernie Lee Banks, Ossie Davis, Steven Hill, Lonny Chapman, Cliff De Young, Clu Gulager, William Jordan, Warren J. Kemmerling, Lincoln Kilpatrick, Kenneth McMillan, David Spielberg, Dolph Sweet, Dick Anthony Williams, Art Evans, Frances Foster, Charles Robinson, Roger Robinson, Sheila Frazier, Tony Bennett, Julian Bond, Bill Cobbs

Part two of a three-part biographical portrait of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. chronicles his leadership of the Birmingham desegregation campaign, arrest following protest demonstrations, his 1964 Nobel Peace prize, and his famed Selma-to-Montgomery march.

King (1978, Part One) [TV Movie]

























"King" (1978, Part I) was an NBC made-for-television movie about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr life written and directed by Abby Mann. The film stars Paul Winfield and Cicely Tyson as Martin and Coretta Scott King, respectively. Both actors were already successful in their careers from the 1972 film "Sounder," so they already had the chemistry necessary to pull off this task.

NBC released the miniseries ten years after the assassination of Dr. King, so the tragedy was a reminder for many people when the series aired. Not only that, but many people involved with Dr. King were still active in his legacy. The film did ignite some controversy from several angles. In general, Dr. King involved himself in so many different things at high levels that it would be impossible to nail down all the details of how situations unfolded and, more so, how he responded from an emotional and psychological perspective. According to The Manhattan Mercury, February 12, 1978, in an article by Jerry Buck (The Associated Press), civil rights leaders said that Mann portrayed Kings as "cowardly and frightened." However, Mann countered by saying, "the film may have flaws, but showing as a coward isn't one of them. He may be afraid, but that makes him all the more courageous." Additional criticism included the treatment of Dr. King by former FBI director J. Edger Hoover who attempted to discredit King. 

There are many actors in this miniseries, so it can be challenging to keep up with everyone, but many familiar faces play significant roles. But in part one, Howard E. Rollins stars in his second film playing King's aid, Andrew Young. Part one is an intense drama. Everyone does an excellent job of bringing the life surrounding Dr. King in a way that will touch people emotionally. However, as mentioned earlier, some details and facts may need to be included or corrected, especially considering ten years isn't enough to research the life of Dr. King. But, for educational purposes, this film did well, and I recommend it for viewing. 

Director: Abby Mann
Writer: Abby Mann

Starring Paul Winfield, Cicely Tyson, Ernie Hudson, Howard E. Rollins, Al Freeman Jr., Roscoe Lee Browne, Ernie Lee Banks, Ossie Davis, Steven Hill, Lonny Chapman, Cliff De Young, Clu Gulager, William Jordan, Warren J. Kemmerling, Lincoln Kilpatrick, Kenneth McMillan, David Spielberg, Dolph Sweet, Dick Anthony Williams, Art Evans, Frances Foster, Charles Robinson, Roger Robinson, Sheila Frazier, Tony Bennett, Julian Bond, Bill Cobbs

Storyline
Part one of a three-part biographical portrait of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. covers his decision to enter the ministry, his marriage, his role in the Montgomery bus boycott, and his efforts to desegregate other public accommodations.