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Selma in the Spotlight: APB Leaders Consider the Past and Future of Civil Rights

05 Jan 2015

The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. biopic Selma opens wide in theaters on January 9th. Seen as an Oscar frontrunner, the film tells the story of how King led the historic Selma-to-Montgomery marches, which eventually prompted President Johnson to sign the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

The riots of Ferguson, MO—as well as the resulting demonstrations in cities across the U.S.—lend an unfortunate resonance to Dr. King’s peaceful protests. For over 50 years, APB has led the market in Civil Rights programming. The foremost speakers on the topic—including children of those who played integral parts in the battle for Civil Rights—have partnered with APB to educate and enlighten on the topic.

Donzaleigh Abernathy is an actress, author and the daughter of Juanita Jones and Reverend Dr. Ralph David Abernathy. Along with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Abernathy’s parents constructed the nonviolent Civil Rights Movement, which forever altered America. Her inside knowledge of Civil Rights leaders, the Selma marches and the decisions that shaped modern American society make her a influential voice in discussions on race.

Peggy Wallace Kennedy is the daughter of George C. Wallace, the staunchly segregationist governor of Alabama. She watched as her father became known as one of America's most ardent opponents of the 1960s when he stopped African American students from entering the University of Alabama. Kennedy lived in the Alabama governor's mansion as a teenager, where she witnessed the Civil Rights Movement from a truly unique perspective. Proud to be the polar opposite of her father, she endorsed Barack Obama in his run for the presidency, and she often writes and speaks on justice and equality.

Bernice King is the youngest daughter of Coretta Scott King and Nobel Peace Prize winner Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., one of the most influential figures in American history. She was just five years old when her father was killed. As a direct relative of the core of the Civil Rights Movement, King brings an unmatched voice to APB’s roster of commanding speakers.

Alvin Poussaint is a world-renowned professor of psychiatry, author and expert on racial and ethnic relations in America. His work on the psychological effects of racism has made him a frequent consultant to numerous film and television productions. An in-demand voice on racial issues, Poussaint has advised the State Department, the Department of Health and the FBI.

Juan Williams is an Emmy award-winning writer, FOX News personality and investigative journalist, formerly with NPR and The Washington Post. He is an influential chronicler of the Civil Rights Movement, having written such influential works as Eyes on the Prize: America's Civil Rights Years, 1954-1965 and My Soul Looks Back in Wonder: Voices of the Civil Rights Experience.

To learn more about APB’s experts, click here.