Award-winning broadcaster, Tavis Smiley, the New York Times best-selling author of “Death of a King: The Real Story of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Final Year,” will premiere a 2-hour tribute to King on The Word Network, Wednesday, April 4, 2018.
Starting with a deep dive into the most courageous and controversial speech King ever delivered, the 2-hour broadcast will feature The Word Network premiere of Smiley’s documentary “MLK: A Call to Conscience”, which delves into “Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence,” delivered on April 4, 1967, at Riverside Church in New York City, exactly one year to the day before his assassination in Memphis, Tennessee. According to Dr. Vincent Harding, who helped King write the speech, King’s strong words about the triple threat facing American democracy – racism, poverty and militarism – put a target on King’s back.
The second hour of “MLK50: A Call to Conscience” will feature rare interviews with the people who knew him best and loved him most. The tribute includes Smiley’s conversations over the years with King’s immediate family, including Coretta Scott King’s last national interview, and a host of other friends, confidantes, scholars and admirers including Maya Angelou, Joan Baez, Harry Belafonte, Taylor Branch, Michael Eric Dyson, Marian Wright Edelman, John Lewis, Barack Obama, Cornel West, Andrew Young and many more.
“I have long believed that Dr. King is the greatest American we have ever produced. He is one of America’s founding fathers, and most certainly, our greatest prophet. The implications of his words, work and witness must be reckoned with 50 years later,” said Smiley.
“We strive daily in our programming to advance the unarmed truth and unconditional love to which Dr. King dedicated his life. We are grateful for our new partnership with Tavis’s media production company, and we are delighted to premiere this special tribute to Dr. King on this sacred and historic anniversary,” stated Kevin Adell, CEO and Founder of The Word Network.
“MLK50: A Call to Conscience” will premiere on The Word Network, Wednesday, April 4, 2018, at 9pm Eastern, 8pm Central, and 6pm Pacific. An encore performance will air at 11pm Eastern that same evening.