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Cyclorama To Screen Award-Winning King Documentary

Civil Rights Protesters Reflect On The Movement

By A. Scott Walton Executive Editor | 8/23/2013, 6 a.m.
Selma-Montgomery March: Martin Luther King leading march from Selma to Montgomery to protest lack of voting rights for African Americans. Beside King is John Lewis, Reverend Jesse Douglas, James Forman and Ralph Abernathy. March 1965. (Photo by Steve Schapiro/Corbis).

Most people agree that the “I Have A Dream” speech Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered 50 years ago at the March on Washington is the greatest oratorical moment in American history.

But Lonnie C. King, who was a student activist marching shoulder-to-shoulder with Dr. King during numerous civil rights protests in the early 1960s, insists that the speech being commemorated this weekend in our nation’s capitol and around the world isn’t even the best speech the dreamer ever delivered.

Lonnie C. King has no familial link to the Nobel Prize-winner who President Barack Obama will salute on the actual 50th Anniversary of the date the “I Have A Dream” speech was delivered.

But, at age 77, the retired Georgia State history professor clearly recalls how Dr. King sent personally-signed letters to leaders on black college campuses across the south and donated the $500 needed to gather them in Atlanta for the formation of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee.

“The best speech Dr. King ever gave wasn’t the one in D.C. in ‘63,” Lonnie C. King insisted by phone from his home office in Atlanta. “It was the one he made on March 10, 1961 over at the Warren Memorial United Methodist church, when he had to quell the outrage of 2,000-and-some AUC students over the way they were being treated by the authorities. Much of what he said then he said again at the March on Washington.”

Lonnie C. King, who recently founded the National Organization of Americans for Civil Rights (NOAHR), will be a featured speaker on Sunday (August 25, 3 p.m.) after the Atlanta Cyclorama screens the award-winning documentary “King: A Filmed Record…Montgomery to Memphis, Pt. 1”. The free public event is co-sponsored by the National Center for Civil and Human Rights, which is scheduled to open downtown in May 2014.

Doug Shipman, CEO of the civil rights center said, “(T)his film provides an opportunity to learn more about the thinking and actions of Dr. King,”.

Richard Kaplan, producer of the film, will be on hand to discuss the process of compiling years worth of film footage, including the historical footage of more than 200,000 people gathering at the Mall on Washington to hear Dr. King speak out for justice on August 28, 1963.

For more details, visit: www.atlantacyclorama.org.