2. All the different factions in the civil rights movement with their varied opinions and points of view that Martin Luther King had to juggle and /or placate, control, include, listen to, be concerned about, and try to keep motivated- the student organizers, Malcolm X, the United States president, the media, the clergy, white supporters, and the list could go on.
3. That strong women played such an important role in the civil rights movement at a time when women still didn’t have all the rights and freedoms they do now.
In the movie Lorraine Touissant plays Amelia Boynton Robinson the woman who was beaten unconscious in the first Selma march across the bridge.
Oprah Winfrey plays Annie Lee Cooper who was beaten when she registered to vote.
Tessa Thompson plays Diane Nash a brilliant young strategist who co-founded the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and was one of the driving forces behind the Selma Voting Rights Movement.
Coretta Scott King is shown in the movie meeting with Malcolm X, marching with her husband in Selma, and supporting him during the court case concerning the legality of the Selma march. She must have raised her children almost as a single parent while her husband led the civil rights movement.
4. The important role religion played in the civil rights movement and in Martin Luther King’s life. He really felt a divine calling to do what he did. He quoted Scripture and hymns in his speeches. The movie shows him frequently speaking in churches. After the Bloody Sunday event in Selma- Martin Luther King invites all people of faith to rally round the civil rights cause. Nuns, priests and pastors of many denominations joined the march.
5. What a great speaker Martin Luther King was and how his speeches were able to engage and motivate his audiences to have courage and hope and be willing to act. He spoke with passion. He repeated important phrases. He used descriptive words and painted scenes vividly. He gave people a vision and made them believe it was possible to achieve it.
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