Press Release
Special Programming for the 50th Anniv. of The March on Washington

Press Contacts: Teri L. Sullivan
WKNO-TV/Channel 10
(901) 729-8735

August 19, 2013
For Immediate Release

WKNO  Commemorates 50th Anniversary of Historic March on Washington
With Week of Special Programs

– Highlights Include Premiere of New PBS Documentary THE MARCH, Video Interviews with Original Participants from Memphis, Online Chats, and More –

Memphis, TN — WKNO is joining a national PBS project to present a special week of programs and online events and activities celebrating the 50th anniversary of the historic 1963 March on Washington. Dovetailing with the PBS-led project, WKNO will air national and local programs honoring heroes of the civil rights movement and present opportunities for the Mid-South community to participate in the celebration.

“The 1963 March on Washington was not only a significant moment in American history,” said Michael J. LaBonia, WKNO President and CEO, “but also in the Mid-South community’s history. Commemorating this event beyond our airwaves is one of WKNO’s greatest missions. And we salute all of the heroes who made this event possible.”

The project includes several television broadcasts during the week of August 25, including the premiere of the national PBS documentary The March, as well as encore presentations of the local documentaries The Memphis 13 and I AM A MAN: From Memphis, A Lesson in Life. The full lineup is listed below. Support for the broadcast of these programs is provided by: Bowden Internal Medicine, MLGW, National Civil Rights Museum, and Saint Francis Hospital - Memphis.

In addition, WKNO will offer a free preview screening of The March on Saturday, August 24 at 2:00 p.m. at the WKNO Digital Media Center. Also, at this preview screening event, WKNO will present recorded interviews with two Memphians who participated in the 1963 March: Representative Johnnie Turner and Ms. Joan Nelson. These interviews are part of PBS’s Memories of the March and are available for viewing now online at WKNO will broadcast these vignettes around The March on August 27.

Representative Turner and Ms. Nelson will also be participating in live online chats as part of The Digital March on Wednesday, August 28. WKNO is partnering with Memphis library branches to help interested viewers who do not have the ability to view the chats online from home.

A comprehensive March on Washington web site is available at and more details about each element of this project are below.

In addition to the premiere of The March, a new documentary about the dramatic stories behind the event, the PBS Black Culture Connection website will debut The March @50, a provocative five-part web series exploring whether America has delivered on the promises of the March.

Memories of the March, a series of video vignettes created by PBS member stations, explores additional compelling local stories of the March, providing a variety of perspectives on this historic event and its ongoing legacy. 


American Masters “James Baldwin: The Price of the Ticket” recounts the life, works and beliefs of the late writer and civil rights activist James Baldwin: what it is to be born black, impoverished, gifted, and gay in a world that has yet to understand that “all men are brothers.” It airs Sunday, August 25 at 4:00 p.m. on WKNO/Channel 10.

In Performance at the White House “A Celebration of Music from the Civil Rights Movement” airs Tuesday, August 27 at 7:00 p.m. on WKNO/Channel 10. President and Mrs. Obama host a concert in the White House East Room in honor of the civil rights movement.

The March, narrated by Denzel Washington, premieres on Tuesday, August 27 at 8:00 p.m. on WKNO/Channel 10, the eve of the 50th anniversary of the original event. The film reveals the dramatic story behind the event through the remembrances of key players such as Jack O’Dell, Clarence B. Jones, Julian Bond, and Andrew Young.

The Memphis 13 is a local film by Daniel Kiel retelling the story of the thirteen children who integrated Memphis schools. It airs Tuesday, August 27 at 9:00 p.m. on WKNO/Channel 10.

I AM A MAN: From Memphis, A Lesson in Life airs Tuesday, August 27 at 9:30 p.m. It tells the story of the 1968 Memphis sanitation worker’s strike through the voices of its forgotten heroes—the men and their families who risked their lives and livelihoods to take a historic and heroic stand.

Other broadcast times on WKNO and WKNO2 (available over the air on Channel 10.2 and on Comcast Channel 910) are available at

Support for the broadcast of these programs is provided by: Bowden Internal Medicine, MLGW, National Civil Rights Museum, and Saint Francis Hospital - Memphis.



PBS Black Culture Connection will unveil The March @50, a new web series by filmmaker Shukree Hassan Tilghman (More Than a Month) as part of the PBS celebration of the March on Washington Anniversary. With a new episode debuting each week for five weeks, The March @50 asks if America has delivered on the original demands of the marchers for jobs and freedom. Each episode will explore the March’s legacy through the lens of contemporary issues ranging from minority incarceration, disproportionate minority unemployment, the re-emergence of public school segregation, and voting rights.


The 1963 March on Washington was created by community activists and dedicated people from every state in the country. Memories of the March, a series of video vignettes created by PBS member stations from across the nation, will also debut on PBS Black Culture Connection. Fascinating first-person stories of original participants who made the trek to the nation’s capital are included, as well as others who were instrumental in working for the cause in their communities.

Vignettes include interviews with several women, including Johnnie Turner, a Memphis college student when she attended the March and now a Tennessee State Representative; Dorothy Foreman Cotton, the highest-ranking woman in the Southern Christian Leadership Conference during most of the 1960s; and Georgia Davis Powers, the grandniece of a slave who helped organize the 1964 March on Kentucky’s State Capitol, an event in which Dr. King also participated along with baseball great Jackie Robinson. Other interviewees include Sala Udin, a 20-year-old from Pittsburgh who heard Dr. King’s speech and changed the course of his life to launch a career in civil rights activism and North Carolina Congressman G.K. Butterfield, who attended the March and became known for his successful litigation of voting rights cases.


On August 28, 2013 — the actual 50th anniversary — PBS Black Culture Connection will host a full day of special online events and activities including screenings of The March during which viewers can interact with some of the film’s participants, online chats with original March participants and community leaders, and hosted discussions about the many aspects of the March and the Civil Rights Movement.

Ms. Joan Nelson will answer questions on the chat during the 1:00 p.m. panel discussion. Representative Turner will be participating at 5:00 p.m.

Interested viewers who are unable to participate in The Digital March from home can come to the WKNO Digital Media Center (7151 Cherry Farms Road in Cordova) during the chat from 11:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. where they can watch the chat and ask questions in the Mr. Chuck Community Room.

There are also Memphis Library branches participating from noon until 6:00 p.m.: Poplar-White Station Branch (5094 Poplar Avenue); Whitehaven Branch (4120 Mill Branch Road); and North Branch (1192 Vollintine).

Major funding for The March, Memories of the March and The March @50 is provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting’s Diversity and Innovation Fund which supports content that engages diverse viewers and encourages the use of emerging technologies to reach new audiences and PBS. WKNO gratefully acknowledges additional support from The National Civil Rights Museum for our local project surrounding The March.

About WKNO 
WKNO is a non-profit, private foundation serving the Mid-South for more than 56 years. An important community resource, WKNO uses the power of non-commercial public broadcasting to provide the Mid-South with quality educational and cultural programs that inform, entertain, and inspire. For more information:

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