Tags: MidPoint | MLK | Selma | Harry Jackson Jr. | LBJ

Bishop: 'Selma' Movie Arrives at a 'Crisis Moment' in America

By    |   Monday, 19 Jan 2015 03:25 PM

The bickering over how truthfully "Selma" depicts the American civil rights struggle should not obscure the fact that the movie has arrived at a very teachable "crisis moment in American history," says a  bishop who is spending Martin Luther King Jr. Day co-hosting a racial reconciliation summit in Texas.

"We also have to understand that Hollywood is notorious for telling what they think is a good story," Harry Jackson Jr., senior pastor at Hope Christian Church in Maryland, told "MidPoint" host Ed Berliner on Newsmax TV Monday.

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Jackson, who was in Dallas on Monday co-hosting an event called "Healing the Racial Divide," said that the makers of a major motion picture are inevitably "going to have a romanticized version of what went on," even when depicting the lives of real people with extensively documented histories — such as the foundational civil rights leader King and his partner in progress, President Lyndon Baines Johnson.

"Their motive is profit and that's clear," he said of the filmmakers. "But we can use this crisis moment in American history to point the way to constructive changes that need to happen in the real society."

Jackson is grouping those recommended changes into a program called "Seven Bridges to Peace," a name that evokes the historic confrontation between non-violent civil rights marchers and brutal sheriff's deputies on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala., in 1965 — an event recreated in the movie "Selma."

He said two of the most critical reforms must come in early education for young African Americans and in criminal justice  — "in order to bring a sense of fairness to the black community."

He described the former as "preventative" and the latter as "restorative."

"If black boys can't read, the likelihood of them being engaged with activities that lead to jail is just very, very high," said Jackson. "Also, we need to make sure that those who made youthful mistakes are appropriately reassembled and reconnected into society. And there are specific things that the church can do to lead the way to help on both those fronts."

"We've got to do that urgently," he said, "or we're going to have a whole generation that is at odds with the law, and problems are going to continue to occur in black and brown communities all over the land."

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The bickering over how truthfully "Selma" depicts the American civil rights struggle should not obscure the fact that the movie has arrived at a very teachable "crisis moment in American history," says Harry Jackson Jr.
MLK, Selma, Harry Jackson Jr., LBJ
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2015-25-19
Monday, 19 Jan 2015 03:25 PM
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