The Demythification of Martin Luther King, Jr.

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VARGA Tomáš

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Fakulta / Pracoviště MU

Filozofická fakulta

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Popis What images come to ones mind when they hear the name ‘Martin Luther King, Jr’? The presentation tries to raise questions about the images people tend to have when thinking about MLK. Things that are most frequently associated with MLK are: Civil Rights Movement, orator, non-violence, leader. While these images are all true to the nature, they seem to be rather limited to a single subject – King’s job as a Civil Rights leader. The basis of the presentation is drawn from a Master’s thesis, which analysed a motion picture “Selma” which apart from dealing with the events of the 1965 Selma Campaign also depicts King as a human, not just a leader. The last chapter of the thesis, “The Demythification of King,” deals with the most recent feature film inspired by the Civil Rights era, Selma. The director, Ava DuVernay, decided to depict Martin Luther King, Jr. as a more complex man than just a skilled orator and an exceptional leader. She managed to show him to the viewers as a human with all his virtues and vices. The thesis points out the scenes which portray King crying, hesitating to make difficult decisions, questioning his beliefs, or feeling depressed and insecure. Furthermore, there are scenes where King is shown asking for help not only from his aides but also people around him. That has not been seen very often before. Therefore, just as the motion picture (and the thesis) tries to present King in a human-like way, the presentation tries to point out that there is more than just the Civil Rights Movement when people talk about King. The presentation’s aim is more about raising the consciousness of people rather than presenting ways to think about King.
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