MLK Day Documentary
January 17, 2013 6:37 PM   Subscribe

What age-appropriate documentary should I watch with my 10yo daughter to help her understand the civil rights movement and MLK's place in it?

I googled around quite a bit and found tons of short news clips, speeches, and excerpts. I'm looking for something cohesive. There's also the groundbreaking 'Eyes on the Prize', which is (a) too long and (b) a little too intense for the age IMHO. Have any ideas? Prefer free-on-the-web, but other suggestions welcome. Thanks!
posted by j_curiouser to Society & Culture (9 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I played the History Channel documentary King for some of the kids at my library a few years ago. I think it's appropriate for that age -- if I remember correctly there are some scary clips of police dogs and fire hoses, but it wasn't too bad. It's not *art* in the way Eyes on the Prize is, but it's a pretty solid introduction to the events.
posted by Jeanne at 7:10 PM on January 17, 2013 [1 favorite]

The fifth grade classroom I am a student teacher in is playing the documentary Boy King. I have not seen it yet (we watch it next week!) but I trust the opinion of my master teacher who has been teaching 5th grade for 20 years. It also might be helpful to watch some of his speeches on youtube. They are pretty powerful speeches in and of themselves and are good jumping off points to discuss the civil rights movement. Here is the link to his "I Have a Dream" Speech on youtube.
posted by ruhroh at 7:45 PM on January 17, 2013

Best answer: "Soundtrack for a Revolution." The description makes it sound like an overview of music played at the time, but in fact, it's a documentary about the civil rights movement. 82 minutes long, available on Netflix. I can't recommend this movie highly enough. The two threads that run through the narrative are 1) the intense desire to force the South to follow the laws of the nation, and to bring about the change NON-VIOLENTLY, and 2) the way that music was used by the protestors. They met frequently in churches, and sang; they sang as they marched; they sang as they were thrown into jail; they hummed when their mouths were taped shut in jail.

This is a grand movie, and well worth watching, even if you don't have a 10 year old.
posted by kestralwing at 7:52 PM on January 17, 2013 [1 favorite]

There were several kids about her age at the screening of King a Filmed Record that I attended.
posted by brujita at 9:40 PM on January 17, 2013

Eyes on the Prize is good
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 10:26 PM on January 17, 2013

What age-appropriate documentary should I watch with my 10yo daughter to help her understand the civil rights movement and MLK's place in it?

Perhaps read a kids book to her? This is the sort of question a children's book librarian would love.
posted by sebastienbailard at 10:58 PM on January 17, 2013

I don't know if you are a teacher or can get access to these, but Teaching Tolerance has a wonderful set of film kits for free.

Two of them deal with the civil rights movement. They're designed for 6th-12 graders, so your daughter might be a tad young, but having seen the films, I think they'd be appropriate.

Check your school's library.
posted by Stewriffic at 4:45 AM on January 18, 2013

Response by poster: I got the 'King' doc from the local public library. Looks promising. I'll put 'Soundtrack for a Revolution' in the queue. Thanks All!
posted by j_curiouser at 12:35 AM on January 20, 2013

Response by poster: also, a thanks to sebastienbailard for the read-instead-of-watch suggestion. This I'd normally prefer, but the child is neck deep in the outstanding Chains right now.
posted by j_curiouser at 12:38 AM on January 20, 2013

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