In Selma, there's a montage of Americans watching network news coverage of the Selma march. We see a barbershop in Watts in that montage.
With history in mind, I'm attaching a Spike Lee interview I did in 1997. This appeared on Channel 5's Good Day New York. The filmmaker was promoting what I feel is one of his finest works, a documentary called 4 Little Girls.
I went to see Selma with a friend who's a lot younger than I am. In the first ten minutes of Selma, I gasped. I knew that the action was leading up to a tragic event -- one that made international headlines and intensified Dr. King's mission for Civil Rights. The movie audience was shocked at the evil deed. I leaned over to my friend and whispered "That really happened." She didn't know about this true-life tragedy.
Before Dr. Martin Luther King's march in Selma, Alabama there was a dark Sunday in Birmingham, Alabama. A racial hate crime occurred a month after Dr. King's March on Washington for racial equality and civil rights. Here's my 1997 Spike Lee interview. This bit of history will give Selma more depth when you see it:
There has never been a theatrical release major movie about Dr. King. The biopics we've seen have been TV productions. I repeat that David Oyelowo is excellent as King. Another really solid performance comes from Tom Wilkinson as President Lyndon B. Johnson, the former Vice-President sworn into office the day of President John F. Kennedy's assassination in November 1963.
The 1960s. That was a decade both terrific and terrible. There was the March on Washington, the U.S. landed a man on the moon, we had the fresh new attitude in the White House of President John F. Kennedy and his embrace of the fine arts, we had great rock music and great new films. We also suddenly and tragically lost Medgar Evers, President John F. Kennedy, Malcolm X, Dr. King and presidential candidate Senator Robert F. Kennedy to assassin's bullets.
When the Oscars telecast was still held annually in early April, the first and only time the ceremony was postponed was because of the nation mourning the untimely death of Dr. King in April 1968.
Here's a trailer for Selma.