Soundtracks: Songs That Defined History

Soundtracks: Songs That Defined History

The Assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.
Episode 1  |  SBS  |  September 17, 2017

The death of Martin Luther King Jr marked a turning point in the civil rights movement, a moment of reckoning for African Americans in the United States. After the mourning, the community gathered its strength to continue King's fight, inspired by the fiery protest of Nina Simone, the black power anthems of James Brown, and the extraordinary voice of Aretha Franklin. The continued struggle for civil rights has been a long and uneven battle since 1968, but the spirit of resistance has been kept alive in the music, from Stevie Wonder's campaign to establish a Martin Luther King Holiday to Kendrick Lamar's searing protest song that became an anthem for the Black Lives Matter movement. The music in this episode both celebrates the strength and solidarity of the African American experience, while reminding us how far we still have to go.

The death of Martin Luther King Jr marked a turning point in the civil rights movement, a moment of reckoning for African Americans in the United States. After the mourning, the community gathered its strength to continue King's fight, inspired by the fiery protest of Nina Simone, the black power anthems of James Brown, and the extraordinary voice of Aretha Franklin. The continued struggle for civil rights has been a long and uneven battle since 1968, but the spirit of resistance has been kept alive in the music, from Stevie Wonder's campaign to establish a Martin Luther King Holiday to Kendrick Lamar's searing protest song that became an anthem for the Black Lives Matter movement. The music in this episode both celebrates the strength and solidarity of the African American experience, while reminding us how far we still have to go.

More from this series

Princess Elizabeth grew up in the Piccadilly home of her parents, the Duke and Duchess of York. The Abdication of her uncle, Edward VIII, in 1936 appeared to be a catastrophe to her family, catapulting her nervous father onto the throne as King George VI. Elizabeth became heir to the throne aged 10, and seemed to be a shy girl with a limited education.

Queen Elizabeth II is the longest reigning monarch in British history, but she was neither born nor educated to take on that role. At the age of 10 her life was turned upside down, when her uncle Edward VIII abdicated, catapulting her into the position of heir to the greatest empire the world had ever seen. At the age of 21, she broadcast to the people of Britain and the Commonwealth that her whole life would be devoted to service - a pledge she renewed 60 years later at her diamond jubilee.

As monarch she has appointed 13 prime ministers, from Sir Winston Churchill to Teresa May, and despite the best efforts of some politicians she has kept above the political fray. Her greatest achievement has been to transform the British Empire into the new Commonwealth of diverse and independent nations. During her reign she has experienced family tragedy and triumph, often having to choose between supporting her family and doing her duty as monarch. 

This eight-part series interviews the Queen's prime ministers, members of the royal household and closest friends, to build a uniquely personal picture of Elizabeth, the woman, the mother, the Queen.

Elizabeth

History, Civics and citizenship

Years 9-10, 11-12 History, Civics and citizenship
28:48
Princess Elizabeth grew up in the Piccadilly home of her parents, the Duke and Duchess of York. The Abdication of her uncle, Edward VIII, in 1936 appeared to be a catastrophe to her family, catapulting her nervous father onto the throne as King George VI. Elizabeth became heir to the throne aged 10, and seemed to be a shy girl with a limited education. Queen Elizabeth II is the longest reigning monarch in British history, but she was neither born nor educated to take on that role. At the age of 10 her life was turned upside down, when her uncle Edward VIII abdicated, catapulting her into the position of heir to the greatest empire the world had ever seen. At the age of 21, she broadcast to the people of Britain and the Commonwealth that her whole life would be devoted to service - a pledge she renewed 60 years later at her diamond jubilee. As monarch she has appointed 13 prime ministers, from Sir Winston Churchill to Teresa May, and despite the best efforts of some politicians she has kept above the political fray. Her greatest achievement has been to transform the British Empire into the new Commonwealth of diverse and independent nations. During her reign she has experienced family tragedy and triumph, often having to choose between supporting her family and doing her duty as monarch. This eight-part series interviews the Queen's prime ministers, members of the royal household and closest friends, to build a uniquely personal picture of Elizabeth, the woman, the mother, the Queen.
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