The Center for the Study of Transformative Lives at NYU is excited to present a free screening of King in the Wilderness, a new HBO film by Peter Kunhardt, centered on the last years of Martin Luther King Jr. This screening is in conjunction with a panel discussion featuring the film’s executive producer Trey Ellis, NYU Chief Diversity Officer Dr. Lisa Coleman, and Pulitzer Prize winning historian David Levering Lewis.

King in the Wilderness is a searing film because it takes Martin Luther King Jr. down from the mountaintop. You glimpse the real glory of who he was: not a walking monument but a human being with fear, humor, guts, and (amazing) grace under pressure.”

–Owen Gleiberman, Variety

Presented as part of the new SKIRBALL TALKS series. Mondays at 6:30 during the academic terms, SKIRBALL TALKS hosts visionaries from the worlds of politics, the arts, sciences, academia, and more.

This event is co-sponsored by the NYU Office of Global Inclusion, Diversity, and Strategic Innovation, NYU Tisch, and NYU Steinhardt.

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Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s leadership during the bus boycotts, the sit-ins, and the historic Selma to Montgomery marches are now considered the stuff of legend. But left out of the history books are much of what happened afterward, during the last three years of his life. King in the Wilderness reveals a conflicted leader who, after the Voting Rights Act passed in 1965, faced an onslaught of criticism from both sides of the political spectrum; the Black Power movement saw his nonviolence as weakness, and President Lyndon B. Johnson saw his anti–Vietnam War speeches as irresponsible. King’s fervent belief in peaceful protest became a testing point for a nation on the brink of chaos.

Thanks to revelatory conversations with his inner circle of friends, King in the Wilderness unearths a stirring new perspective into Dr. King’s character, his radical doctrine of nonviolence, and his internal philosophical struggles prior to his assassination in 1968.



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The Skirball Talks series is made possible in part by a Humanities New York Action Grant and by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

NYU Skirball is an accessible venue. 

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Martin Luther King