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National Geographic and GENIUS debut new docu-series “MLK/X”

In time for Black History Month, National Geographic and GENIUS present MLK/X,’ a docu-series exploring the lives of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X.

The cast of the MLK/X series poses at the premiere at the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Jayme Lawson, Aaron Pierre, Kelvin Harrison Jr. and Weruche Opia are pictured from left to right. (Keith Golden Jr./The Hilltop)

National Geographic and GENIUS developed a docu-drama series named “MLK/X,” an exploration rooted in the lives of the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X. 

The eight-episode docu-series airing Feb. 1 is based on Jeff Stetson’s play, “The Meeting,” and Peniel E. Joseph’s book, “The Sword and the Shield: The Revolutionary Lives of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr.”

This series ventures into the life journeys of King and X, delving into their formative years influenced by their life experiences. The show also introduces the world to the stories of Coretta Scott King and Betty Shabazz.

Joseph suggests that these figures are more alike than commonly perceived. 

“Dr. King is the proponent of Black citizenship, and Malcolm was all about radical Black dignity, and soon I believe they both came to see you need both if we are ever going to receive freedom and justice,” he said during the premiere of the film. “They started as rivals, then they were adversaries, and ended up being each other’s alter egos on all matters of citizenship and dignity.”

Dealing with insecurities and adjusting to their husbands’ fame, the series also showcases Scott King and Shabazz in a vulnerable state as they grapple with the challenges that arise while working alongside their husbands. 

The executive producer of the series, Reggie Rock Bythewood, hopes young people see this series as an opportunity to find each figure within themselves. 

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“We live in an interesting time where our stories and culture are under attack. Banning our books and censoring our great literary heroes, so we hope that young people find Martin, Betty and  Malcolm within themselves,” he said on the red carpet. 

Works such as King’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail” and Alex Haley and X’s “The Autobiography of Malcolm X” are among 874 banned books.

President of Howard University College Democrats Julianna Boye, a graduating senior political science major, said she believes it is vital for young people to learn about these important figures. 

“Figures such as MLK and Malcolm X, are two fascinating and intelligent trailblazers, that I encourage all young leaders to learn about, and how the advanced communities worldwide, and how they were vocal in needing all communities to be engaged in the fight for social improvement, ” Boye said.

The show will premiere on National Geographic and stream on Disney+ and Hulu on Feb. 1 with two new episodes debuting weekly.

Copy edited by Alana Matthew

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