Comcast, Cable Nets To Commemorate ‘March On Washington’ Anniversary

Comcast Cable wants to make sure that the images, memories and messages from the historic 1963 March On Washington will never be forgotten.

To commemorate this week’s 50th anniversary of the March -- a pinnacle moment of the Civil Rights Movement where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his historic “I Have a Dream” speech -- Comcast Cable has launched an interactive website that will feature more than 80 interviews with civic leaders, elders, clergy, and activists involved in the Civil Rights movement.

The robust online offering will include interviews with key civil rights leaders including Rev. Billy Kyles; Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr.; former U.N. Ambassador Andrew Young; Ernest Green of the Little Rock Nine; as well as attendees of the March on Washington, the Detroit Walk to Freedom and the Selma-Montgomery March, according to the company officials. Comcast officials said the company will continually add interviews with key civil rights leaders to the website.

The interactive website will also allow visitors to submit their own stories commemorating the anniversary.

“Comcast and NBCUniversal are proud to contribute to this anniversary with such compelling content about the fight for civil rights,” said Charisse Lillie, vice president of community investment for Comcast Corporation. “It’s important to remember Dr. King’s legacy, and this unprecedented interactive multimedia package enables stories to be shared like never before.”

Cable networks will mark tomorrow’s (Aug. 24) anniversary events with live coverage and original specials.

CNN, Fox News and MSNBC will offer live coverage of the 50th Anniversary March on Washington events throughout the day. All three channels will offer civil rights-themed specials as well.

MSNBC tonight (Aug. 23) will air a two-hour special PoliticsNation: March on Washington: The Dream Continues hosted by Rev. Al Sharpton, while CNN tonight will air We Were There: The March On Washington – An Oral History, a one-hour special hosted by CNN anchor Don Lemon that will feature interviews with civil rights leaders who attended the original Aug. 28, 1963 March for Jobs and Freedom.

Tomorrow, Fox News anchor Kelly Wright will host a one-hour special Beyond the Dream: 50 Years Later, which will includean interview with Dr. King’s daughter, Bernice King.

BET and Centric will offer live coverage of the March anniversary events beginning at 11 a.m. as part its two-hour 50: The March & The Movement special. Hosted by Ed Gordon, the special will feature reports from along the March route as well as exclusive interviews from political figures and civil rights activists, according to network officials.

Other entertainment-based cable networks will mark the anniversary with special programming set to air after Saturday's commemoration March. On Aug. 25 TV One will re-air HBO's documentary Sing Your Song, profiling revered African American singer, actor and activist Harry Belafonte.

In September, Hallmark Channel will pay tribute to the anniversary with the Sept. 24 debut of its original movie The Watsons Go To Birmingham. The movie, which stars Anika Noni Rose (The Good Wife, The Princess and the Frog) and David Alan Grier (In Living Color), chronicles the experiences of an African American family traveling from Flint, Mich. to racially-charged Birmingham, Ala. in the summer of 1963.

R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.