Streaming Review: A Ripple of Hope

A Ripple of Hope
Netflix | Amazon Instant Video
Directed by Donald Boggs
Starring Martin Luther King, Jr., Robert F. Kennedy, John Lewis
PBS Home Video
Originally Released: April 04, 2008

"Martin Luther King dedicated his life to love and to justice between fellow human beings. He died in the cause of that effort. In this difficult day, in this difficult time for the United States, it’s perhaps well to ask what kind of a nation we are and what direction we want to move in. "
Robert F. Kennedy

With Martin Luther King, Jr. Day on Monday, January 21, I opted to grab a streaming documentary in recognition of the day of remembrance. While most King documentaries focus on the man’s life, his famous speeches, his significance in the Civil Rights movement, or his murder, the short PBS documentary entitled A Ripple of Hope instead focuses on the historic speech made by Robert F. Kennedy on the day of Dr. King’s death.

It may be bold of me to say so, but it’s my belief that countless young people don’t understand King’s significance in this nation’s history – indeed, many of my own generation have little comprehension of his importance. We may know of him, but many of us did not live during the days of segregation and the uphill battle faced by African American during the time. And yet, we’ve all benefited from an improved prevailing social outlook and attitude in not only welcoming our cultural differences, but also in celebrating them in unity.

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Movie Review: The Central Park Five
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The Central Park Five
Written and Directed by Ken Burns, Sarah Burns, and David McMahon
Starring: Ed Koch, Kharey Wise, Antron McCray, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana
Sundance Selects
Unrated | 120 minutes
Release Date: December 14, 2012

In 1989, five black and Latino teenagers from Harlem were arrested and convicted of brutally beating and raping a white woman in New York City’s Central Park.

New York Mayor Ed Koch called it the “Crime of the Century.” The five each spent between six and 13 years in prison before a serial rapist confessed that he alone had committed the crime, resulting in their convictions being overturned.

Renowned for his award-winning PBS documentaries, Ken Burns has jointly produced and directed The Central Park Five with his daughter Sarah Burns, and her husband, David McMahon.

The documentary revisits the Central Park Jogger case, the NYPD’s rush to judgment, an outraged public, and painfully examines the lives of the five teenagers: Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Raymond Santana, Kharey Wise, and Yusef Salaam.

The Central Park Five is a gripping, heartbreaking, and infuriating documentary and serves to expose the myriad injustices and prejudices within our country’s judicial system. These five young men were repeatedly lied to by New York City Police Department detectives and coerced into confessing to a crime with which they had no involvement.

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