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Celebrate Martin Luther King Day with Great Shows from Twin Cities PBS

MLK Jr. Day is Monday, Jan. 16

January 11, 2023

Martin Luther King Jr. giving a speech

Every third Monday in January we set aside time to reflect on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy and honor his civil rights and social justice activism through a National Day of Service.

As part of TPT’s celebration of this year, we have curated a collection of resources that celebrate King’s impact, share the history of civil rights activism, inspire action, and uplift King’s message of social justice.

The first title on this list is a new release, “Jim Crow of the North Stories,” a new digital-first series that builds on the Emmy award-winning documentary “Jim Crow of the North.”

You can also watch a discovered tape of a speech given by Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., at the University of Minnesota in 1967, enjoy past speakers from the annual MLK day breakfasts hosted by the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) and General Mills, or dive into the landmark PBS series, Eyes on the Prize, a definitive history of the civil rights era. Read on for all of our picks.

Check out the resources below and watch online, or by using the PBS Video App on your SmartTV.

For extended access to shows using TPT Passport, become a member today. Learn more about streaming with TPT here.

Jim Crow of the North Stories

“Jim Crow of the North Stories” uncovers the dark history of systemic racism in Minnesota, but also lifts up Black resistance and resilience in the past and the present-day changemakers bringing it to light and looking to right historical housing injustices. The four series of short documentaries is hosted by local historian Acoma Gaither.

Watch Now


Minnesota Experience: Martin Luther King in Minnesota

A discovered tape of a speech given by Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., at the University of Minnesota in 1967; followed by an interview of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by host L. Howard Bennett for a discussion on ideas, methods and words of wisdom on how to achieve the goal of a free society for all.

Watch Now


Martin Luther King Day Breakfast – Minnesota 2015-2019

This breakfast celebrates Dr. King’s legacy of service and inspires others to live out his dream in their community and throughout the world. 2019’s keynote speaker is Don Lemon, award winning news anchor for CNN based in New York City, and hosts CNN Tonight. Also find leaders like Donna Brazile, David Oyelowo and Myrlie Evers-Williams featured as past year’s speakers.

Watch Now


Eyes on the Prize

Revisit this landmark series, the definitive story of the civil rights era from the point of view of the ordinary men and women whose extraordinary actions launched a movement that changed the fabric of American life.

Watch by logging into your TPT Passport account.

Watch Now


Racism Unveiled Initiative

Racism Unveiled is a digital storytelling project that aims to call out racism and to highlight how we can pull up this weed once and for all. This work is generously funded by a lead grant from the Otto Bremer Trust, with additional support from HealthPartners and the Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation.

Discover More


Unladylike 2020: The Changemakers

Feature: Mary Church Terrell

Mary Church Terrell (1863-1954) became a national leader as founder of the National Association of Colored Women, coining its motto “Lifting As We Climb,” while also serving as a founding member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and actively wrote and spoke out about lynching and segregation throughout her life.

Watch the Rest of the Series


Finding Your Roots: Anchored to the Past

Henry Louis Gates, Jr. examines how journalists Gretchen Carlson and Don Lemon were able to overcome biases in their careers, drawing parallels to relatives who met profound challenges of their own. The episode also delves into Don’s father’s role in the Civil Rights movement.

Watch Episode


Vernon Jordan: Make it Plain

Explore the life of Vernon Jordan, one of the most influential African American thought leaders. The film traces Jordan’s rise from modest origins to national renown as a distinguished, pioneering attorney, businessman and civil rights leader; and as an influential powerbroker and counselor to American presidents spanning the era from LBJ to Barack Obama.

Watch by logging into your TPT Passport account.

Watch Now


PBS NewsHour: Remembering John Lewis

A congressman and lifelong activist, Lewis endured threats, repeated imprisonment and physical violence to fight for civil rights. He was instrumental in the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Judy Woodruff remembers the American icon who championed “good trouble.”

Watch More Episodes of PBS NewsHour


Civil Rights Across Generations

A Civil Rights Movement conversation between Congressman John Lewis of Georgia and Twin Cities teenagers. Co-Produced w/ General Mills Foundation.

Religion & Ethics Newsweekly: Millennials and the Legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.

This series provides in-depth coverage of the top religion and ethics stories of the week as well as religious and ethical perspectives on domestic and foreign events and the arts. Hosted by veteran journalist Bob Abernethy, the series brings viewers breaking news through live and taped reports filed by a team of correspondents in the field and interviews with prominent newsmakers.

Watch Now


Freedom Song

Explore how music helped sustain and was in turn inspired by the Civil Rights Movement. Includes archival performances and interviews with many of the greatest artists and musicians from the soul era and beyond.

Watch Now With TPT Passport


Black Church: This is Our Story, This is Our Song

Retrace the 400-year-old-story of the Black church in America with Henry Louis Gates, Jr., exploring its role as the site of African American organizing, resilience, autonomy, freedom and solidarity.

Watch Now



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