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8 Fascinating Martin Luther King Jr Documentaries

Learn about the life of Martin Luther King, Jr. and his impact on the civil rights movement by watching these Martin Luther King Jr documentaries. You can also learn more about him in fictionalized Martin Luther King, Jr. movies.

These documentaries about Martin Luther King, Jr. are great to watch before the MLK holiday, during Black History Month or any other time of the year. They are a really great resource in the classroom for educators, for parents who want to supplement their children's learning at home or for anyone who is interested learning more about the great man who contributed to history.

We all know what Martin Luther King, Jr.'s contribution was to this country, but many may not know his story, the timeline or the events that led up to his famous speech or infamous assassination.

Check out one of these documentaries from his early years, during his prominent years, or archived footage that digs back into the events surrounding MLK's death.

 

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Martin Luther King Jr Documentaries

MLK documentaries delve into the life and impact of Martin Luther King Jr., a prominent leader in the American Civil Rights Movement. These films offer a deep dive into his activism, speeches, and the struggles for racial equality, providing a comprehensive and often poignant look at the challenges and triumphs of the civil rights era.

This is my favorite book about Martin Luther King, Jr.

Selma
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Tom Wilkinson, Carmen Ejogo, Giovanni Ribisi (Actors)

Selma

In the face of violent racist attacks, Martin Luther King Jr. leads a protest in Alabama that culminates in a historic march from Selma to Montgomery.

Alpha Man: The Brotherhood of MLK

This television documentary film reveals the story of Martin Luther King Jr.’s fraternity days as a member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity.

Boycott
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Jeffrey Wright, Terrence Howard, CCH Pounder (Actors)

Boycott

Interweaving vintage newsreels, stock footage,10 and home movies with scenes depicting events surrounding the birth of the civil rights movement, this made-for-cable drama recounts the story behind the Montgomery, Ala., bus boycott of 1955.

In the Hour of Chaos
  • Martin Luther King, Sr., Lynnette Holmes (Actors)
  • Bayer Mack (Director)

In the Hour of Chaos

This 2016 American documentary film directed by Bayer Mack about the life and trials of the Reverend Martin Luther King Sr. (“Daddy King”), father of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.

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King [DVD]
  • DVD
  • Closed-captioned, Color, Full Screen

King (miniseries)

Paul Winfield plays in this story of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., stretching from his days as a Southern Baptist minister up to his assassination in Memphis in 1968.

King in the Wilderness
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Clifford Alexander, Joan Baez, Harry Belafonte (Actors)

King in the Wilderness

King in the Wilderness chronicles the final chapters of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s life, revealing a conflicted leader who faced an onslaught of criticism from both sides of the political spectrum.

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King: A Filmed Record - Montgomery to Memphis
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward, Ruby Dee (Actors)

King: A Filmed Record… Montgomery to Memphis

This is a 1970 American documentary film biography of Martin Luther King Jr. and his creation and leadership of the nonviolent campaign for civil rights and social and economic justice in the Civil Rights Movement.

It uses only original newsreel and other primary material, unvarnished and unretouched, and covers the period from the Montgomery bus boycott of 1955 and 1956 through his assassination in 1968.

The Witness: From the Balcony of Room 306

On April 4, 1968, the Reverend Samuel “Billy” Kyles stood beside Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee and bore witness to his brutal assassination.

This documentary recounts Kyles' recollection.

The Speeches Collection, Vol. 1
  • Factory sealed DVD
  • Konrad Adenauer, Anatoli Dobrynin, Dwight D. Eisenhower (Actors)

The Speeches Collection: Vol. 1

This collection features stirring oratory from some of the 20th century's most gifted American speechmakers, including highlights spanning the public careers of Ronald Reagan, Gerald Ford, John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr.

In an age dominated by rhetoric of convenience and nightly news sound bites, this anthology proves that few things have the power to inspire as a substantive speech delivered by a gifted orator. 

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If you want to keep the learning going with your kids, click on the image of the MLK statue below to get access to these free Martin Luther King, Jr. printables.

If you enjoyed this list of movies, I have a monthly membership for parents and educators that want to teach or supplement lessons with shows and movies.

“I absolutely love sharing movies with my kids as a way to teach them valuable lessons. It's like this awesome bonding experience where we all snuggle up on the couch with some popcorn, and I get to see their little faces light up with curiosity. Whether it's a classic with timeless morals or a new animated flick with hidden gems of wisdom, it's a fantastic way to impart important life lessons in a fun and engaging way. Plus, the post-movie discussions are priceless – hearing their take on the characters and the story adds a whole new dimension to our family time.” –a Homeschooling parent

With Homeschooling with Shows and Movies membership, you will get resources every month, including:

  • List of This Month’s Suggested Themes
  • List of Monthly Observances
  • List Of Movies for Unit Study
  • Unit Study Resource
  • Seasonal Activities (minimum of three)
  • (BONUSES) Resources for you, the teacher

These resources are worth it if you'd like to easily incorporate shows and movies into your homeschooling.

Grab your membership here.

More like these Martin Luther King Jr Movies:

To continue the learning, this is my favorite book about Martin Luther King, Jr.

Check out this list of the 10 best movies about Martin Luther King Jr.

Have you seen any of these Martin Luther King Jr documentaries?

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