Created by Professor Steven Cleveland and Produced by Tamika Lamison
Many can recall the leis worn by Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and others as they crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama in 1965, but few know that the story began in 1959 as a part of Hawaii’s statehood celebration. A King in Paradise is a new film, currently in early production, that seeks to re-trace Dr. King’s journey by traveling to the places and speaking with the people who were present during his visit.
The film will be viewed from the perspective of three generations: Those alive during Dr. King’s 1959 visit to Hawaii, the generation that followed, and subsequent generations. Thus, A King in Paradise will address the past 50 years while also remaining current and drawing parallels to the current resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement and the racial injustices faced by African Americans to this day.
Current documentaries and other scripted series about racial topics have garnered critical and commercial acclaim in a way that few race-related films have before; A King in Paradise will parallel these successful formulas to capture attention across the country and world. Springboarding from the momentum of the current movement to create socio-economic equality, A King in Paradise will serve a deep need for inspiration and reflection provided by the greatest proponent for equality in American history: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., himself.