The 50th anniversary of the March on Washington isn’t until next Wednesday — and while a slew of channels will broadcast the occasion and President Obama’s speech at the Lincoln Memorial, there’s a slate of pre-programming already lined up for the weekend.
Friday, Aug. 23
6 p.m. “PoliticsNation: March on Washington: The Dream Continues” (MSNBC): Hosted by Rev. Al Sharpton, guests to discuss the upcoming anniversary include Martin Luther King III, Bernice King, Taylor Branch, Myrlie Evers-Williams and more.
10 p.m. “We Were There: The March on Washington – An Oral History” (CNN): Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) is the only leader of the “Big Six” civil rights organizations who spoke at the original event and is still alive today; in an extended interview, Lewis recalls his memories from the summer of 1963.
Saturday, Aug. 24
9 a.m. “50th Anniversary of the March on Washington: Rally on the National Mall” (C-SPAN): The network broadcasts the rally, and starting at 12:30 p.m., follows the march from the Lincoln Memorial to the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial.
11 a.m.: “50: The March & the Movement” (BET and Centric): The two-hour special looks at the people behind the rally in 1963.
5 p.m. “Beyond the Dream: 50 Years Later” (Fox News Channel): The special, hosted by Kelly Wright, looks back at the iconic march; it also includes a discussion of race relations in the United States today, along with a profile of Howard University students helping youth overcome gang violence.
7 p.m. “The March On Washington: 50th Anniversary” (WUSA): Looks back at the events and people commemorating the events in 1963.
Sunday, Aug. 25
10 a.m. ” Meet the Press’ Special Edition: Remembering the Dream” (NBC): An hour before the regularly-scheduled edition of “Meet the Press,” the network airs the August 25, 1963 edition of the show — three days before the historic march. The edition includes unedited interviews with Martin Luther King, Jr. and NAACP executive secretary Roy Wilkins.
11 a.m. “Sing Your Song” (TV One): To commemorate the anniversary, the network re-airs the documentary profile of Harry Belafonte, the singer, actor and activist who was a figurehead in the civil rights movement.
1 p.m. “Roundtable with Hollywood Stars” (C-SPAN3): Archival footage of March participants Sidney Poitier, Charlton Heston, Marlon Brando and Harry Belafonte sitting down for a discussion, filmed by the U.S. Information Agency in 1963.
1:30 p.m. “The March” (C-SPAN3): The National Archives recently restored this 1964 film documenting the march.
2 p.m. “American Artifacts: One Life: Martin Luther King Jr.” (C-SPAN3): A look at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery’s MLK Jr. exhibit, led by senior curator of photographs Ann Shumard.
2:30 p.m. “1960 Civil Rights Activiist (C-SPAN3): A theater performance from Smithsonian National Museum of American History, as an “activist” teaches visitors about non-violent sit-in tactics using the historic Woolworth lunch counter from Greensboro, N.C., as an example.
3:30 p.m. “Media Memory and the March on Washington” (C-SPAN3): During a panel at the museum, experts look back at the media coverage of the “I Have a Dream” speech, and the civil rights movement itself.
5:05 p.m. “Martin Luther King’s ‘I Have a Dream’ Speech” (C-SPAN3): MLK’s former adviser and speechwriter, Clarence Jones, talks about working on the iconic speech.
Tuesday, Aug. 27
7 p.m. “PBS NewsHour” (PBS): Bonnie Boswell Hamilton talks about her film “The Powerbroker: Whitney Young’s Fight for Civil Rights,” which tells the story of her uncle, who was a march participant; historian Peniel Joseph joins in the discussion.
9 p.m. “The March” (PBS): Narrated by Denzel Washington, this new documentary looks at how the march, as well as “I Have a Dream” speech, endures today as a symbol of unity.
Wednesday, Aug. 28
All news channels cover the events at the Lincoln Memorial, including a speech from President Obama.