D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser went to see the movie “Selma” with a group of black male students from Washington’s public schools on Saturday as part of a White House initiative called “My Brothers Keeper.”
Bowser, who has had to deal with a deadly Metro train incident, two snow emergencies and other issues, during her first 15 days in office, took her time to explain the importance of the movie on the of the Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend.
“Our whole campaign has been about how we create more opportunity for people all across the District of Columbia.” Bowser said. “What Dr. King stood for was not just a commitment to the non-violent struggle, but also the importance of economic security, and that is the struggle of our time and it is important for our young men and boys to know that history.”
While My Brothers Keeper focuses on black males, the theater was filled with boys and girls because the founder of the March on Washington Film Festival was able to raise $75,000 so that every student in the D.C. Public Schools could see Selma for free.
“The purpose of the project is really to connect young people to powerful stories of our past and inspire to know that they have a civil right,” said Robert Raben, founder of the March on Washington Film Project. “They need to know that if they have something that they want to change and they have the power to do that.”
Following the movie, Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) led a discussion to glean the students views on the movie.
Raben said he is glad that focus on two lesser know figures and ordinary people in the movie.
“The director lifts up rank and file people in Selma housekeepers , church ushers, laborers who have courage to speak up,” said Raben, adding that movie shows that “you don’t have to be an iconic figure to make a difference in the world.”