Press Releases


May 15, 2011


Milwaukee, WI -- (April 5, 2011) What one remembers about the 1960s might be SDS, Woolworth's sit-in, Timothy Leary, JFK, MLK, the Feminine Mystique, the pill, the Peace Corps, George Wallace, the Bay of Pigs, John Glenn, the Beatles, Vietnam, or even Woodstock, but what African Americans may remember most were the courageous Freedom Riders sent by the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) to force the integration of interstate and travel facilities in the Deep South. New laws prohibiting segregation were passed, but the roughly 400 Freedom Riders brought the cause to national attention and made the laws mean a change in the long-held status quo. The year was 1961, only 50 years ago.

FREEDOM WALKERS FOR MILWAUKEE, a new special by MPTV Producer Everett L. Marshburn, is a half-hour documentary that captures Milwaukee's civil rights struggle in the middle of the 20th century. From 1890 to the 1970s, Milwaukee's African American population dramatically increased from less than a thousand people to over 100,000; but it had to fight for equal employment, open housing, and equitable educational opportunities. Through archival footage, photographs, and interviews with Milwaukeeans who participated in the struggle, the documentary sheds light on the events that earned Milwaukee the nickname, "The Selma of the North." The film will premiere as a BLACK NOUVEAU SPECIAL on Wednesday, May 11, at 6:30 p.m. on MPTV 10.1. Additional airdates: on MPTV 10.1 -- 5/17 at 7 p.m., 5/27 at 10 p.m., 5/29 at 1:30 p.m.; on MPTV 36.1 -- 5/17 at 12:30 a.m.

In addition to airing as a BLACK NOUVEAU SPECIAL, FREEDOM WALKERS FOR MILWAUKEE will air on Monday, May 16, at 6:30 p.m. in conjunction with the 8:00 p.m. new national program FREEDOM RIDERS: AN AMERICAN EXPERIENCE. In this documentary, veteran filmmaker Stanley Nelson chronicles the inspirational story of six months in 1961 that changed America forever. It is an astonishing testament to the accomplishment of youth and what can result from the incredible combination of personal conviction and the courage to organize against all odds. Additional airdates: on MPTV 10.1 -- 5/18 at 2 a.m., 5/27 at 10:30 p.m.; on MPTV 10.2 World -- 5/17 at 7 a.m., 1 p.m., 6 p.m., 11 p.m.; 5/21 at 2 p.m., 8 p.m., 2 a.m.

Also of interest is BLACK IN LATIN AMERICA, a new four-part PBS series on the influence of African descent on Latin America by renowned Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates, Jr. His 12-year quest, beginning with his WONDERS OF THE AFRICAN, was an effort to discover how Africa and Europe combined to create the vibrant cultures of Latin America. Two episodes of the series will air Tuesdays, April 19 and May 10 at 7:00 p.m. on MPTV 10.1. The full series will air in the fall on MPTV 36.1

MPTV is a community-supported service of Milwaukee Area Technical College. Since its inception, MPTV has educated, entertained, and inspired. Today, MPTV offers viewers a family of 10 digital channels - 24 hours a day, seven days a week. MPTV Viewer Services can be reached at 414-297-7520,, Twitter and Facebook.
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