Video reels highlight Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s lesser known - WSMV News 4

Video reels highlight Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s lesser known work

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(WMC-TV) - New video recordings of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. years before he became the "king" of the civil rights movement were uncovered in Shreveport, Louisiana. That is where filmmakers are retracing Dr. King's early work.

The boxes of film were stashed away for more than 50 years. They were brought to life in a new documentary created by co-producers Tim DeWayne and Joey Kent.

The film is called "Beyond Galilee" and it retraces the steps of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. when he spoke at Galilee Baptist and Little Union Baptist Church in Shreveport, LA.

"We were afraid that this might ignite old feelings and create problems rather than solve problems," said Joey Kent.

In order to bring King to life, they needed visual proof that he was there.

After reaching out to various media outlets in Shreveport, it was Action News 5's sister station, KSLA, that helped put the pieces together.

"I guess you can say a bundle of film was really a goldmine," said DeWayne.

In the KSLA News 12 archives was a crusty piece of tape labeled "parking problem at Negro rally". It was the gateway to uncovering Dr. King's significance in Shreveport.

"Reporters were responding to a parking problem in the neighborhood," said Kent.

In 1958, 1960, and 1962, when Dr. King was in Shreveport, he had not yet reached his iconic status.

That is probably one reason that the old film did not display his name.

Instead, crews 50 years ago rushed to the scene to cover the parking problems and five decades later, we now know that Dr. King was at the center of it all.

"Shreveport deserves a role in the national movement. Not as aggressive as Montgomery, Birmingham, or Selma but certainly on par with Memphis and Little Rock and some of those other cities," said Kent.

"It's a conversation starter and that's what it should be. That's what it should be," said DeWayne.

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