NewsOne Now Audio Podcast: Are ‘Selma’s’ Critics Trying To Protect LBJ’s Legacy?


In a recent op-ed, Joseph A. Califano Jr., a top aide for President Lyndon B. Johnson, found fault with how LBJ was portrayed in the Martin Luther King, Jr. biopic, “Selma,” directed by Ava DuVernay.

In his Washington Post piece, Califano wrote:

The makers of the new movie “Selma” apparently just couldn’t resist taking dramatic, trumped-up license with a true story that didn’t need any embellishment to work as a big-screen historical drama. As a result, the film falsely portrays President Lyndon B. Johnson as being at odds with Martin Luther King Jr. and even using the FBI to discredit him, as only reluctantly being behind the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and as opposed to the Selma march itself.

Califano also stated in his opinion piece that “Selma was LBJ’s idea” and said that the movie should be “ruled out” during award season., causing many involved in the Civil Rights movement of the 50s and 60s to cry foul.

Rep. Hank Johnson Breaks Down His Grand Jury Reform Bill

People all across America have been angry about the grand jury decisions in the Michael Brown and Eric Garner cases. In both cases, White police officers were not indicted for killing an unarmed African American man.

On Tuesday, Rep. Hank Johnson appeared on “NewsOne Now” with Roland Martin to discuss his proposed grand jury reform bill which will change the grand jury process and hold police more accountable for their actions. Johnson plans on  reintroducing this legislation today in the new session of Congress.

Even though grand jury processes are handled on the state level and are considered a state right, Rep. Johnson’s federal legislation would have a major impact on how those proceedings are conducted. Johnson told Martin, “Law enforcement agencies around the country receive federal funds and to the extent that they do, the federal government has jurisdiction to regulate.

“We have the power of the purse strings,” Johnson said. “What my legislation would do would be to interpose a layer or accountability on these secret grand jury proceedings if there is a homicide by a police officer in the line of duty. My bill would require the appointment of a special prosecutor, that special prosecutor would be charged with conducting a public probable cause hearing to determine whether or not there was reasonable belief that that police officer should be bound over for criminal charges.”

Martin asked Rep. Johnson if states decided not to implement the grand jury reform measures under his proposed bill would federal dollars to be withheld.

Johnson replied, “Exactly.”

According to Rep. Johnson, state law would not have to be changed in order to implement the reform. Johnson said, “Each state would be charged with amending their processes to accommodate this new process. It doesn’t replace a state’s old process.”

Jonson explained there can be secret grand jury proceedings because many states require that grand juries remain secret but, “they would have to have a public probable cause hearing before bringing it to a secret grand jury process.”

WealthyU: Closing Your Personal Wealth Gap

America’s wealth coach Deborah Owens joined Roland Martin Tuesday on “NewsOne Now” to explain how to get our finances in order by closing our personal wealth gap.

Owens told Martin and the “NewsOne Now” Straight Talk panel that we need to transform our minds from an “income mindset” to a “wealth mindset.” She further explained that we need to focus on our personal balance sheet and make sure that our net worth is going up and not just our income.

One way to close our personal wealth gap and shift to a wealth mindset is to pay off your debts. Owens said debt is a greater percentage of our overall balance sheet.

“We’re carrying a little more mortgage debt than we ever have and the fact is that we’re told that everybody should have a mortgage,” said Owens. “There’s this benefit, but when I was an advisor, the people who were the most prepared for retirement were those that didn’t have a mortgage at retirement.”

Owens explained one of the ways to increase our personal balance sheets is to increase the equity that we have in our homes by reducing mortgage debt. The financial guru also said by accelerating mortgage payments we can pay down the principle on the mortgage faster just by increasing their payments by $50 to $100 a month.

Owens said this move can financial move can turn a 30-year mortgage into a 15-year mortgage.

“Rose In A Fisted Glove”: Carmen Ejogo On The Role Of Coretta Scott King In ‘Selma’ [VIDEO]

Roland Martin, host of “NewsOne Now,” talked with Carmen Ejogo about her role as Coretta Scott King in the Martin Luther King, Jr. biopic “Selma” during a recent press event.

Martin told Ejogo that many people described Mrs. King as a “rose in a fisted glove” and in “Selma” there were moments when Ejongo had to be tough in her portrayal of Mrs. King and then fallback into a softer role when filming scenes with David Oyelowo, who played Dr. King.

Ejogo immediately said, “Oh, that’s perfect,” in response to the description of Mrs. King being that delicate and yet at the same time so strong. “I got to play Coretta as she was in 1955, in a production called “Boycott” for HBO, and I feel like in some ways as a couple they were still quite naive and they had just been thrust into the position of leadership and so there was something a little less guarded about her at that point in her life.”

“One of the challenges that I was excited by and one of the things that made me curious about playing this role again for the second time,” continued Ejogo, was the fact that the fisted glove started to really emerge and become quite stiff around what was clearly a beautifully deep, bright woman that was living under that.”

Ejogo said two things helped her prepare to play the role of Mrs. King in “Selma.” One was some raw footage that she and Oyelowo discovered. 

Ejogo said the discovery of this footage was “fantastic” because it shows “Coretta right before the camera starts rolling on various interviews and it’s in those moments you really get to see who somebody really is.”

Her secondary, and probably most important source of inspiration, came from Coretta Scott King herself. Ejogo said she got to spend some time with Mrs. King not long before she passed away. Ejogo explained that Mrs. King “loved” her performance in HBO’s “Boycott” and that spending some time with her was “another little insight” into who iconic matriarch and leader truly was.


  • johnackerby

    Roland the problem isn’t that the critics of the movie Selma are trying to protect LBJ’s legacy; the problem is that the creators and director of the movie are trying to slander LBJ and inspire the next generation of black people to hate white people.

    The director herself stated in an interview, “I wasn’t interested in making a white-savior movie.”

    This is why the director of Selma made LBJ an opponent of the voting rights movement. The director lied. She made LBJ an opponent to create the false impression that it was solely the grand devices of black people that brought about voting rights. But that’s false. What a lousy fraudulent movie.

  • johnackerby

    You must really hate white people to support racist propaganda like Selma. You don’t even care about the truth. And the funniest thing is that Duvernay and Winfrey would have probably have gotten high honors at the Oscars and the box office if they had just told the true story, which is much more exciting than the fraudulent slanderous story that they told instead. Imagine a story about how the President of the USA, the most powerful man in the free world, was so taken in and impressed by the African American hero, MLK, that he partnered with MLK and worked with him to achieve one of his most important pieces of legislation. It’s apparent that LBJ viewed MLK as a formidable and equal partner that he could count on and work with, and it’s equally important the MLK viewed LBJ as a formidable and equal partner that he could count on and work with. If you, Winfrey, and Duvernay weren’t so blinded by your hatred of all white people you would see the value of putting out that true story because it’s a story that makes a point about what can be accomplished when people view each other as equals and cooperate with one another instead of hating-on each other. But you can’t stop hating so you can’t perceive the value of that point.

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