The Attica Prison Riot is among six stories to be explored in a new documentary series that examines the civil rights movement in America.
The six-part series “Boiling Point” premieres at 8 p.m. Sunday on the BET cable network.
The documentary is one of two new projects under the network’s “Content for Change” initiative. The other project, “Disrupt & Dismantle,” is hosted by Soledad O’Brien, will explore what needs to be accomplished to make change for Black Americans. “Disrupt & Dismantle” premieres at 9 p.m. Sunday. Episodes of both series will air back-to-back on consecutive Sundays on BET and BET Her.
“BET and CBS News Present: Boiling Point” will explore Black America’s longstanding struggle for racial justice and equality, according to a series description from BET.
Each hour-long episode will use CBS News’ archival footage, original interviews, and never-before-seen footage of what producers describe as “dramatic flashpoints in history.”
Six events will be featured. These include George Wallace’s stand in the schoolhouse door, Bloody Sunday in Selma, Ala., the Attica Prison riot, L.A. riots, aftermath of Hurrican Katrina, and the killing of George Floyd.
Each event, producers said, gripped the nation and motivated Black Americans to fight for change.
The six events, according to producers, represent a powerful throughline that bridge the country’s past and present. The events featured in the documentary series set the stage for the current civil rights battles of today.
Interviews will include first-person witnesses and participants, family, reporters on the scene, leaders and legislators. Among those interviewed include Andrew Young, journalists Wesley Lowery and Nikole Hannah-Jones, professor Hasan Kwame Jeffries, Carol Anderson, Ibram X. Kendi, Jody Armour, Marc Lamont HIll and Michael Eric Dyson; the Rev. Raymond Scott, Los Angeles District Attorney George Gason, activist LaTosha Brown and retired Lt. Gen. Russel Honore, among others.
The documentary also shows the evolution of television journalism in covering civil rights stories, including the rise of the evening news, the dawn of the home movie/caught-on-tape era and, more recently, the cell phone camera/social media revolution.
The events to be explored in the episodes are:
n “L.A. Riots”: The acquittal of four officers in the Rodney King beating trial lit a firestorm of unrest and rang the alarm on the use of excessive force by police (1992)
n “Bloody Sunday”: The assault on civil rights marchers in Selma, Ala., galvanized public opinion and mobilized Congress to pass the Voting Rights Act (1965)
n “Attica”: The violent inmate uprising that exposed a broken system of incarceration in America (1971)
n “Hurricane Katrina”: The natural disaster sparked questions and a bitter uproar about how race and class may have influenced the government’s response to the crisis (2005)
n “Stand in the Schoolhouse Door”: The defiant attempt by Alabama Gov. George Wallace to stop Black students from enrolling at the University of Alabama laid bare divisions over desegregation (1963)
n “George Floyd”: The killing of George Floyd sparked a wave of protests in America, strengthening calls for greater police accountability and improving the relationship between police and the communities they serve.