Students study MLK, Jr. and famous march thanks to "Selma in Schools" program

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Sunday, February 22, 2015
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Sandy Kenyon has more from Hollywood.

HARLEM (WABC) -- At Frederick Douglass Academy in Harlem, they're studying the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his famous march for the right to vote, thanks to a program called "Selma in Schools", a curriculum backed by Paramount Pictures - the studio that released the film.

There are a variety of lessons, video clips, and other resources that can be utilized and are actually quite productive in the classroom.

As played by actor David Oyelowo, Dr. King is less of a myth, and more of a man.

"I think it was a real eye-opener - I didn't know his struggle, especially with his family. Having to leave his family behind every day because of the situation in Selma," says Jude Pierre-Louis.

Oprah Winfrey's character brings the struggle for basic rights into the classroom.

"Yes, I was very moved cause you know she was very strong," says Lashawn Taylor.

"Selma in Schools" has the support of Joseph Gates, the man in charge at Frederick Douglass Academy.

"We have a quote, a motto at the school, which is without struggle there is no progress and this film and this program fits right in with that goal," says Gates.

Behind the scenes, Director Ava Duvernay struggled to realize her vision, and on Oscar Sunday, we witness her progress along Oscar's Red Carpet and in the classrooms of America.