National Geographic series 'Genius: MLK/X' premieres at the Smithsonian

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Thursday, February 1, 2024
Cast of 'Genius: MLK/X' discuss impact of civil rights leaders
The premiere for Nat Geo's new series 'Genius: MLK/X' was held at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C. Thursday night.

WASHINGTON -- A new series is taking an up-close look at Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X, and their roles - although different - in fighting racism in America.

The premiere for National Geographic's 'Genius: MLK/X' was held Thursday night at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C.

The series looks at the two leader's early years, how that helped them in their fight for change in the world and the big role their wives also played in the movement.

WATCH | 'Genius: MLK/X' actors join Here and Now

Kelvin Harrison Jr. and Aaron Pierre sat down with Sandra Bookman on Here and Now to discuss the significance and challenges associated with portraying MLK and Malcolm X.

"Betty Shabazz plays such a huge role. We don't get Malcolm X without her, I believe," said Jayme Lawson who plays Malcom X's wife Betty Shabazz. "The kind of back bone and support she was where he was able to bounce ideas off of her and his safe space."

Both men were assassinated, but both men left profound legacies.

"What it does is it allows us to see so many similarities between these two gentlemen when I think there's been such a misconception that they were so separate, but what they were able to offer us is an awareness," said Kelvin Harrison Jr. who plays Martin Luther King Jr.

Eyewitness News entertainment reporter Sandy Kenyon sat down with actors Kelvin Harrison Jr. and Aaron Pierre to talk about the series.

The first two episodes premiere next Thursday on National Geographic. They will be available on Disney+ and Hulu the following day.

Disney is the parent company of ABC Owned Television Stations.