Theater actors Colman Domingo, Andre Holland added to Ava DuVernay’s MLK Biopic ‘Selma’

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Theater actors Colman Domingo, Andre Holland added to Ava DuVernay’s MLK Biopic ‘Selma’
Posted by Wilson Morales

May 8, 2014

Colman Domingo Andre Holland

Stage and screen actors Colman Domingo and Andre Holland have been added to Ava DuVernay’s MLK Biopic ‘Selma,’ playing the Reverend Ralph Abernathy and politician Andrew Young respectively.

Selma details the attempts of black marchers to walk from Selma to Montgomery, the capital of Alabama, in 1965 in order to gain voting rights, only to be beaten back by police. It took the organizers three attempts to make the journey as marchers swelled in numbers each time.

Already cast in the film are David Oyelowo, who’s playing Martin Luther King Jr., Carmen Ejogo as his wife Coretta Scott King, Tom Wilkinson as President Lyndon B. Johnson, Short Term 12′s Keith Stanfield as Jimmie Lee Jackson, Lorraine Toussaint as civil rights activist Amelia Boynton (Robinson), and eight-time Grammy nominee artist Ledisi as the legendary gospel singer Mahalia Jackson.

Ralph AbernathyAbernathy was a leader of the American Civil Rights Movement, a minister, and a close associate of Martin Luther King, Jr. in the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. For 13 turbulent years, from 1955 until Dr. King’s death on April 4, 1968, Dr. King and Dr. Abernathy journeyed together, every step of the way and were inseparable as best friends, sharing the same hotel rooms, jail cells and leisure times with their wives, children, family and friends, all the way to the end. By tearing down the walls of segregation, discrimination and helping to establish new legislation, King and Abernathy were able to instill a new sense of pride, dignity and self-worth in millions of African Americans and people of all colors, all over the world. Their Civil and Human Rights Movement serves as an inspiration and model of America’s principled non violent struggle for freedom, justice and equality. Following King’s assassination, Dr. Abernathy took up the leadership of the SCLC Poor People’s Campaign and led the March on Washington, D.C., that had been planned for May 1968, states wikipedia.

Andrew Young 2According to wikipedia, “Young moved to Atlanta, Georgia, in 1961, and again worked on drives to register black voters. In 1960, he joined the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Young was jailed for his participation in civil rights demonstrations, both in Selma, Alabama, and in St. Augustine, Florida. Young played a key role in the events in Birmingham, Alabama, serving as a mediator between the white and black communities. In 1964, Young was named executive director of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), becoming, in that capacity, one of King’s principal lieutenants. As a colleague and friend of Martin Luther King Jr., he was a strategist and negotiator during the Civil Rights Campaigns in Birmingham (1963), St. Augustine (1964), Selma (1965), and Atlanta (1966) that resulted in the passage of the Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act.

Abernathy and Young were with King in Memphis, Tennessee, when King was assassinated in 1968.

Colman Domingo Ralph AbernathyLast seen as Freddie Fallows in ‘Lee Daniels’ The Butler,’ Domingo also had supporting roles in ’42,’ Spike Lee’s ‘Red Hook Summer,’ and Steven Spielberg’s ‘Lincoln.’ A veteran of the stage, the Philadelphia native was part of the ensemble of the Tony-winning musical Passing Strange, and won several accolades for his self-penned play A Boy and His Soul. He also received a Tony nomination for his featured role in The Scottsboro Boys.

Andre Holland Andrew YoungHolland recently played sportscaster Wendell Smith in the hit baseball film, ’42,’ and had a starring role in the TV series 1600 Penn. Among his theaters credits include are the three characters he played in ‘Blue Door,’ and his roles in ‘Wig Out!’ and in ‘The Brother/Sister Plays.’ He also received accolades for his supporting role opposite Andre Braugher in ‘The Whipping Man.’

Oprah Winfrey and her Harpo production company, Plan B’s Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner, and Christian Colson will produce ‘Selma.’ Paramount will distribute the film.

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