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Arts & Culture

A Ripple Of Hope

The Landmark for Peace sculpture at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Park in Indianapolis, near the site of the "Ripple of Hope" speech.
Courtesy of Covenant Productions
The Landmark for Peace sculpture at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Park in Indianapolis, near the site of the "Ripple of Hope" speech.

Stream now or tune in Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021 at 11 a.m. on KPBS 2

On the night of Dr. Martin Luther King's murder in 1968, Robert F. Kennedy was scheduled to make an appearance in an African-American neighborhood as part of his run for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Upon hearing the tragic news, Kennedy was forced to make a crucial decision: Should he venture into the heart of the Indianapolis inner city and talk to the potentially volatile crowd gathered in a park?

What could he say that would assuage their grief? Should he defy the city officials who ordered him to stay away? Would his life be in danger?

"A Ripple of Hope" tells the dramatic story of that night, and how by keeping his promise to speak in Indianapolis, Robert F. Kennedy was able to help that city avert the violence that swept the rest of the country and make a profound statement about American race relations.

This film originally aired in 2010 on KPBS.