*First a rare earthquake in DC, now a rare hurricane?
Forecasters say Hurricane Irene is on track to make landfall in the Carolinas this weekend and could reach Chesapeake Bay by Sunday at hurricane strength, which means the weather may disrupt plans for Sunday’s dedication of the Martin Luther King Jr. memorial on the National Mall in Washington.
Some 250,000 people are expected to attend.
Federal Emergency Management Agency chief Craig Fugate told reporters Tuesday that talks have begun with the National Park Service, which runs the Mall, about whether to go forward with the dedication.
NPS spokesman Bill Line tells The Associated Press that several options are on the table, including postponing or canceling the dedication. But he says no decision has been made and there’s no timetable for a decision.
Meanwhile, BET and CENTRIC have already announced live coverage of President Obama’s scheduled appearance at the dedication, with plans to cut into special MLK programing to cover the president’s speech live at noon.
In primetime, BET will premiere two specials:
“Alpha Man: The Brotherhood of MLK,” at 7 p.m., is described as a “character-driven special” that traces the lineage of King’s role in the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. during his time in divinity school in Boston. It also tells the story of how years later his fraternity brothers beat the odds to help make his National Memorial a reality.
Featuring never-before-seen footage and first person accounts of King’s life as a 23-year old divinity student in Boston, actor Hill Harper takes viewers through King’s rise from a 1952 Alpha pledgee to Nobel Prize-winner and leading civil rights pioneer whose impact is still felt today.
Immediately following at 7:30 p.m. is “Michelle Obama on a Mission: Impact Africa,” which captures the First Lady’s inspiring international journey to South Africa and Botswana. The special is told from the point of view of both the First Lady and the communities she visited in Africa, and features personal footage of Mrs. Obama’s historic visit as she spreads a message of unity and hope.
Seasoned Nigerian-American journalist and former CNN reporter Lola Ogunnaike serves as narrator and on-air correspondent.
BET’s full MLK Memorial Day schedule is listed below:
- 9:30 a.m.: KING miniseries
- 12 p.m.: MLK MEMORIAL DEDICATION WITH PRESIDENT OBAMA (live and commercial-free)
- 1 p.m.: KING miniseries (continued)
- 7 p.m. ALPHA MAN: THE BROTHERHOOD OF MLK
- 7:30 p.m.: MICHELLE OBAMA ON A MISSION: IMPACT AFRICA (encore at 11:00 p.m.)
The network will also air six “MLK Moments” interstitials featuring personal testimonials on the MLK Memorial from the cast of BET’s “Reed Between the Lines,” including Tracee Ellis Ross, Malcolm-Jamal Warner, Anna Maria Horsford and Melissa De Sousa, as well as fashion mogul Tommy Hilfiger and BET Networks CEO Debra Lee.
Meanwhile, CENTRIC will also dedicate its lineup in celebration of the MLK Memorial Day with the following Aug. 28 schedule:
- 9 a.m. OBAMA IN GHANA: THE UNTOLD STORY (encore at 1:00 p.m.);
- 10 a.m. THE ROSA PARKS STORY (movie)
- 12 p.m. MLK MEMORIAL DEDICATION WITH PRESIDENT OBAMA (live and commercial-free)
- 2 p.m. GREAT DEBATERS (movie)
- 4:30 p.m. BOYCOTT (movie)
- 7 p.m. KING miniseries (movie)
- 1 a.m. ALPHA MAN: THE BROTHERHOOD OF MLK
- 1:30 a.m. MICHELLE OBAMA ON A MISSION: IMPACT AFRICA