While Martin Luther King (MLK) boulevards can be found in cities across the world, they often fall short of being a beacon for King’s legacy and dream for Black prosperity. Instead, they are more often synonymous with being rough areas that hold little opportunities for the people living there. Why did it get this way and what can be done to change this? These are the questions being addressed in a new film “King Blvd,” produced by writer and filmmaker Earl Hardy.

Hardy is a Detroit native who currently lives in Los Angeles. He has a background in advertising and has produced other short films and music videos.  

The film centers around Joshua, a young man living on MLK boulevard who wants to do something positive with his life. One day, his mentor offers him the opportunity of a lifetime, but only on the condition that he can help revive the run-down street. According to Hardy, it’s a comedy with a social commentary. Over the past few years, Hardy has done excessive research about Dr. King, and how so many streets took his name.

“I took the research and made a story around it. The characters in the movie and the issues that they deal with are all going to be pulled from the research that I did.”

The film is currently in its preproduction stage. Hardy expects filming to begin this spring and his team are still in the process of raising funds.

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In order to help bring attention to the film and to the people in Detroit doing the hard work of improving their community, Hardy brought together more than 20 people working for change in Detroit together for an epic photoshoot. 

“I invited people from the non-profit sector, city government, the creative space, and education to come together and celebrate them and what they’re doing.”

  Hardy gathered these leaders to Martin Luther King Park in Detroit and arranged them in a photoshoot paying homage to the famous photo “A Great Day in Harlem,” a 1958 photo from Esquire Magazine with Jazz legends like Dizzy Gillespe, and Thelonius Monk and others sitting in suits in front of a brownstone building. 

“I wanted to raise awareness for the project and also talk about people in the city who were upholding the values of Dr. King,” Hardy says. For him, the link between these leaders and Dr. King lies in their ability to gather mass support to affect change. 

“The idea of galvanizing individuals around an issue is really important, and that’s why I wanted to bring together those individuals from those sectors … to really hit that home.” 

To help support the film or to find out more about the people featured in the photo visit: https://kingblvdfeaturefilm.com/

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