A news MSNBC documentary examines race in America through the lens of a 28-year-old African-American man who traces his lineage to a North Carolina tobacco farm where his ancestors worked as slaves.
Premiering April 11 at 9 p.m., Meeting David Wilson was written and directed by Wilson, an independent TV journalist who grew up in a tough section of Newark, N.J. He locates another David Wilson, a 62-year-old white man who runs a chain of barbecue restaurants in North Carolina. The elder Wilson's ancestors owned the tobacco farm where the filmmaker's ancestors toiled.
The film documents the men meeting in North Carolina as the Wilson family travels from New Jersey to the North Carolina plantation.
The documentary will be followed by a live town-hall meeting on race in America at Washington, D.C.'s Howard University. NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams will moderate the event.
The documentary will air days after the 40th anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. But it also is well timed as the nation finds itself in the midst of a national dialogue on race spurred by the candidacy of Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) and his recent speech addressing the racially charged sermons of his former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright Jr.