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Founded in 1999, The HistoryMakers is a national, 501(c) (3) non-profit institution that develops, preserves, and provides easy online access to an internationally-recognized archival collection of thousands of African American videotaped oral histories. The oral histories document, promote, and celebrate the successes of African American individuals, events, movements, and organizations that are of historic value and importance to the African American community and American society.

As the hallmark celebrity interview program and fundraiser for The HistoryMakers, An Evening With… has previously honored men and women from multiple disciplines who have distinguished themselves in their respective fields. Among those previously interviewed are Harry Belafonte, Dionne Warwick, Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee, B.B. King, Colin Powell, Della Reese, Russell Simmons, Diahann Carroll, Denyce Graves, Nikki Giovanni, Andrew Young, and Earl Graves.

Interviewer Gwen Ifill is the managing editor of “Washington Week” and senior correspondent for “The PBS NewsHour,” both on PBS-TV. She has been honored by the National Press Foundation, Ebony Magazine, the Radio Television News Directors Association, and American Women in Radio and Television. Ifill has also moderated two vice presidential debates in 2004 and 2008 and is the author of the book, The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama.

Julieanna Richardson is pleased that Berry Gordy’s interview will be featured as one of the PBS-TV specials. “The HistoryMakers is fortunate that Mr. Gordy will appear live in Chicago for a full-length interview with Gwen Ifill. Our special relationship with PBS makes it possible for The HistoryMakers to produce these outstanding programs and to present them during Black History Month,” said Richardson. “I was introduced to Mr. Gordy by Clarence Avant, former chairman of the board of Motown Records. This program represents a hallmark moment for The HistoryMakers because I have worked for 12 years on getting Mr. Gordy to agree to be interviewed. We are delighted to have him in Chicago for what will be an historic evening of song, history, and American culture,” Richardson added.

Honorary co-chairs for An Evening with Berry Gordy include: Christie Hefner, Clarence Avant, Walter & Shirley Massey, and Richard Parsons. The title sponsor is Comcast NBC Universal. Other major sponsors include Universal Music Group which owns Motown, Sony Music which owns the Motown publishing rights, Discover, Abbott Laboratories, Chicago Tribune, and The Ritz Carlton Chicago. 

For further information on The HistoryMakers, please visit the website at

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