Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

Henry Louis Gates Jr.'s PBS Documentary Black America Since MLK: And Still I Rise to Premiere Today

At an evening reception and screening hosted by the Howard and Abby Milstein Foundation at the Times Center in Midtown Manhattan last night, major civic and civil rights figures celebrated the newest PBS series by Emmy and Peabody-award winning Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Black America Since MLK: And Still I Rise.

Black America Since MLK: And Still I Rise is a two-part, four-hour documentary series hosted, executive produced and written by Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. The documentary will premiere on PBS stations nationwide on November 15 and 22, 2016 at 8/7c. Among the leading supporters of the event were the Howard and Abby Milstein Foundation, in partnership with HooverMilstein and Emigrant Bank.

The launch event and public television series it celebrates couldn't be more timely. Even as the country is in the final months of its first African-American President's tenure, a searing schism has erupted between police and many of the communities they're tasked with protecting. At the same time, efforts to erode the Voting Rights Act threaten to reverse historic strides in equal access to our nation's democratic process.

Against the backdrop of such events, Black America Since MLK: And Still I Rise looks at the last 50 years of African-American history, charting the remarkable progress of our nation's African-American community but raising serious questions about the obstacles that remain. The series moves from the sanctified past of the civil rights movement to the complex, raw, conflicted present. Dr. Gates' program offers a fresh examination of key events and turning points in American race relations and black history over the last five decades, animated by viewpoints that have rarely been heard on television, ideas that are not often said out loud, and questions that many are afraid to ask.

The reception and screening was followed by a panel discussion with Rev. Calvin O. Butts III of the Abyssinian Baptist Church, journalist Charlayne Hunter-Gault, academic and radio host Michael Eric Dyson and Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton.

Dr. Gates said: "How has the black community changed since the Civil Rights Movement?Since MLK died?How would you describe the tremendous progress we have made, but also the enormous challenges that far too many of us still face? How could this be the best of times and the worst of times for Black America?These are the questions that this series explores.We are at a crucial point in history, and with this series, I hoped to reflect on our recent past as a way of helping to devise ways to forge a better future.This series is a very personal one for me, one I'm glad to share with the PBS community, thanks to the generous support of the Milstein Foundation and so many others."

Mr. Milstein said: "We are honored to have played a role in the development of Henry Louis Gates Jr.'s compelling new documentary. Dr. Gates' programs cast light into our nation's history and experience and I firmly believe that the more we understand history, the more we understand each other. In these challenging times, there is nothing we as a society need more."

Also joining the Milsteins at the event were Arthur O. Sulzberger, Jr., Chairman and Publisher of The New York Times, Sharon Percy Rockefeller, President & CEO of WETA in Washington DC, the flagship public television station in the nation's capital, and Paula A. Kerger, the President & CEO of the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS). The new series is produced by Inkwell Films, McGee Media, Kunhardt Films and WETA. Additional support for Dr. Gates new series was provided by Bank of America; Johnson & Johnson; the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; the Ford Foundation Just Films; the Corporation for Public Broadcasting; and public television viewers and PBS.

About the Howard and Abby Milstein Foundation

The Howard and Abby Milstein Foundation takes on some of the most challenging issues facing the world today.The Foundation's strategic gifts, institutional leadership and hands-on involvement stimulate innovation, create efficiencies and produce results in seven core areas: Medical Research, Biotechnology & Science; Higher Education & Youth; History; Religious and Communal Organizations; Arts & Culture; Law Enforcement & Homeland Security; and Civic Engagement.

The Howard and Abby Milstein Foundation has served as primary sponsors of several landmark public television programs. In addition to Black America Since MLK: And Still I Rise, the foundation has underwritten Henry Louis Gates Jr.'s previous documentary series, 2013's Emmy and Peabody Award-Winning The African-Americans: Many Rivers to Cross, as well as the critically acclaimed PBS series Shakespeare Uncovered, andSimon Schama's THE STORY OF THE JEWS and the Fate of the World.

Photo -

Photo -

SOURCE Howard and Abby Milstein Foundation

Related Stories View More TV Stories
Everything You Need to Know About the WICKED Movie Photo
It's a guide to the Wicked movie. The hit Broadway musical Wicked is officially coming to the big screen! BroadwayWorld collected all the information we could about the upcoming film - including who's starring, what roles haven't yet been cast, and what will change from stage to screen.

Annette Bening, Laura Dern, Michael C. Hall, and More Join WAR UNFOLDING Documentary Photo
Sypher Studios have announced its upcoming documentary, War Unfolding, narrated by four-time Oscar nominee Annette Bening and featuring an all-star cast including Eliza Bennett, Rachel Bloom, Gary Cole, Abigail Cowen, Oscar-winner Laura Dern, Monique Edwards, SAG Award winner Michael C. Hall, SAG Award winner Kelvin Harrison Jr., Golden Globe winner Paul Walter Hauser, Thurn Hoffman, Richard T. Jones, Jay Lee, Erick Lopez, Sandra Seacat, Oscar-winner Wes Studi, DeWanda Wise, and others.

OF AN AGE to Premiere on Peacock in April Photo
OF AN AGE is the latest film from Focus Features coming to Peacock joining SPOILER ALERT, TÁR and ARMAGEDDON TIME and Peacock’s growing library of the latest box office hits, including M3GAN, PUSS IN BOOTS: THE LAST WISH, TICKET TO PARADISE and KNOCK AT THE CABIN.

Photos: First Look At Amazon Freevees CASA GRANDE Photo
“Casa Grande” the new, bilingual dramatic series set to stream exclusively on Amazon Freevee May 1st has just released a first look at what’s to come.

From This Author - BWW News Desk

Lin-Manuel Miranda To Return For HIS DARK MATERIALS Season 3 On HBOLin-Manuel Miranda To Return For HIS DARK MATERIALS Season 3 On HBO
October 6, 2022

HBO has confirmed that award-winning composer and actor Lin-Manuel Miranda will return for the third season of the fantasy drama.

Development Halts On Disney+ BEAUTY AND THE BEAST Prequel SeriesDevelopment Halts On Disney+ BEAUTY AND THE BEAST Prequel Series
February 10, 2022

A planned Beauty and the Beast musical prequel series will not move forward at Disney+.

Tony & Grammy Winner Michael Cerveris' Loose Cattle to Stream Live Performance TonightTony & Grammy Winner Michael Cerveris' Loose Cattle to Stream Live Performance Tonight
January 5, 2022

Loose Cattle, fronted by two-time Tony Award & Grammy winner Michael Cerveris and Kimberly Kaye, will stream a performance live from New Orleans tonight!

Bertie Carvel Joins THE CROWN Season Five As Tony BlairBertie Carvel Joins THE CROWN Season Five As Tony Blair
October 28, 2021

The acclaimed Netflix series, 'The Crown' has added Tony Award-winning actor Bertie Carvel to its cast in the role of British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

September 17, 2021

Inspired by true events, Everybody's Talking About Jamie follows Jamie New (Harwood), a teenager from Sheffield, who dreams of life on stage.