The Nation’s Largest African American Video Oral History Collection Mobile search icon Mobile close search icon

Search Results

Advanced Biography Search
Mobile navigation icon Close mobile navigation icon

Share on Social Media


  • Narrator Julieanna Richardson – 0:02-0:29
  • Celebrity Presenter Rickey Smiley – 0:30-2:16
  • Behind the Scenes – 2:17-11:26
  • Musical Tribute to 2003 HistoryMakers by the Koko Taylor Band – 11:27-19:05
  • Celebrity Presenter Rickey Smiley – 19:06-19:23
  • An Evening With B.B. King (PBS TV Show) – 19:24-1:16:10
  • An Evening With Russell Simmons (PBS TV Show) – 1:16:12-2:14:00

Comedian Rickey Smiley joins the celebration to host The HistoryMakers Year in Review—2003. Interviewed by The HistoryMakers in 2018, Smiley talks about his pride in having his video oral history archive included in The HistoryMakers archives. He also reflects on the progress of The HistoryMakers in 2003 with the public program Showtime: Black Theatre in Chicago; the formation of a partnership with Carnegie Mellon University which resulted in the development of The HistoryMakers Digital Archive; the rollout of the Pioneers in the Struggle curriculum throughout the State of Illinois; the national planning summit gathering of board and advisory board members; the 3rd Meet The HistoryMakers; A Day of Education that had a blues theme in honor of An Evening With B.B. King where the legendary Isaac Hayes interviewed blues legend B.B. King at the Art Institute of Chicago. A record 303 HistoryMakers were interviewed from across the country in 2003 and added to The HistoryMakers archives. In addition to behind-the-scenes footage of An Evening With B.B. King, including a performance by the Koko Taylor Band, and other programs, the names of those HistoryMakers interviewed in 2003 are featured prior to the screening of An Evening With B.B. King and An Evening With Russell Simmons.

An Evening With B. B. King - Special Viewing

An Evening With BB King

Taped: Friday, October 24, 2003

This hour-long one-on-one interview program provided a rare and insightful look into the life of B.B. King, the King of the Blues. Taped in Chicago on October 24, 2003, in front of a live audience, King was interviewed by musician and entertainer Isaac Hayes. King has traveled the world spreading his brand of blues to fans. An Evening With B.B. King shared the good times and the bad as experienced by this legendary blues guitarist.

From his childhood in Mississippi to his audience with the Pope to his battle with diabetes, B.B. King led a rich life, and his music has influenced musicians for decades. With hits such as “The Thrill is Gone,” “Rock Me Baby,” and “How Blue Can You Get?”, King remained one of the most spectacular live performers in the music industry during his long career.

An Evening With B.B. King covered the full scope of the blues legend’s life, using video clips taken throughout his life and career and a live performance by King and the Ko Ko Taylor Band.

Find more information on the program here.


An Evening With Russell Simmons - Special Viewing

An Evening With Russell Simmons

Taped: Friday, October 22, 2004

This hour-long one-on-one interview program provided a rare and insightful look into the life of hip-hop’s pioneering businessman, Russell Simmons. Taped in Chicago, Simmons was interviewed by media maven Cathy Hughes, founder of Radio One and TV-One.

Simmons shared his life story before a sold-out crowd of one thousand, telling of his childhood in Queens, New York, his becoming a co-founder of Def Jam records, his enormous successes with the clothing line, Phat Farm, and Def Comedy Jam and Def Poetry Jam. Simmons also spoke at length about his philanthropic initiatives and about his political involvement in urging others to vote. Simmons’ influence can be felt in virtually all aspects of business and media, be it music, fashion, financial services and even the beverage industry.

An Evening With Russell Simmons featured seldom seen historic footage and interviews with friends and associates filmed over the course of Simmons’ career. Taped in front of a live audience at The Art Institute of Chicago, An Evening With Russell Simmons celebrated The HistoryMakers’ fifth anniversary. The program was held in memory of Launa Thompson, wife of Abe Thompson. In attendance was previously honored HistoryMaker, Dionne Warwick, as well as numerous other HistoryMakers. Will Griffin, president and COO of Simmons Lathan Media Group also premiered The HistoryMakers DVD Collection on Faith, Success and Courage.

Find more information on the program here.

Date and Time

Friday, December 4, 2020

7 p.m. EST/ 6 p.m. CST/ 5 p.m. MST/ 4 p.m. PST

Twitter Icon

Instagram Icon

Facebook Icon

LinkedIn Icon

Youtube Icon