Lou Gossett will host The HistoryMakers Year in Review - 2004. The year marks the fifth anniversary of The HistoryMakers and includes a host of insightful PBS-TV specials: An Evening With Jeni LeGon, An Evening With Russell Simmons, and An Evening With Della Reese. An Evening With Della Reese serves as the launch of The HistoryMakers Atlanta/Southeast region initiatives, as the famous music and television personality is interviewed by actress and producer Lorraine Toussaint at Georgia Public Broadcasting. Multiple Salute to The HistoryMakers events are held in Chicago, Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles to honor HistoryMakers in their hometowns, and 264 HistoryMakers are interviewed in more than a dozen different states: Alabama, California, Washington, D.C., Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Texas, and Virginia. In addition to behind-the-scenes footage of the PBS-TV tapings and other events that year, this evening program will include a pre-recorded performance by the Grammy Award-winning Clark Sisters, provided courtesy of the Berklee School of Music, in tribute to Della Reese and those interviewed in 2004. The night finishes up with the screening of An Evening With Della Reese and The HistoryMakers on Faith.
The Clark Sisters are an American gospel vocal group consisting of five sisters: Jacky Clark Chisholm (b. 1948), Denise Clark Bradford (b. 1953), Elbernita "Twinkie" Clark-Terrell (b. 1954), Dorinda Clark-Cole (b. 1957), and Karen Clark Sheard (b. 1960). The Clark Sisters are the daughters of gospel musician and choral director Mattie Moss Clark. They are credited for helping to bring gospel music to the mainstream and are considered as pioneers of contemporary gospel. Their biggest crossover hits include: "Is My Living in Vain?", "Hallelujah", "He Gave Me Nothing to Lose", "Endow Me", their hit song "Jesus Is A Love Song", "Pure Gold", "Expect a Miracle", and their largest mainstream crossover gold certified, "You Brought the Sunshine". The Clark Sisters have won three Grammy Awards. With 16 albums to their credit and millions in sales, the Clark Sisters are the highest-selling female gospel group in history.
The Clark Sisters were honored at the 2016 Essence Music Festival. During their speech Karen said that all five sisters (including Denise) will reunite and sing together again.
Taped: Friday, June 18, 2004
This hour-long one-on-one interview program provided a rare and insightful look into the life of legendary actress, minister and entertainer, Della Reese. Taped in Atlanta on June 18, 2004, in front of a live audience, Reese was interviewed by actress Lorraine Toussaint, former star of the television series Any Day Now.
From singing to acting to preaching at her church, Understanding Principles for Better Living, Reese’s career has been one worthy of celebrating. From her childhood in Detroit to singing with Mahalia Jackson and becoming the first black woman to host her own TV show, Della, to her hugely successful program Touched By An Angel, Reese has amazed audiences for six decades. A gospel singer, an actress, a minister, Della Reese is above all, an icon.
An Evening With Della Reese featured seldom seen historic footage of Reese's early career. Taped in front of a live audience at Georgia Public Broadcasting, An Evening With Della Reese marked the first time The HistoryMakers took their signature An Evening With... series on the road. With a sold-out audience of three hundred, An Evening With Della Reese swept the audience away.
The HistoryMakers: Faith is the second volume of The HistoryMakers series centered on the importance of faith in both oneself and a higher being to achieve the impossible. Through a series of real-life stories and experiences, this documentary explores the strength of faith in the African-American community and the role it plays in achieving success. The inspirational stories from Susan L. Taylor, Reverend Al Sharpton, Kim Fields, BB King, along with many others serve to emphasize the power of believing in your dreams. Despite difficult challenges and strong opposition, these History Makers, through their real life stories and successes, illustrate the ability of a strong presence of faith to overcome even the most insurmountable of obstacles. Purchase DVD here.