Writer and longtime editor-in-chief of Essence Magazine Susan Taylor hosts The HistoryMakers Year in Review - 2010, looking back on the organization’s incredible ten year anniversary. The HistoryMakers holds multiple public programs on African Americans in science, produces the next installments of the Agents of Change series, and receives grant funding to help increase African American diversity in archives. Two outstanding plays, one starring Laurnce Fishburne, take the stage that make use of The HistoryMakers archives and support, and at the first annual Back To School With The HistoryMakers over 170 HistoryMakers speak at nearly 100 schools. This initiative to share with students their stories of perseverance and triumph against the odds takes place in over fifty cities and covers half the country with twenty-five states represented. On November 20, The HistoryMakers celebrates its tenth anniversary at the Art Institute of Chicago. The evening, themed COMMIT: Telling America’s Stories... Celebrating Our Future, features over 150 HistoryMakers from across the country. Fortunately, the number of HistoryMakers interviewed climbs back up to 92 by the end of the year. In addition to behind-the-scenes footage of PBS-TV tapings and other events that year, this evening program includes a pre-recorded performance, in tribute to those interviewed in 2010. The night ends with the screening of A Night With John Rogers and An Evening With The HistoryMakers.
Magazine editor Susan Taylor was born in New York in 1946. In her early twenties, she started Nequai Cosmetics, one of the first companies to create beauty products for African American women. Although her product line was well received in African American communities, Taylor was interested in expanding her career. Taylor approached Ed Lewis, the editor-in-chief of Essence, for a beauty editor position and was hired in 1970. Although Taylor had never attended college, she was a licensed cosmetologist who understood the needs and concerns of black women. Her monthly articles were popular with African American females who were historically undervalued and underrepresented by media companies. Taylor soon became responsible for fashion as well as beauty, and in 1981 was promoted to editor-in-chief, a post she held until July 2000. Although she stepped down as editor-in-chief, Taylor remained the chief editorial executive responsible for the overall vision, articles and images of Essence.
Taped: Friday, November 19, 2010
An Evening With The HistoryMakers: Tenth Anniversary Gala was an hour-long, live-to-tape program that celebrated The HistoryMakers’ first decade of groundbreaking work. The evening was themed COMMIT: Telling America’s Stories…Celebrating Our Future. In attendance were over 150 HistoryMakers from across the country including The Honorable Eric Holder; ninety-eight year old civil rights pioneer Amelia Boynton Robinson; Little Rock Nine members Ernie Green and Carlotta Walls LaNier; founder of the Trumpet Awards Xernona Clayton; and the Jazz Lady, Geraldine de Haas. This historic program, co-produced by The HistoryMakers Executive Director, Julieanna Richardson, and Tony Award-winning producer and choreographer, George Faison, featured performances by Dionne Warwick, Nikki Giovanni and Melba Moore as well as appearances by Denyce Graves, Reverend Al Sharpton, Gwen Ifill, Cathy Hughes, Roland Martin, and Susan Taylor.
Taped at The Art Institute of Chicago’s Rubloff Auditorium, An Evening With The HistoryMakers documented the story of the archive from beginning to present day. With the use of performances, speeches and archival video and photos, An Evening With The HistoryMakers recounted the organization’s history as only it knows how. Featured celebrities of past An Evening With… programs like Nikki Giovanni, Denyce Graves, Cathy Hughes, Gwen Ifill and Dionne Warwick shared their experiences with The HistoryMakers while supporters Roland Martin, Melba Moore, Reverend Al Sharpton, Kephra Burns and Susan Taylor talked about the importance of the archive.
Taped: Saturday, October 2, 2010
A Night With John Rogers provided a rare and insightful look into the life and career of civic and business entrepreneur John Rogers Jr. Taped on October 2, 2010 in front of a live audience at The Art Institute of Chicago, Rogers was interviewed by U.S. Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan and President and COO of the McDonald’s Corporation, Don Thompson.
Rogers told lively stories of his unique childhood in Chicago's Hyde Park neighborhood and reminisced on his time as a Princeton University basketball player. The program also included Rogers describing the launch of Ariel Investments, the first African American investment management firm with publicly traded mutual funds, and the founding of Ariel Community Academy, a Chicago public school with an innovative financial literacy program. Rogers shared his insights on business and corporate boards and talked about his involvement with the historic presidential campaign of President Barack Obama.