2014 is a signature, game changing year, because it is the year that the Library of Congress becomes The HistoryMakers permanent repository. It is also the year that Vernon Jordan said yes to being honored in An Evening With Vernon Jordan. PBS-TV’s Gwen Ifill did the interview, and then a few months later she was featured in An Evening With Gwen Ifill at the Library of Congress with Michele Norris as the interviewer. With an unexpected $1.6 million grant from the PricewaterhouseCoopers Charitable Foundation, The HistoryMakers started the work of transcribing and adding 80% of The HistoryMakers Collection (2000 interviews) to The HistoryMakers Digital Archive vastly improving public access to The HistoryMakers content. Also, 193 interviews were added to the archive that year as the Library of Congress described The HistoryMakers collection as “vitally important to our nation”. In addition to behind-the-scenes footage, the program includes a performance from the legendary group Sweet Honey In The Rock. Immediately following is a screening of An Evening With Vernon Jordan and An Evening With Gwen Ifill.
Sweet Honey in the Rock is a vibrant and versatile music collective, whose members include Carol Maillard, Louise Robinson, Nitanju Bolade Casel and Aisha Kahlil; featuring Romeir Mendez on upright acoustic and electric bass. This internationally renowned Grammy nominated female a cappella vocal quartet has a history of over four decades of distinguished service. The group was founded in 1973 by Dr. Bernice Johnson Reagon (with members Carol Maillard and Louise Robinson) as part of the D.C. Black Repertory Theater Company, for which Dr. Johnson Reagon was the vocal director. The name Sweet Honey in the Rock comes from a song made popular in 1927 by blind singer, Mamie Forehand, titled “Honey in the Rock” taken from the bible Psalm 81:16 that partially states “But I will feed Israel with the finest wheat, satisfying you with honey from the rock.” Several changes over the years added the word “sweet” to the title. Sweet Honey has performed in many of the world’s most prestigious venues on almost every continent and in an unparalleled move in 1979, added sign-language interpretation for the deaf and hard of hearing to their concerts. Although Sweet Honey is most admired for their live performances, the ladies have recorded 24 albums, several specifically for children. “We are very forward thinking as an organization, constantly reevaluating how we can express concepts to uplift and create change through our music and concerts,” says member Carol Maillard.
Taped: Saturday, April 12, 2014
An Evening With Vernon Jordan was a live-to-tape, one-on-one interview with esteemed civic and business leader Vernon E. Jordan, Jr., conducted by veteran PBS-TV news journalist Gwen Ifill. Taped on Saturday, April 12, 2014 at New York City’s The New York Times Center, the program featured presentations by award-winning journalist Charlayne Hunter-Gault; American Express Company Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Ken Chenault; and Xerox Corporation Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Ursula Burns. Rodrick Dixon performed several musical numbers throughout, including “A Song for You” and “Make Them Hear You.”
Through personal narration, archival photos and news clips, An Evening With Vernon Jordan traced Jordan’s path from his civil rights activism in the South through his leadership of the National Urban League in the 1980s to his chairmanship of the Clinton presidential transition team. Advice on mentoring and leadership were interwoven throughout. Entertaining and enlightening, An Evening With Vernon Jordan was a night not to be forgotten!
Taped: Saturday, November 8, 2014
An Evening With Gwen Ifill was a live-to-tape, one-on-one interview with veteran PBS-TV news journalist Gwen Ifill, conducted by noted NPR journalist Michele Norris. Taped on Saturday, November 8, 2014 at the Library of Congress, the program paid tribute to Ifill, the long time host of The HistoryMakers’ signature An Evening With… series. An Evening With Gwen Ifill also celebrated the announcement of the Library of Congress as the permanent repository of The HistoryMakers collection.
The twenty-second program in The HistoryMakers’ An Evening With… series, An Evening With Gwen Ifill turned the interviewer’s lens on Ifill herself, and in the process, Ifill, through stories from the campaign trail and the anchor desk, demonstrated how she had earned her reputation as a trusted and balanced reporter. An Evening With Gwen Ifill was a unique opportunity to showcase one of America’s leading onscreen voices in a more intimate audience setting.