An Evening With Franklin Thomas DVD
Date: 11/11/2017
Format: DVD

An Evening With Franklin Thomas was taped in New York City on Saturday, November 11, 2017 at the AXA Equitable Center, in front of a standing room only audience. Featuring appearances by Gloria Steinem, Darren Walker, Vernon Jordan, Ursula Burns, Edward Lewis, Henry Schacht, Dr. Mamphela Ramphele, Judge Albie Sachs, Gay McDougall, Raymond McGuire, and interviews of 35 others, An Evening With Franklin Thomas provides viewers an inside look into the life and career of one of the nation's most accomplished civic and business leaders, Franklin Thomas.

An Evening With The HistoryMakers: Chicago Stories DVD
Date: 04/22/2017
Format: DVD

An Evening With The HistoryMakers: Chicago Stories was taped in Chicago on Saturday, April 22, 2017 at The Art Institute of Chicago in front of a standing room only audience. Hosted by actor/producer Harry Lennix and actress/director Regina Taylor with music provided by music producer/vocalist Terisa Griffin and her eight piece band, An Evening With The HistoryMakers: Chicago Stories showcases for the first time the amazingly rich history of Chicago's African American community, a richness that many need to be reminded of amidst the violence and turmoil that has plagued Chicago. Stories from the archives demonstrate the significance of Chicago's African American leadership in the areas of music, fashion, business, the arts, civil rights, and politics. An Evening With The HistoryMakers: Chicago Stories reminds viewers why Chicago was a destination for hundreds of thousands African Americans seeking a better life throughout the 20th century.

Special guest presenters, include former Senior Advisor to President Barack Obama Valerie Jarrett, former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, Hollywood casting director Reuben Cannon, blues guitarist Wayne Baker Brooks, former Soft Sheen Products Terri Gardner, Baldwin Richardson Foods CEO Eric Johnson, TV producer Don Jackson, Ebony Media CEO Linda Johnson Rice, former Ebony Fashion Fair commentator Audrey Smaltz, and former aide to Mayor Harold Washington Brenda Gaines. They all share personal stories and reflections against a backdrop of history from The HistoryMakers archives. These stories include memories of Chicago neighborhoods, Bronzeville dance halls, ballrooms and speakeasies; streets, parks, churches, cultural institutions and public housing projects; the birth of gospel music, and Chicago's blues, jazz, R&B and gospel, the Black Arts Movement; the Bud Billiken Parade; and the success of Chicago businesses like the Chicago Defender, Johnson Publishing, Johnson Products, Soft Sheen Products, Baldwin Richardson Foods and other businesses that called Chicago home. Plus, 15 year old Mae Ya Carter-Ryan wowed everyone with her performance of one of Mahalia Jackson's songs.

The brainchild of The HistoryMakers Founder & President, Julieanna Richardson, An Evening With The HistoryMakers: Chicago Stories will make you laugh, cry, remember and learn!

A Night With Mayor Sylvester Turner DVD
Date: 01/05/2017
Format: DVD

A Night With Mayor Sylvester Turner, In Salute To Houston HistoryMakers is a one-on-one interview with Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, hosted by ChaseSource CEO Anthony Chase. Taped at the Granville M. Sawyer Auditorium at the historic Texas Southern University, A Night With Mayor Sylvester Turner explores the life and career of Mayor Turner – from his birth in the Acres Farms neighborhood, to his education at the University of Houston and eventually Harvard Law School, to his law career and storied tenure in the Texas House of Representatives, and his bids for Houston’s mayoralty in 1991, 2003, and triumphantly in 2015. In addition to recognizing Mayor Turner’s own life and accomplishments, A Night With Mayor Sylvester Turner features clips and commentary from many of the forty other HistoryMakers that have been interviewed in Houston, including: Texas Southern University Provost Bobby L. Wilson, obstetrician and gynecologist Dr. L. Natalie Carroll, astronaut Dr. Robert L. Satcher, Jr., former Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority International President Mattelia B. Grays, Attorney Anthony Hall, Jr., former NBA star David Lattin, and many others.

An Evening With Eric Holder DVD
Date: 10/15/2016
Format: DVD

An Evening With Eric Holder is a one-on-one interview with former United States Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr., a dedicated public servant whose career has been committed to civil and human rights, and racial justice. Hosted by opinion writer for the Washington Post, and MSNBC contributor, Jonathan Capehart, An Evening With Eric Holder provides a rare inside look into the life and career of former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. This includes being raised as the child of immigrants from Barbados, to attending Columbia University and Columbia Law School, to his early lessons and growing pains as a young lawyer, and his subsequent public career and historic firsts. Holder would become the first African American to hold three of the nation’s most high-profile legal positions – U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, Deputy U.S. Attorney General, and finally, U.S. Attorney General, the third longest-serving in the country’s history. Through it all, the audience will see a doting father, a faithful husband, and a light-hearted friend. Musical performances by singer, songwriter, and guitarist Raul Midón, as well as R&B singer and songwriter KEM make An Evening With Eric Holder a night that audiences will not soon forget.

An Evening With Valerie Jarrett DVD
Date: 04/09/2016
Format: DVD

An Evening With Valerie Jarrett provides a unique inside look at civic leader and businesswoman Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to President Barack Obama. Taped at the historic Art Institute of Chicago and hosted by veteran NPR journalist Michele Norris, An Evening With Valerie Jarrett explores Jarrett's fascinatingly rich life and career, as well as the legacy of her storied family. The riveting story begins with her great-grandfather, Robert Robinson Taylor, the first African American graduate of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and traces her roots through her grandfather, who chaired the Chicago Housing Authority in the 1940's, her father, one of the world's leading pathologists, and her mother, an early childhood development expert who co-founded the Erickson Institute in Chicago. Born in 1956 in Shiraz, Iran, Jarrett grew up in Chicago's Hyde Park, attending Stanford University and the University of Michigan Law School before returning to Chicago to practice law. Her life was changed forever when she gave up her career in private practice to join the historic administration of Chicago's first African American Mayor, Harold Washington. Her career in Mayor Richard M. Daley's administration would lead her to the City of Chicago's Department of Planning and Development, the Chicago Transit Authority Board, private real estate development, and eventually, advising the historic campaign and administration of the fifth African American United States Senator, and the first African American President of the United States - President Barack Obama. An Evening With Valerie Jarrett will keep viewers wanting more.

An Evening With Sheila Johnson
Date: 11/14/2015
Format: DVD

An Evening With Sheila Johnson is a one-on-one interview with Sheila Johnson, a classically trained violinist, successful entrepreneur, and dedicated philanthropist. Taped at the historic Art Institute of Chicago, and hosted by veteran PBS NewsHour journalist Gwen Ifill, An Evening With Sheila Johnson explores the life and career of one of the nation's most successful businesswomen. At 8 years of age, Sheila Johnson fell in love with the violin, honing her craft throughout her schooling, and graduating from the University of Illinois with a B.A. degree in music. While in school, Sheila met Robert Johnson, whom she would marry and go on to co-found Black Entertainment Television with in 1980. Sheila taught music as the couple worked to turn BET into a successful network, directing what became an internationally renowned youth orchestra, Youth Strings In Action. When she stopped teaching music in 1989, she poured her efforts into BET, serving as Executive Vice President of Community Affairs, and spearheading programming such as Teen Summit. The Johnsons sold BET in 2002 to Viacom for $2.3 billion, and Sheila went on to found Salamander Hotels & Resorts, a hospitality firm that now owns or manages six luxury resorts. Sheila is also owner of the Washington Mystics, and part owner of the Washington Wizards and the Washington Capitals, the first African American woman to be a major stakeholder in three professional sports franchises.

An Evening With Gwen Ifill
Date: 01/23/2015
Format: DVD

An Evening With Gwen Ifill is a one-on-one interview of Gwen Ifill, one of the most prolific journalists of our time. Taped in the historic Coolidge Auditorium of the Library of Congress' Thomas Jefferson Building, and hosted by Gwen's friend and fellow journalist Michele Norris, An Evening With Gwen Ifill turns the tables on The HistoryMakers long-time host, giving an insider's perspective into Ifill’s childhood and her development as a print and television correspondent. Gwen Ifill's story is one that serves as an inspiration. From an early age, Gwen was steeped in the values of the African Methodist Episcopal Church and influenced by her father, a minister and a "race man;" but even then, she knew that she wanted to be a journalist. She began her career with an internship at the Boston Herald American, and in 1994 made the transition from print to television with the help of her mentor Tim Russert at NBC. After starting at PBS in 1999, Gwen now serves as moderator and managing editor of Washington Week, co-anchor and co-managing editor of PBS NewsHour, and has moderated two vice-presidential debates; her star continues to rise.

An Evening With Vernon Jordan
Date: 04/12/2014
Format: DVD

An Evening With Vernon Jordan, is a one-on-one interview of Vernon Jordan, one of the most iconic civic and business leaders of today. Taped in front of a live audience at the New York Times Center in New York City and hosted by veteran PBS-TV journalist, Gwen Ifill, An Evening With Vernon Jordan begins with a moving musical photo tribute to Vernon Jordan sung by the original The Three Mo' Tenors' Rodrick Dixon. Intermixed within the show are live appearances from Charlayne Hunter-Gault who integrated the University of Georgia in 1961 accompanied by Jordan. Also appearing are two Fortune 500 CEOs:Kenneth Chenault, CEO of American Express and Ursula Burns, CEO of the Xerox Corporation who credit their careers to Jordan. Video tributes are interspersed throughout the show. They include President Bill Clinton, The Honorable Hillary Clinton, General Colin Powell, Dick Parsons, Lazard CEO Kenneth Jacobs; Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld's Chairperson Kim Koopersmith; legal historian, professor and co-author of Vernon Can Read Annette Gordon-Reed; his friend and the first African American to head the Ford Foundation, Franklin Thomas; his beloved daughter Vickee Adams; and his wife of many years, Ann Jordan

Vernon's life story is the embodiment of the American dream - from the public projects of Atlanta to the corridors of power in both the political and business arenas, he has seen and done it all. But, perhaps what is most inspirational about Vernon is that he has used his power with a single-minded purpose - to make our society more just and our country more equal. He attended DePauw University in Greencastle, graduating from there in 1958 as the only African American in his class. From there, he went on to attend Howard University Law School where he was exposed to greatest legal civil rights icons of the twentieth century: Charles Hamilton Houston, Thurgood Marshall and Constance Baker Motley. He would go from there to a work for the NAACP, the Voter Education Project, the United Negro College Fund, before assuming the head of the National Urban League after the untimely death of Whitney Young. The Urban League would experience tremendous growth under Jordan as he saw the advantages of making civic good work within the realm of Corporate America.

An Evening WIth Ursula Burns
Date: 04/13/2013
Format: DVD

An Evening With Ursula Burns, is a one-on-one interview of Ursula Burns, the CEO of Xerox.Taped in front of a live audience at the New York Times Center and hosted by veteran PBS-TV news journalist Gwen Ifill. the program explores the life and career of Burns, the first African American woman to head a Fortune 500 company. The audience watches in amazement as the interview provides an inside look into this business and civic icon. A lifelong New Yorker, Ursula Burns tells of her poor upbringing on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, her mother’s, Olga’s efforts to raise three children on her own, Burns’ start at the Xerox Cooperation as a young engineer and intern and her meteoric rise through the corporate ranks.

Intermixed throughout the program are live appearances of Ursula Burns mentors. Former Xerox CEO, Paul Allaire, tells of how Burns initially spurned his offer to become his executive assistant. Former Xerox CEO, Anne Mulcahy tells of how she and Ursula spearheaded a turnaround of Xerox during financially precarious period for Xerox. They worked as true partners and made history when Ursula became the first female to succeed another female CEO of a Fortune 500 company. Then, business and civic leader Vernon Jordan speaks of the importance of Burns’ journey and how it symbolizes how she overcame class, race and gender in order to do so. Others provide their perspectives on her trailblazing career and her family life. They include: American Express CEO, Executive Leadership Counsel’s Executive Director and Viacom Senior Vice President Marva Smalls as well as her husband, daughter, son and sister: Lloyd Bean, Malcolm Bean, Melllisa Bean and Deborah Eastman.

Burns earned a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering from Polytechnic Institute of New York University. In 1980, she started at Xerox as a summer intern, permanently joining a year later, in 1981, after completing her master of science degree in mechanical engineering from Columbia University. During her thirty year career, Burns worked in a variety of roles that included product development, planning, senior vice president and president.

An Evening With Ursula Burns was produced by The HistoryMakers, a 501(c)(3) Illinois, not-for-profit corporation. The HistoryMakers, the nation’s largest African American video oral history archive, is committed to the development of a unique online archive of 5,000 first-person narratives of African Americans, both well-known and unsung. When completed in, the archive will represent the largest one of its kind in the world (

An Evening With Berry Gordy
Date: 02/12/2013
Format: DVD

An Evening With Berry Gordy provides a rare inside look into the life and times of boxer, songwriter, producer, movie director, entrepreneur and Motown founder Berry Gordy with PBS-TV journalist, Gwen Ifill, serving as the host interviewer. Backed by American Idol’s Ray Chew and his band, the program features live musical performances by Valerie Simpson (“I’ll Be There”) of the legendary Motown songwriting team of Ashford & Simpson. Other performers include Motown artist KEM with Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On” and singer/songwriter Janelle Monáe with the Jackson Five’s “I Want You Back”. The performances of Brandon Dixon and Valisia LeKae who play Berry Gordy and Diana Ross, respectively, in Motown The Musical with “To Be Loved” and “You’re All I Need to Get By” had the audiences wanting for more.

Intermixed in the show are live appearances from National Newspaper Publishers Association president, Danny Bakewell, who describes Gordy’s groundbreaking accomplishments and Reverend Jesse Jackson who tells of Gordy’s importance to Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement. Suzanne de Passe, his longtime friend, business associate and mentee, had the audience laughing aloud as she tells of their work together and his role in putting women in leadership positions. Others provided their perspectives on “The Chairman” and his Motown Legacy. They include: Quincy Jones, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, President Bill Clinton, Edgar Bronfman, Leon Huff, Kenny Gamble, Doug Morris and Marty Bandier.