Howard And Abby Milstein Host Kick-Off Reception For Henry Louis Gates, Jr.’s The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross
Rep. John Lewis, Julian Bond and Charlayne Hunter-Gault join Dr. Gates to discuss the landmark program chronicling the African-American experience
WASHINGTON, Oct. 10, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — At an evening reception and screening hosted by Howard and Abby Milstein, major civic and civil rights figures celebrated the newest PBS series by Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr., entitled The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross.
The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross is a six-part, six-hour series debuting nationwide on PBS in October. Released in conjunction with the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, the series chronicles the full sweep of African American history. The Abby and Howard Milstein Foundation provided leadership support for the program, in partnership with Hoover Milstein and Emigrant Bank.
The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross recounts the full trajectory of African-American history, exploring the evolution of the African-American people and their diverse cultural institutions, political strategies, and religious and social perspectives. Commencing with the origins of slavery in Africa, the series moves through five centuries of remarkable historical events.
The dinner reception and screening at the National Press Club featured a panel discussion with Professor Gates, Congressman John Lewis, former NAACP Chairman Julian Bond and journalist Charlayne Hunter-Gault. As one of the leaders of the Civil Rights movement in the 1960s, Rep. Lewis helped plan the historic “March on Washington” in August 1963, and is the last living speaker from that event. He was joined at the reception by a number of Congressional colleagues.
Mr. and Mrs. Milstein are longtime supporters of both public television and various philanthropic and social causes.
In his remarks, Mr. Milstein pointed to the importance of “illuminating history in ways that lead people to remember, understand, and reflect.”
“The more we understand history,” Mr. Milstein said, “the more we understand ourselves and each other. And this is where our growth and progress as a nation truly blossoms.”
“This is what makes Professor Gates’ work so important,” Mr. Milstein added. “We all have differences, of course, but through these groundbreaking documentaries, Professor Gates reminds us of the real ways in which we are all connected, of our common humanity.”
The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross is the 13th and latest documentary film from Dr. Gates, and is a joint production of Kunhardt McGee Productions, Thirteen Productions LLC, and Inkwell Films in association with Ark Media.
Major corporate support of the program was provided by Bank of America, The Coca-Cola Company and McDonald’s. Major funding as also provided by the Ford Foundation, Dr. Georgette Bennett and Dr. Leonard Polonsky (in Memory of Rabbi Marc H. Tanenbaum), Richard Gilder, the Hutchins Family Foundation, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Support was also provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and PBS.
About the Howard and Abby Milstein Foundation
For more than 15 years, the Howard and Abby Milstein Foundation has been taking on some of the most challenging issues facing the world today. The Foundation’s strategic gifts, institutional leadership and hands-on involvement stimulate innovation, create efficiencies and produce results in seven core areas: Medical Research, Biotechnology & Science; Higher Education & Youth; History; Religious and Communal Organizations; Arts & Culture; Law Enforcement & Homeland Security; and Civic Engagement.
In 2013-2014 the Howard and Abby Milstein Foundations served as primary sponsors for three landmark programs on public television. In addition to The African-Americans: Many Rivers to Cross, these included Shakespeare Uncovered, and Simon Schama’s The Story of the Jews and the Fate of the World.
SOURCE Howard and Abby Milstein Foundation