Today, African-Americans wield influence in every domain, from politics and business to academia and the arts. At the same time, black people are incarcerated at six times the rate of whites, and possess 13 times less wealth. Many schools and neighborhoods are more segregated than they were in 1965, and police killings of black citizens in places like Baltimore and Baton Rouge recur with tragic frequency — provoking radically different responses within black and white communities. And with the election of Donald Trump, the nation stands more tense and divided on racial lines that it has been in a generation. How did we end up here, when half a century ago racial equality seemed imminent — even inevitable?
“Black America Since MLK: And Still I Rise” is a two-part, four-hour PBS special that looks at the last five decades of African-American history since the major civil rights victories. Join us as executive producer, presenter and writer Henry Louis Gates, Jr. explores the tremendous gains and persistent challenges of these years, drawing on eyewitness accounts, scholarly analysis and rare archival footage. The series, premiering over two nights on Tuesday, November 15 and 22, paints a complex and comprehensive portrait of black America since 1965, while raising urgent questions about the future of the African-American community — and our nation as a whole.
On Monday, November 21 Brookings welcomed Henry Louis Gates, Jr. to present select clips from his new series, and award-winning journalist Charlayne Hunter-Gault led a panel of experts to discuss how much of the promise of the civil rights movement has been realized and what obstacles still stand in the way.