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.

An Evening with Valerie Simpson In Honor of Nick Ashford
Date: 11/19/2011
Format: DVD

Celebrate the life and career of music’s most versatile songwriting duo, Valerie Simpson and Nick Ashford! Taped live in Chicago, Illinois at Northwestern University Law School’s Thorne Auditorium on November 19th, 2011, journalist Gwen Ifill interviews singer/songwriter Valerie Simpson about her stellar career penning huge hits such as “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” “Let’s Go Get Stoned,” and “Solid” with her late husband, Nick Ashford, as the songwriting powerhouse, Ashford & Simpson. With performances by Patti Austin, Kindred the Family Soul, and even Valerie Simpson herself, this program will keep your feet tapping and fingers snapping as well as moving with Ashford & Simpson’s powerful and inspirational story.

An Evening With Smokey Robinson
Date: 10/09/2009
Format: DVD

Hear Smokey Robinson like you have never heard him before!  Filmed in Chicago, Illinois at Northwestern University School of Law’s Thorne Auditorium on October 10, 2009, join PBS journalist Gwen Ifill as she takes you on an extraordinary journey with the legendary singer/songwriter as he shares insights into his life and career.  Experience this one-of-a-kind interview with exciting music performances by Teena Marie, Howard Hewett, Musiq Soulchild, and even the Miracle man himself, Smokey!  Order your copy on DVD today and be front row and center for the show of a lifetime!

An Evening With Richard Parsons
Date: 11/15/2008
Format: DVD

Become inspired with this exclusive look into the life of Richard Parsons. Filmed in Washington, D.C. at George Washington University’s Jack Morton Auditorium on November 15, 2008, CNN journalist Soledad O’Brien interviews Parsons about his experiences in the corporate world and his influence that continues to inspire businessmen and women all over the world. Order your copy today for a truly enlightening and engaging experience with one of the leading men in business!

An Evening With Eartha Kitt
Date: 09/20/2008
Format: DVD

Here is your chance to see an exclusive and heartwarming look into the life of Eartha Kitt. Taped live in Chicago, Illinois at Northwestern University School of Law’s Thorne Auditorium on September 20, 2008, PBS journalist Gwen Ifill interviews the glamorous Eartha Kitt as she shares stories of her career on Broadway and television. This program provides rich insight into the life of a versatile star and includes graceful performances of “Ain’t Misbehavin,’” “La Vie En Rose,” and “Here’s To Life.” This historic program is the last live interview and performance of Eartha Kitt’s career. Order your copy of this treasured event on DVD today!

An Evening With Quincy Jones
Date: 09/27/2007
Format: DVD

Be a part of music history with this exclusive look into the life of Quincy Jones! Tape in Washington, D.C. at George Washington University’s Jack Morton Auditorium on September 27, 2007, PBS journalist Gwen Ifill takes you on a journey with the legendary music entrepreneur as he shares stories from his life working with music greats such as Ray Charles and Michael Jackson and his career as a composer and record company executive. Featuring thrilling performances by Lesley Gore, BeBe Winans, James Ingram, Bobby McFerrin, and Herbie Hancock, this extravagant program will have you snapping your fingers and tapping your feet. Order your copy of this truly extraordinary program on DVD today!