RMPBS Community Cinema: The Powerbroker
90 Minute Running Time
Genre/Subjects: African-American, Documentary, Political
Screens Sunday, February 17th at 2pm at Sie FilmCenter
This is a FREE event. Click HERE to RSVP for your ticket.
The Powerbroker tells the story of Whitney Young, who biographer Nancy Weiss Malkiel called “the inside man of the black revolution.” By challenging America's business and political communities directly, Young was able to make in-roads where other civil rights leader could not. His efforts to open the doors of equal opportunity were often attacked by the very people he was trying to help. The Powerbroker chronicles the public and private trials of a man navigating a divided society in an explosive time.
Years in the making, The Powerbroker reveals a story that has been overlooked by history. Whitney Young’s niece, Emmy-award winning journalist Bonnie Boswell Hamilton, and her team have gathered never-before-seen archival footage, home movies, family photos, audio tapes of Young, as well as interviews with activists and scholars such as Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Vernon Jordan, Dorothy Height, Ossie Davis and John Hope Franklin.
Young’s journey took him from rural Kentucky to the segregated U.S. Army, where he learned his first lessons in negotiating race relations. Back in the States, Young reached out to local businesses, encouraging them to give their African-American neighbors a chance for a job. When he reached national prominence as Executive Director of the National Urban League, he used the same strategy on grander scale.
The Powerbroker follows Young as he shuttles between the streets of Harlem and the boardrooms of Fortune 500 companies, tying the needs of Main Street to the interests of Wall Street. In the Oval Office, Young advised Presidents Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon, and guided each along a path toward historic change. And through his story, all the pivotal events of the civil rights era – Brown v Board of Education, the March on Washington and the Vietnam War – are seen through the eyes of a man striving to change the established powers the way no one else did could…from within.
Community Cinema is a national civic engagement initiative featuring free monthly screenings of films from the Emmy Award-winning PBS series Independent Lens. Every month in 100+ cities, community members come together to learn, discuss, and get involved in key social issues of our time.
DIRECTOR: Christine Khalafian