Whitney Young, Jr.
By Valerie Milano
Pasadena, CA (Hollywood Today) 2/18/13 – Whitney Young, Jr. spent his lifetime involved in the civil rights movement during a time when our society was at war and divided deeply by race and poverty. He worked tirelessly through three presidents, (Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon), and managed to pave the way for opportunities blacks had not had access for centuries.
His name is not in the history books.
PBS through Independent Lens presents “The Powerbroker: Whitney Young’s Fight for Civil Rights” in a moving documentary to a man who reshaped our world.
Executive producer Bonnie Boswell is also the niece of Whitney Young. “One of the reasons I wanted to do this film was because I think we need to have so many different kinds of people at the table to play different roles, and he had a very specific role that was very helpful,” explained Boswell, “I think we need to lift those roles up.”
The documentary reviews the dedicated life of Young, his work and his accomplishments. It’s a definite must-see as an exploration into important people who shaped our country. We study Martin Luther King, Jr. and read about Malcolm X and many others who all deserve the attention, “but there are a lot of other people who made a big difference, and I’m glad to see this as the first time cutting through the since instead of just the people who are the A list,” said Charles Ogletree, professor at Harvard Law School and the Executive Director of the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice.
Making films such as these two are no easy task, Boswell said, “It’s not exciting. It’s not sexy, and that’s why I really want to thank Independent Lens for really taking this up, because it’s an important message, and you have to have somebody who really understands that and can move it forward for you.”