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Vernon Jordan '57 to Appear in PBS Documentary, America Beyond the Color Line

February 2, 2004

February 2, 2004, Greencastle, Ind. - Vernon Jordan, a legendary civil rights figure who served as president of the National Urban League and is a 1957 graduate of DePauw University, is among those offering his perspective on the state of black America in the PBS documentary, America Beyond the Color Line. The documentary, by Harvard University professor Henry Henry Louis Gates Jr., airs tomorrow and Wednesday nights. Others interviewed for the program include Gen. Colin Powell, actor Morgan Freeman and poet Maya Angelou.

The Associated Press writes, "What Gates found was both encouraging and discouraging, including a black middle class that is the largest in US history but an underclass that is unchanged since the 1968 murder of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr." David Zurawik of the Baltimore Sun opines, "America Beyond the Color Line offers viewers a rare chance to journey through various parts of black culture and life with an engaging and genuinely wise guide... Gates' expertise is a given, but what's surprising is how quickly and gracefully he can lay out a framework for the complicated issues and trends he's trying to chronicle. For example, as he approaches the Robert Taylor Homes in Chicago, he lays the groundwork for his interviews by pondering why tens of thousands of African-Americans still live at or below the poverty line though the black middle class in the last three decades has expanded significantly... There are no easy answers, and America Beyond the Color Line with Henry Louis Gates Jr. is one of those rare television programs willing to speak that truth.

Access the Sun's preview of the program by clicking here. The AP article can be found here. Read more about Vernon Jordan here and here.

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