In partnership with civic organizations, public school systems, and teacher and student organizations, Chicago, Atlanta, and New York City are each hosting a special tribute to the Civil Rights Movement and the great freedom struggles of the twentieth century, which continue to resonate to this day. Each tribute will tell the story of modern American history through music and dance, featuring some of the most legendary artists of our time. The aim of these tributes is to dramatize the enduring quest for human dignity and to educate, empower, and inspire the younger generation to be civically engaged.

In a nation of widening social and racial disparities, the Civil Rights Movement stressed our interdependence and mutual responsibility. In a nation dominated by partisanship and greed, the civil rights leaders believed in balancing self-interest with the common good. As we face a challenging future of global economic and environmental uncertainty, the great civil rights leaders understood long ago that if we fail to embrace a new paradigm for how we live together it will be at our own peril. These tributes are for a new generation, one for whom learning the lessons of the past is more urgent today than ever.

Each of these tributes is a benefit to support racial and gender equity, through local branches of the National Council of Negro Women, and public education. The tributes are also designed to encourage our high schools to reinstate or expand treatment of the Civil Rights Movement in their curricula as important for clarifying our core principles and values as a democracy.

richardH. B. Barnum is a pianist, arranger, record producer, and songwriter. He has been an arranger for a wide variety of performers, including Lou Rawls, Count Basie, O.C. Smith, Frank Sinatra, Life Choir, The Supremes, Little Richard, Gladys Knight, Phil Collins, Puff Daddy, and is currently musical director for the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin. He has scored music for television shows, including The Grammy's, The Stellar Awards, NAACP Image Awards, The Globe Awards, and The Olympics. His Broadway shows include Don't Bother Me I Can't Cope and When Hell Freezes Over I'll Skate. He is a recent inductee into the Doo Wop Hall of Fame.


richardRichard Karz is the producer/director of the documentary feature, Legacy: Black and White in America, which is the third film in The Millennium Dinners documentary series. Legacy was first broadcast on PBS in 2008 (sponsored by Wal-Mart and AARP) and was expanded and updated for re-release in April 2009, with special screenings at the National Archives in Washington, D.C., Harvard University in Cambridge, the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, and the Apollo Theater in New York. The film examines the political rise of Barack Obama against the backdrop of African-American history and culture. It presents two parallel stories, the story of African-American life today and the story of the Civil Rights generation, to clarify the successes and failures of racial integration in America and what they reveal about our democracy and national character.

Richard Karz is the creator and curator of The Legacy Essay Contest for high school juniors and seniors. The Legacy Essay Contest is a joint venture of Karz Productions, National Education Association, American Federation of Teachers, ASCD, National Council of Teachers of English, National Council for the Social Studies, and the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation. The keynote speaker and awards presenter for the 2010 Legacy Essay Contest was U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.


ABC7 (media sponsor)
AREA (Atlanta's Resource for Entertainment and Arts)
Atlanta History Center
Atlanta Public Schools
Auburn Research Library
Center for Black Music Research, Columbia College
Chicago Office of Tourism
Chicago Public Media, WBEZ (media sponsor)
Chicago Public Schools
Chicago Teachers Union
Chicago Urban League
Clark Atlanta University Museum
Clear Channel Radio Chicago (media sponsor)
Cook County Bar Association
Delta Sigma Theta, Chicago Alumnae Chapter
DuSable Museum of African American History
Envision Global
Facing History and Ourselves
Georgia Association of Black Elected Officials
Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce
Hammonds House Museum
Illinois Judicial Council
Knights of Peter Claver, Inc. and Ladies Auxiliary
NAACP Atlanta
NAACP, Chicago Westside Branch
National Black MBA Association, Inc., Chicago Chapter
National Black Prosecutors Association
National Council of Negro Women,
     Chicago and East Bronx sections
National Education Association (NEA)
NYC Department of Education
Rainbow PUSH Coalition
Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
Teach for America
Teaching Tolerance, A Project of the Southern Poverty Law
The Black Star Project
YMCA of Metropolitan Atlanta
YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago

Carol L. Adams
CEO, DuSable Museum of African American History

Muhammad Ali
Three-time World Heavyweight Champion

Howard Dodson, Jr.
Director, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture

Jacki Barila Florin
Broadway producer

Dr. Beverly L. Hall
Superintendent, Atlanta Public Schools

Rev. Dr. Mildred C. Harris
Founder, President and CEO, God First Ministries

Vivian Pickard
President, GM Foundation

Julieanna L. Richardson
Founder & Executive Director, The HistoryMakers

Deborah Roberts
ABC News Correspondent

Al Roker
NBC Weatherman and entertainer

Barbara 'B' Smith
B. Smith Enterprises, Ltd.