America Beyond the Color Line 2004 | TV Show Watchlist

America Beyond the Color Line

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A four-hour assessment of the state of black America at the beginning of the 21st century, presented by Harvard humanities professor Henry Louis Gates Jr., who hosted the 1999 PBS series `Wonders of the African World.'

Premiered: February 3, 2004

Rating: TV-PG

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Season 1, Episode 3 East Coast: Ebony Towers

First Aired: February 4, 2004

In Part 3 of four, Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. climbs an “Ebony Tower” to look at black life from the perspective of those who have “made it.” Secretary of State Colin Powell reviews his success and pronounces: “It happened in America.” But he is troubled by aspects of black pop culture he finds “self-limiting.” Hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons calls black entrepreneurs such as himself “rebels,” but activist Lenora Fulani isn't so sure. “We need more nerds,” she says. Meanwhile, in a tony New Jersey suburb, a Wall Street executive complains about “subtle racism” but sees overall progress. “Economic empowerment is part of the movement,” he says. “It's the evolution.”