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Boss: The Black Experience in Business

May 15, 2019 @ 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm EDT

WTCI is honored to partner with Rise (formerly Jazzanooga), the Urban League of Greater Chattanooga and the City of Chattanooga Office of Multicultural Affairs to host a screening and discussion of the PBS documentary, “Boss: The Black Experience in Business.” Directed by award-winning filmmaker Stanley Nelson, the new documentary brings the largely unknown stories of enterprising African Americans to the forefront and will be screened at the Palace Theater on Wednesday, May 16.

The history of business and entrepreneurship lies at the heart of the American story, but often absent from that narrative are the experiences of African Americans. From the country’s earliest days, African Americans have embodied the qualities of innovation, risk-taking and determination to forge a path toward a better life. “Boss: The Black Experience in Business,” by Peabody and Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Stanley Nelson, traces the lives of African American entrepreneurs over 150 years, from those bound by bondage to moguls at the top of million-dollar empires.

Tying together the past and the present, Boss: The Black Experience in Business explores the inspiring stories of trailblazing African American entrepreneurs and the significant contributions of contemporary business leaders. Stories featured in the film include those of entrepreneur Madam C.J. Walker, publisher John H. Johnson, Motown CEO Berry Gordy, and business pioneer and philanthropist Reginald F. Lewis, among others. The film features new interviews with Vernon Jordan, senior managing director of Lazard, Freres & Co. LLC.; Cathy Hughes, CEO and founder of Urban One; Ursula Burns, former CEO of Xerox and chairman of VEON; Ken Frazier, chairman, president and CEO of Merck & Co., Inc.; Richelieu Dennis, founder, CEO and executive chairman of Sundial Brands; Robert F. Smith, chairman and CEO of Vista Equity Managing Partners, LLC; Earl “Butch” Graves, Jr., CEO of Black Enterprise; and John Rogers, CEO and founder of Ariel Investments.

As a capitalist system emerged in the United States, African Americans found ways to establish profitable businesses in numerous industries, including financial services, retail, beauty, music and media. Boss: The Black Experience in Business brings viewers on a journey from the end of Reconstruction through the present, tracing the emergence of a stable black business community alongside the greater struggle for civil rights.

 ‘PBS at the Palace’ is a free, monthly film screening series hosted at the popular downtown venue, the Palace Theater. Made possible through a partnership with the Palace Theater, this screening series features PBS content from MASTERPIECE to American Experience, POV and Independent Lens and provides a free monthly opportunity for viewers to enjoy quality, trusted programming in a unique Chattanooga venue. This screening event will be presented as a part of the community-wide Remake Learning Days Across America Chattanooga initiative.

Guests at the free screening will enjoy PBS resources and learn about special membership opportunities. Doors open at 6 PM and concessions will be available for purchase. 

WTCI serves over 400,000 households in 35 counties, educating, engaging and inspiring exploration through trusted, quality programming and community and education outreach. Designed to meet the needs of today’s kids, WTCI’s free educational programs and services provide learning opportunities for children whenever and wherever they access media.

Please visit wtciTV.org for programming and station information and contact Randy Jackson at rjackson@wtciTV.org for underwriting and sponsorship opportunities.


May 15, 2019
6:00 pm - 8:30 pm EDT


The Palace Theater
818 Georgia Avenue #118, Chattanooga, TN 37402
Chattanooga, TN 37402 US
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