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New York Life funds Public television series:

NEW YORK, July 17, 2001 - Thirteen/WNET New York announced today that the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) and New York Life Insurance Company have signed on as a funder of a new four-part national public television series, THE RISE AND FALL OF JIM CROW. The unprecedented documentary series, which will be available for broadcast on PBS in the fall of 2002, explores the roots of the African-American fight for freedom and equality from the end of the Reconstruction era to the Civil Rights movement.

Dr. William F. Baker, president and CEO of Thirteen/WNET New York, said, "NEH and CPB have long been cornerstones of support for public television programming. New York Life, an institution that over the years has demonstrated a profound commitment to education and quality television programming will be sole corporate sponsor of the program. This public-private funding partnership on behalf of THE RISE AND FALL OF JIM CROW helps us bring a tremendously important series to millions of public television viewers, giving them new insight into a significant yet often overlooked period in American history."

"The National Endowment for the Humanities is a proud funder of THE RISE AND FALL OF JIM CROW, which unflinchingly explores one of the harshest chapters in our nation's history," said William R. Ferris, chairman of the NEH. "This documentary film will touch millions of viewers and teach a new generation of Americans about our country's monumental struggle for racial equality. It will also remind us that America's great strength is its continuous striving to achieve the ideal of liberty and justice for all."

"The premiere of THE RISE AND FALL OF JIM CROW will mark public television's exploration of another significant period in our country's civil rights history," said Robert T. Coonrod, president and CEO of CPB. "The legacy of the Jim Crow era still resonates in American life today. We hope the series will help us meet the challenges our communities continue to face."

"We're pleased to continue our support of the fine programming of PBS," said Sy Sternberg, chairman, president and chief executive officer of New York Life, which is the sole corporate underwriter of the series. "Similar to our sponsorship of The American President series last year, we were attracted to THE RISE AND FALL OF JIM CROW because it will offer millions of viewers a unique look at an important period in our country's history told through individual stories. The companion educational outreach program is also consistent with New York Life's philanthropic focus on mentoring and educating young people, making this project a perfect fit for us."

THE RISE AND FALL OF JIM CROW begins with the end of the Civil War, when former slaves had their first taste of freedom. Stories of escape from oppression and bold risk-taking are told in their connection to nascent political movements that would pave the way for the modern Civil Rights movement. The series continues with profiles of African-Americans in the military, education, business, and the press, touching on the birth of jazz and the founding of the NAACP by W.E.B. Du Bois and others. But the battle is hardly won, as the second half of the series documents, and African-Americans face race riots and discrimination, as well as extreme poverty during the Great Depression. The series concludes with the New Deal in the 1930s, which opened its doors to African-Americans, and landmark legal battles challenging discriminatory laws and practices in the 1950s, which set the stage for the next generation of activists.

THE RISE AND FALL OF JIM CROW is a co-production of Quest Productions, Videoline and Thirteen/WNET New York.


Thirteen/WNET New York is one of the key program providers for public television, bringing such acclaimed series as Nature, Great Performances, American Masters, Charlie Rose, Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly and EGG the arts show - as well as the work of Bill Moyers - to audiences nationwide. As the flagship public broadcaster in the New York, New Jersey and Connecticut metro area, Thirteen reaches millions of viewers each week, airing the best of American public television along with its own local productions such as The Ethnic Heritage Specials, The New York Walking Tours, and Reel New York - and reaching vast new audiences through its MetroArts/Thirteen cable arts programming. With educational and community outreach projects that enhance the value of its productions, Thirteen takes television "out of the box." And as broadcast and digital media converge, Thirteen is blazing trails in the creation of Web sites, CD-ROMs, educational software, and other cutting-edge media products. More information about Thirteen can be found at:

The National Endowment for the Humanities was created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, and is the nation's largest funder of humanities projects. It supports learning and preserves knowledge in history, literature, philosophy, folklore, and other areas of the humanities. NEH brings history, culture, and ideas to life through public television and radio, museum exhibitions, library programs, scholarly research, new technologies, and classroom enrichment.

CPB, a private, nonprofit corporation created by Congress in 1967, develops public radio, television and online services for the American people. The Corporation is the industry's largest single source of funds for national public television and radio program development and production. CPB, a grant making organization, funds more than 1,000 public radio and television stations.

New York Life Insurance Company, a Fortune 100 company, is one of the largest insurance companies in the United States and the world. Founded in 1845 and headquartered in New York City, New York Life and its affiliates offer traditional life insurance, annuities and long-term care insurance. On the investment side, New York Life's affiliates provide institutional asset management and trust services and, through a subsidiary, NYLIFE Distributors Inc., provide an array of securities products and services such as institutional and retail mutual funds, including 401(k) products.

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