In-Depth Look at J Edgar Hoover and COINTELPRO on BET 11-20 Print
Written by Robert ID4545   
Wednesday, 12 November 2008 23:42

On Thursday, November 20 at 10:00 p.m.*, AMERICAN GANGSTER adds another compelling episode to the season as it examines the most notorious government agent in U.S. history, J. Edgar Hoover, along with the Counter Intelligence Program or COINTELPRO, a secret directive that both authorized and mandated illegal harassment and targeting of domestic groups and U.S. citizens deemed a racial or political threat by Hoover.

The first and most famous director of the FBI, J. Edgar Hoover consolidated his power through a combination of brilliant public relations moves and compromising personal files he kept on politicians who held his fate in their hands. Positioned as an avowed and implacable enemy of Communism, J. Edgar Hoover was often at odds with left-leaning Black leaders throughout his reign, including Marcus Garvey and Paul Robeson. During the tumultuous ''60s decade, Hoover went even further, undertaking a virtual counter-revolution against the civil rights movement -- with particular venom directed at Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. -- and ultimately enabling the Bureau to create COINTELPRO. More than a decade later, U.S. congressional investigations would detail the scope of COINTELPRO's actions, which implicated the Bureau in the framing and even murder of several prominent activists.

Since its debut in 2006, BET Network's groundbreaking documentary series AMERICAN GANGSTER has earned a rare mix of critical praise and popular acclaim. Now in its third season, this series of one-hour episodes reflects the life and times of American criminals and how their actions have affected the public at large, and the Black community in particular. Narrated by Ving Rhames, these stories are told from the street, utilizing first person accounts from everyday citizens, community leaders, law enforcement officials, social historians, crime victims, and associates and intimates of the subjects themselves.

Past episodes have profiled Larry Davis, Stanley "Tookie" Williams and Frank Lucas. Upcoming episodes include Cornell Jones, Multulu Shakur (hip hop Icon Tupac Shakur (2Pac) step father), Guy Fisher, Willie Lloyd and the Romper Room Gang.

AMERICAN GANGSTER is executive produced by Nelson George and Frank Sinton (A. Smith & Co.) along with Mark Rowland and BET Networks; Brett King (Senior Vice President of Scripted Programming), Sitarah Pendelton (Vice President of Development), Kevin Morrison (Senior Director of Development) and Glenda Richardson (Assistant to Sitarah Pendelton).

*All times are ET/PT.

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