Harry Belafonte, Ella Fitzgerald, Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, and Smokey Robinson: These recipients of the Kennedy Center Honors were so incredibly talented and of such singular gifts they truly reshaped the music, entertainment, and songs of our times. They each blazed a unique path through our history and our hearts, reaching into every corner of popular culture. Nothing was the same after them.
, filmmaker and writer for the Kennedy Center Honors for 38 years, to examine their lives and view clips of their performances. Some of their stories are filled with joy, while others are darkened by the long shadow of racial prejudice. Through both, our appreciation for them grows.
Lukinson, a multiple Emmy Award winner, created more than 200 short biographical films for the Kennedy Center Honors. She teaches at NYU and the 92nd Street Y.