Home URBAN BET’s ‘AMERICAN GANGSTER’ Takes on J. Edgar Hoover and COINTELPRO

BET’s ‘AMERICAN GANGSTER’ Takes on J. Edgar Hoover and COINTELPRO

Critically Acclaimed Series Daringly Examines the Most Controversial FBI
Director in U.S. History

’s critically acclaimed docu-drama AMERICAN GANGSTER takes an in-depth look at former FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover and COINTELPRO (Counter Intelligence Program), a secret directive that both authorized and mand ated illegal harassment and targeting of domestic groups and U.S. citizens deemed a racial or political threat by Hoover. 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.

The first and most famous director of the FBI, 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 hand s. Positioned as an avowed and implacable enemy of Communism, 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.