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New film tells story of unsung civil rights leader

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WASHINGTON (AP) - A new PBS documentary is shining a light on a civil rights leader some say has been overshadowed by such icons as Martin Luther King Jr.

Airing on public television during Black History Month, "The Powerbroker: Whitney Young's Fight for Civil Rights" explores the life and legacy of Whitney M. Young Jr.

Those who knew Young or studied his career say his ability to penetrate white-dominated corporate boardrooms and the Oval Office over three administrations was critical to the civil rights movement.

By working within the system, Young drew criticism from those who wanted a more aggressive path to racial equality.

One of Young's biographers, Vanderbilt University history professor Dennis Dickerson, says Young's role in the civil rights movement should not be diminished.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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