Black Power TV tells the story of a television genre that emerged after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Black public affairs programs exploded in local markets in cities such as San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, Boston, Milwaukee, Atlanta, Houston, and Detroit, as well as in smaller cities such as Syracuse, New York; Omaha, Nebraska; and Columbia, South Carolina. These programs had bold names that anchored them to local and national communities and to Black liberation movements. Black culture and politics were documented and racism sharply critiqued on New York’s Inside Bedford-Stuyvesant, Positively Black and Like It Is, Boston’s Say Brother, Los Angeles’ From the Inside Out, Chicago’s For Blacks Only and Our People. Philadelphia’s New Mood, New Breed, Detroit’s Colored People’s Timeand Profiles in Black, San Francisco’s Vibrations for a New People and BlackDignity, Cincinnati’s Right On!, Omaha’s Kaleidoscope, South Carolina’s For the People, and Atlanta’s Ebony Journal, to name just a handful, as well as on national programs such as Black Journal and Soul!
Black Power TV considers these programs’ intervention in Black liberation history and television history through case studies of four programs: the local shows Say Brother andInside Bedford Stuyvesant as well as the national shows Soul!and Black Journal. Programs like Black Journal, Soul!, Inside Bedford Stuyvesant and Say Brother made multiple strategies for Black liberation visible and comprehensible to an ever-widening audience, both Black and non-Black.
Heitner is a media scholar and educator who earned a PhD in Media, Technology and Society from Northwestern University. She has taught at the Spertus Museum, the Better Boys Foundation, Street Level Youth Media, Northwestern University and DePaul University.
Co-sponsored by Media Studies, African American Studies, History, and Communication Studies.