Madison Gray, Online Journalist

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Black Males in America: Too Serious A Topic For Lighthearted Television

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While giving thought to this year so far, I thought about the number of controversies surrounding Black men, ranging from the police shooting of Mike Brown in Ferguson, Mo., to the abuse scandals in the NFL to the consistently increasing Black male murder rate in Chicago to the resignation of Eric Holder that have all been in the news cycle. I figured it was time for a throwback to see what this same conversation was like a generation ago.

So I found a January 15, 1988, taping of San Francisco station KPIX-TV’s “People are Talking,” a morning show not unlike many shows of the day whose basic formula was an audience that applauded on cue, semi-interesting guests and a host or two that asks non-threatening questions. In this instance, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday was the topic, but the producers of the show got far more than they bargained for.

The guests on that show that day were then-UC Berkeley professor and activist Ishmael Reed; educator, scholar, and author of Countering the Conspiracy to Destroy Black Boys Jawanza Kunjufu; and Black Panther Party founder Huey P. Newton in one of his final public appearances.

Read more.


Written by Madison J. Gray

August 6, 2015 at 3:27 am

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