New Special Collection of Programs and Original Interviews Created for Say Brother (WGBH)

Collection Summary

Now preserved and available online in the American Archive of Public Broadcasting, the Say Brother Collection includes programs and original interviews created for Say Brother (1968 – 1997), WGBH’s longest running public affairs television program by, for and about African Americans now known as Basic Black (1998 – present).

The entire digitized collection is available on location at WGBH and the Library of Congress, and 83 programs and interviews are available in the AAPB Online Reading Room. Since its inception in 1968, Say Brother has featured the voices of both locally and nationally known African American artists, athletes, performers, politicians, professionals, and writers including: Muhammad Ali, Maya Angelou, Thomas Atkins, Amiri Baraka, Doris Bunte, Julian Bond, Stokely Carmichael, Louis Farrakhan, Nikki Giovanni, Odetta Gordon, Benjamin Hooks, Jesse Jackson, Hubie Jones, Mel King, Eartha Kitt, Elma Lewis, Haki Madhubuti, Wallace D. Muhammad, Charles Ogletree, Babatunde Olatunji, Byron Rushing, Owusu Sadaukai, and Sonia Sanchez. Topics covered by the collection include Black Power, healthcare, international affairs, human rights, police relations, prisons, religion, desegregation, Native American rights, politics, education, community and national organizations, affirmative action, business, the Equal Rights Amendment, Africa, and activism, among others.

Collection Background

In April 2000, the WGBH Media Library and Archives in Boston was awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities Archives and Special Collections Preservation and Access grant to arrange, describe, and reformat the master Say Brother tapes dating from 1968 to 1982 to keep the collection accessible. Recently added to the American Archive of Public Broadcasting, the collection is now preserved for posterity at the Library of Congress.

Featured Episodes

Senior Citizens

This program includes discussions with and segments featuring older members of the black community.

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Black Politics

This program analyzes why African American candidates were unable to win appointment to either Boston’s School Committee or City Council in the 1975 elections.

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Black Power on Campus

This program examines the student takeover of Ford Hall at Brandeis University, an administration building Brandeis students occupied during the filming of the program.

Mel King

This program includes an interview with Melvin H. King, an American politician, community organizer, and writer. King has been active in creating community programs and institutions for low-income people in Boston.

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Equal Rights Amendment

This program focuses on the proposed Equal Rights Amendment in the state of Massachusetts that will make discrimination regardless of sex, race, creed or religion, illegal.

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Ella Collins

Say Brother interviewer, Sarah Ann Shaw, speaks with Ella Collins, sister of Malcolm X. Collins discusses the childhood of Malcolm X and how she had raised him from an early age until his incarceration and subsequent conversion to Islam.

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