Black Journal
Episode Number
Producing Organization
WNET (Television station : New York, N.Y.)
Contributing Organization
Library of Congress (Washington, District of Columbia)
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Episode Description
In an investigative report this month's Black Journal episode delves into the political, economic, and social development of Kenya and Tanzania since their independence. Focusing on the social and economic change in Kenya since independence from England in 1963, "Black Journal" looks at the country's struggle to progress from an agricultural to an industrialized nation and the consequent migration from rural to urban areas; at the influence of its past on present culture, values, and national "development"; and at economic developments such as coffee cooperatives. Kenya's first elected president, Jomo Kenyatta, has been instrumental, largely through the force of his own personality, in holding the country together, despite tribal and economic class differences. European influence and the retention of European advisers have directed the country's "development" to the attainment of western ideals of education, culture, and technological progress. In Nairobi, Kenya's capital city, high-rising hotels point to an obvious desire for American and European modernity. The film notes a Kenyan regiment, its officers trained in England, looking more British than African and that in Kenya's a man's success is measured by how closely he can imitate his former political masters. Although the Kenyan people are outside the cities is influenced by urban attitudes. There is a process of Africanization in Kenya, but it is viewed as simply getting a job or a business formerly held by a non-African, not necessarily anti-western. A strong feeling that the Asians, long the only middle class group in Africa, must go is prevalent. This trend towards westernization is being questioned however, by the people of Kenya, called wananchi, whose recent vote in general elections has resulted in the defect of a dozen government officials. The final portion dealing with Kenya looks at one of its export cash crops - coffee - which is grown by small cooperatives operated by blacks and by large plantations, still owned mostly by Europeans. Coffee is controlled by the Kenya Planters Cooperative Union which decides techniques and milling and the International Coffee Board which, governed by European and American interests, and decides quotas and price. Included in this portion is an interview with JJ Muigai, liaison between the KPCU and the ICB and President Kenyatta's brother. Economic, political, and social change, past cultures and their influence on these three spheres of development, and contrasts with Kenya re the topics as "Black Journal" focuses on Tanzania. Tanzania has been greatly influenced by the ancient Arabs who ruled much of the east coast of Africa well before the 19th century and has benefited from its Arab legacy. For example, Swahili, the language of Arab trade which is used today, cuts across 123 different tribal languages and provides a unifying force in a multi-tribal nation. Also, a sense of sharing and self-reliance, common to Islamic way of life, has become the basis of African Socialism and the credo of Tanzania's Arusha Declaration. Tanzania achieved independence from Britain in 1961; in contrast to Kenya, British rule was not as extensive, largely due to Tanzania's limited railroad and educational system. Thus, notes the program, the country has been able to keep more of its "soul." In an interview with Tony Batten, President Julius K. Nyerere explains his government's socialist policies; the Arusha Declaration, which aims to move Tanzania into full socialism; and the meaning of Tanzanian "development." He states that Tanzanian socialism is unlike traditional socialism which is built out of capitalism ("We have really announced a war against capitalism"); rather, it is socialism built out of poverty and its basis is sharing. Development for Tanzania means complete self-reliance and therefore complete freedom, and it will come by working "together for ourselves," not by "working together for another as n capitalism," states Nyerere. This concept of working together is manifested in the "ujama" villages, social units of communal living. (The episode visits one such village.) Nyerere discusses the need for manpower and the place of Afro-Americans in the development of his country. "Black Journal" also focuses on the Mozambique Liberation Front or "freelimo," its fight with Portuguese rulers for the past nine years, and its future plans for development after revolution. It includes an interview with Freelimo field commander Armando Panangue and a visit to a Freelimo camp. This episode also contains a brief (approx. 5 minutes) segment on Harlem which includes interviews with residents who discuss what they feel their community problems are. Black Journal #24 is a National Educational Television production. (Description adapted from documents in the NET Microfiche)
Series Description
Black Journal began as a monthly series produced for, about, and - to a large extent - by black Americans, which used the magazine format to report on relevant issues to black Americans. Starting with the October 5, 1071 broadcast, the show switched to a half-hour weekly format that focused on one issue per week, with a brief segment on black news called "Grapevine." Beginning in 1973, the series changed back into a hour long show and experimented with various formats, including a call-in portion. From its initial broadcast on June 12, 1968 through November 7, 1972, Black Journal was produced under the National Educational Television name. Starting on November 14, 1972, the series was produced solely by WNET/13. Only the episodes produced under the NET name are included in the NET Collection. For the first part of Black Journal, episodes are numbered sequential spanning broadcast seasons. After the 1971-72 season, which ended with episode #68, the series started using season specific episode numbers, beginning with #301. The 1972-73 season spans #301 - 332, and then the 1973-74 season starts with #401. This new numbering pattern continues through the end of the series.
Broadcast Date
Asset type
Race and Ethnicity
Media type
Moving Image
Embed Code
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Executive Producer: Greaves, William
Interviewee: Panangue, Armando
Interviewee: Muigai, JJ
Interviewee: Nyerere, Julius K.
Interviewer: Batten, Tony
Producer: Batten, Tony
Producing Organization: WNET (Television station : New York, N.Y.)
AAPB Contributor Holdings
Library of Congress
Identifier: 2279606-1 (MAVIS Item ID)
Format: 2 inch videotape: Quad
Generation: Master
Color: Color
Duration: 0:58:40
Library of Congress
Identifier: 2279606-3 (MAVIS Item ID)
Generation: Copy: Access
Color: Color
Library of Congress
Identifier: 2279606-2 (MAVIS Item ID)
Generation: Master
Color: Color
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Chicago: “Black Journal; 24,” 1970-05-25, Library of Congress, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed April 21, 2024,
MLA: “Black Journal; 24.” 1970-05-25. Library of Congress, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. April 21, 2024. <>.
APA: Black Journal; 24. Boston, MA: Library of Congress, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from