Series
NET Journal
Episode Number
185
Episode Number
248
Episode
Still A Brother: Inside the Negro Middle Class
Producing Organization
William Greaves Productions
AAPB ID
cpb-aacip/516-kd1qf8kh4s
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Description
The Negro middle class, torn between white goals and black needs, are examined by two Negro producers in a 90-minute NET Journal documentary __ at __ on Channel __. Produced by William Greaves and William Branch, "Still a Brother: Inside the Negro Middle Class" enlists the narrating talents of outstanding Negro actor Ossie Davis. The conflicts posed for the Negro middle class are articulated by such spokesmen as John H. Johnson, president of Johnson Publishing Co.; Robert Johnson, editor of Jet magazine; St. Clair Drake, Roosevelt University sociology department and author of "Black Metropolis"; Ralph Featherstone of SNCC; Julian Bond, Georgia legislator; Bayard Rustin, director of the A. Philip Randolph Institute; Dr. Percy Julian, Chicago millionaire; and Dr. Nathan Wright, organizer of last summer's Newark Black Power Conference. The program offers a comprehensive view of daily and social life in the Negro middle class: its homes, jobs, vacation spots, beauty contests, and cotillions. It then delves into the Negro's "mental revolution," which is Africa-oriented and increasingly sympathetic with the militant solutions of ghetto leaders. The program notes several facets of the "mental revolution" - from hair styles to art collections, and from the "black is beautiful" campaign to a new kind of religion opposed to the "white nationalist" drift of historical Christianity. NET Journal - "Still a Brother: Inside the Negro Middle Class" is a production of National Educational Television, produced by William Greaves and William Branch. Editor and director: William Greaves. Writer: William Branch. (Description adapted from documents in the NET Microfiche)
90-minute piece produced by NET, initially distributed by NET in 1968. It was later edited down into a 60-minute piece and re-aired in 1969. It was originally shot in black and white
Two Negro producers will dissect an ambivalently affluent group - the Negro middle class - when NET Journal presents the 90-minute documentary "Still a Brother." (The program will be seen in New York City on WNDT/Channel 13, Monday, April 29, at 9 pm.) Producers William Greaves and William Branch represent the Negro's two-way odyssey - into the white-dominated middle class and, more recently, back to his own people. The program offers a comprehensive view of life in the Negro middle class: its homes, its jobs, vacation spots, beauty contents and cotillions. In contrast to this life is a mental revolution within the Negro middle class. The program notes the growing pride in one's African heritage, ranging from hair styles to art collections, and from an appreciation of "soul" food to a rejection of the television image and its "Nordic standards of beauty." Mirroring the new cry "Black is beautiful" is a new kind of religion which denounces the "white nationalist" drift of historical Christianity. This trend has been dramatized by recent urban riots, with which many members of the Negro middle class are sympathetic. The film cites the personal experience of Horace Morris, associate director of the Urban League in Washington, D.C., and a former Syracuse University footballer. Morris, driving into Newark during the riots, was fired on by local police, who killed his stepfather and wounded his brother. Through this experience, he realized that "no matter how far up the economic ladder you climb, there's still the oppressive prejudice of the white man - You're still a brother." Appearing on the program are John H. Johnson, president of Johnson Publishing Co; Robert Johnson, editor of Jet magazine; St. Clair Drake, Roosevelt University sociology department and author of "Black Metropolis"; Ralph Featherstone of SNCC; Julian Bond, Georgia legislator; Bayard Rustin, director of the A. Philip Randolph Institute; Dr. Percy Julian, Chicago millionaire; and Dr. Nathan Wright, organizer of last summer's Newark Black Power Conference. NET Journal - "Still a Brother: Inside the Negro Middle Class" is a production of National Educational Television, produced by William Weaver and William Branch. Editor and director: William Greaves. Writer: William Branch. (Description adapted from documents in the NET Microfiche)
This 90-minute documentary is about the Negro and his two-way odyssey - into the white middle class and back to his own people. The program has been produced by two Negro filmmakers - William B. Branch and Williams Greaves - providing it with a special viewpoint as it moves among the various strata of Negro life. The program begins with scenes from a world that is black in only one regard - skin color. On the golf course or on a yacht, at a beauty content or a cotillion, the Negro is seems as he adopts the white norm. Usually the function is attended by Negroes alone, except in the case of the integrated Annual Evening of Elegance, which is shown here at the Westchester estate of Mrs. Sidney Poitier. It is this society which sociologist E. Franklin Frazier described in his book "Black Bourgeoisie," and which the documentary parodies in a dream sequence inhabited by Negro polo and tennis players cavorting affectedly with a buxom blonde Negress. In this portion, the program also explores the source of the Negro's upward mobility - better job opportunities and some access to suburban housing. The program notes that five million Negroes - on in four - have attained middle class income, and that the Negro market now totals 32 billion dollars. But being "middle class" is not merely a matter of income. It is a question of behavior, or aspirations, of respectability, according to sociologist St. Clair Drake of Roosevelt University. And it is here that the break occurs. Though many Negroes remain committed to the suburban, basically white, aspiration, others have become affected by the black movement. Ralph Featherstone of SNCC contends that "there is no black middle class." A social habit such as the evening of elegance "hinders the struggle for modern genuine radicalism," says Featherstone. The viewpoint emerges most poignantly in the case of Horace Morris, associate director of the Urban League in Washington, D.C., and former footballer at Syracuse University. Morris recounts his presence in Newark at the time of the riots, when the police irresponsibly opened fire on his car, mortally wounding his step-father and injuring his brother as well. Until then, Morris had accepted the fallacy that ability is enough." But, he realized, "no matter how far up the economic ladder you climb, there's still the oppressive prejudice of the white man: You're still a brother." Morris notes that his son, a high school senior, suffers fewer illusions. The program depicts the young Negro, especially at a traditionally conservative school such as Howard University as taking the forefront of the new militancy. This militancy takes its most severe form in the riots, seen here briefly. But its most profound expression is the "mental revolution," ranging from a new kind of religion ("Jesus isn't in that bag," explains a preacher, denouncing the "white nationalist" drift of historical Christianity) to a campaign that "black is beautiful." The latter trend involves a pride in one's African heritage, ranging from hair styles to art collections and from an appreciation of "soul" food to a rejection of the television image with its "Nordic standards of beauty." In its wide-ranging study of the Negro in American society, the documentary recapitulates such recent events as the Washington March of 1963, the President's civil rights program of 1964, the Selma march of 1965, and the subsequent riots in cities like Newark and Detroit. It helps, thereby, to chart the Negro's drive not merely for middle class status, but for self-definition. Among those appearing on the programare John N. Johnson, president of Johnson Publishing Co.; Robert Johnson, editor of Jet magazine; Julian Bond, Georgia legislator; Bayard Rustin, director of the A. Philip Randolph Institute; Dr. Percy Julian, Chicago millionaire; Dr. Dennis Jackson, Atlanta psychiatrist; Dr. Nathan Wright, organizer of last summer's Newark Black Power Conference; and Mrs. Willie Jackson, Atlanta psychologist. NET Journal - "Still A Brother: Inside the Negro Middle Class" is a production of National Educational Television. Co-producers: William Branch and William Greaves. This aired as NET Journal episode 185 on April 29, 1968 and as NET Journal episode 248 on September 15, 1969. (Description adapted from documents in the NET Microfiche)
Broadcast
1968-04-29
Broadcast
1969-09-15
Asset type
Episode
Genres
Documentary
Topics
Economics
Social Issues
Race and Ethnicity
Rights
Copyright William Greaves, William Branch, & National Educational Television Corp. April 29, 1968
Media type
Moving Image
Embed Code
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Credits
Interviewee: Johnson, Robert
Interviewee: Rustin, Bayard
Interviewee: Bond, Julian
Interviewee: Julian, Percy
Interviewee: Johnson, John H.
Interviewee: Jackson, Dennis
Interviewee: Jackson, Millie
Producer: Greaves, William
Producer: Branch, William B.
Producing Organization: William Greaves Productions
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Citations
Chicago: “NET Journal; Still A Brother: Inside the Negro Middle Class,” 1968-04-29, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed April 7, 2020, http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip_516-kd1qf8kh4s.
MLA: “NET Journal; Still A Brother: Inside the Negro Middle Class.” 1968-04-29. American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. April 7, 2020. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip_516-kd1qf8kh4s>.
APA: NET Journal; Still A Brother: Inside the Negro Middle Class. Boston, MA: American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip_516-kd1qf8kh4s