Black Journal; 1
The following program is from NET, the National Educational Television Network. [NET IDENT MUSIC PLAYS OUT], Breathing follows. [ambient sound] [drum beat] [drum beat]
Good evening. This is Black Journal program number one. It is our aim in the next hour and in the coming months to report and review of the events, the dreams, the dilemmas of black America and black Americans. Shortly before his tragic death Dr. Martin Luther King was invited by the graduating class of Harvard University to speak at their Class Day ceremonies. This afternoon his widow, Mrs. Coretta King, went to Harvard to speak in his place. Here with the story from Cambridge, Massachusetts, is Ponchitta Pierce of Ebony magazine. Traditionally, class day here means a ceremony in Harvard Yards attended by graduates who go as far back as 50 years. But, today it rained, and indoors only the graduating class and members of their family could attend. No graduating class of 1968, however, could have picked a more relevant speaker than Mrs. Martin Luther King. So, I must say, that many of the young feel as I do.
That official responses to the frightful and to the personally painful assassinations of these past months have been inadequate. Has not power heard the grim tidings; the anguish from the ghetto, the rural slums, the battlefield abroad. The violence which periodically shocks us in a reflection of the violence to which we have become immune. It is a reflection of the violence our media celebrate. It is, I say with all due respect to the Office of the President of the United States, that even intense prayer and a new commission of notables will not ease the violence in our lives. [audience clapping]
[audience clapping] [audience clapping] Though acting forthrightly on the recommendations of the Kerner Commission Report might help. [audience clapping] [audience clapping] This is no time for business as usual and strengthening the police is business as usual. [audience clapping] [audeince clapping] A tired and false answer and the passions of recent weeks. I sometimes think that the best of our young do not always understend, understand the extent to which our great universities are authentically the most liberal of our institutions, but the universities too must face up to some very hard questions that they have
thus far avoided. [audience clapping] This war, which is the most cruel and evil war in our history must come to any end. [audience clapping] I call upon the President of the United States to stop the bombing in Vietnam now. [audience clapping] [audience clapping] [audience clapping] This war and the cries of the hungry and the young who have made these their causes, however, will not let them rest and that is good. There is reason to hope and to struggle if young people continue to hold high the banner of freedom. They have made mistakes and will make more, but the older generation has failed
America dismally, and if it is discredited it has earned its dis- disrepute. [audience clapping] It is time for bold fresh ideas and new leadership to come forth. because without it our society is on sinking sand. Historians of the future may record that the alliance of the Civil Rights Movement with the student movement that began in the late 1950s, and matured into broad political and social action in the 60-, 60s was the salvation of the nation. Mrs. -- at the University. And what of the graduating class thinking?
[singing] The affectionate strains of Alma Mater as sung here at Southern University at New Orleans will be echoing poignantly over many campuses this week as some 35,000 black students proudly earn their degrees from colleges and universities. To gauge the mood of the graduate and to learn what his involvement will be in a turbulent time of history, Black Journal talked with seniors at schools north and south. First, Harvard University where members of the Afro-American student society spoke out. We'd all like to think that we here because we're qualified, but we might as well face some facts. We here because we're black and because those Mississippi farmers and King and Stokely in the early days got out into the street raised hell. [student 2]: Damn, right. [student 1]: We here because we're black, and the only reason that we haven't been murdered like King is not because of our social status or our position here, it's
just because that we were absent. We would have been shot down just like he was ... [student 2] Thank you. Thank you. [student 1]: We got to come, you know we got to face the hard facts and then determine what we're going to do from here. And I think it's important that we don't shut ourselves off as we haven't during our four years or three years of possibly graduate school at Harvard, from the community. One problem that we might face, and I haven't faced it yet, but I might going back to my hometown this summer, is the fact that people might sense that we've been alienated from the community; they might not be willing to accept us back in the community. We talked earlier of this image of a Harvard man and they might think that we have some ideas that aren't relevant or pertinent to the black community. You see any way that we could actually convince the people that we are still in contact the with people or do you view this as a problem? I don't- I don't think that's a problem. I think that if we go back with a sincere desire to be of use, we gonna be recognized as such. I mean, hopefully, a lot of us will be able to go back and come on with the vernacular, you know, because that's where we came from. Just be natural and be one of the folks. But, uh, if we can't, so what. I mean the- the- the point is, that people will
recognize us for what we are. If we have Harvard attitudes, damn right, they going say go to hell. You know. And in ten years, sooner than 10 years, in five years we're gonna to have a large number of educated, but very black people in the market and, if those people use their skills the right way, I mean, that's gonna be a hell of a force, man. There's a hell of a lot that- that- that we can do, together. Yeah, well what we're going to do simply, is when we get out of here, is to provide our technical skills and our bodies to the movement. You see, because the movement is not a monolithic front. It's an oragnic front. There will be people who are concerned with politicizing the communities people, who'll be concerned with protecting the community by any means necessary, and people who will be concerned with setting up businesses, you know. Somewhere there's a place for us. Most likely in the area of setting up businesses.
At Morehouse College in Atlanta, the graduating class was not unaware of the legacy left by a member of the class of '48. In a dialogue between seniors from Morehouse and coeds from the sister school Spelman College. The talk centered on where each would be going after graduation and why. I'm going in a special program at the University of Chicago Divinity School in which, uh two quarters out of the academic year are spent in the Southside Training Center of Chicago, working with black people. And I chose that instead of going to some academic hall and staying in some bookshelf, because I've been at Morehouse for four years and I'm tired of being in buildings, and I want to move out in the black communities. And I'm using this as my background. [girl student]: I want to know why do you choose to go to Ghana and teach? And, if you're so black conscious why not take a teaching position in some ghetto area right here - [male student]: Right here. [girl student]: I mean Ghana is there, but I mean we are right here. Everything is in our midst. Why not here? Are you trying to evade the draft?
[male student]:Because of at my beautiful four years at Morehouse, I did not really, uh, comprehend what it means to be a part of black culture. So, if I go to Ghana, it is hoped that what I learned there I can relate to America. For what? You can go down-, you can go down to Vine City and do the same things you doing to Ghana here, rather than help your friends and neighbors, you see, you're going to go over there and help the Africans. Now I feel, I feel no more part of Africa as a, as a common Anglo-Saxon would feel about the people who came over on the Mayflower. Sure they're ancestors, but that's them, that's them. That's in the past you see where you want to go back. Why would the Anglo-Saxons, why would the white Anglo-Saxons here, want to go over and help the people in Britain who might be in slums over there? [people talking over each other] [man]: But wait a minute, ah, Mr. Cooke, you said said, you, you, you claim you worldly. Now, this because helping myself. [man]: Oh, you helping yourself. Now, you're being egocentric. Wait a minute Mr., Mr. Cooke. Everything is so regardless of what you do,
you know. Because if you remember the hunger artist [garbled speaking]. So, you know you still wouldn't get any satisfaction. Now my choice is this if you're concerned about that. I'm interested in next year working as a field worker with SCLC. Why? Because I want to work with not only black people, but poor people period. I want to work with all people, you see. And I feel that this community, and I do think this is a community, I feel that we should work together, we should work hormoneously and that we should strive for one end and that's to get the rats out of everybody's home. Get the poor peop-, get everybody. Get these toothpick legs and these pot bellies off of all the people in the Delta as well as Appalachian. [female student]: If you feel a necessity, Albert, to go and work for SCLC because you want to work with people, you know, well that's cool. My own personal feelings the problem that exist between race in America is so mammoth,
that people, particularly Black people with any kind of mental alertness as we should have when we finished college, any kind of political, sociological, psychological technical, umm, skills or knowledge, that all of this, all of this [unintelligible] to be used in the building of a black community. Because it was one, it's one thing is, that I learned that was obvious to me you know that grew out of that whole Civil Rights Movement and idealism that Black people had about America. That, uh, you know savvy enough, we still aren't aware of, you know, just as a country. But one thing that's obvious ... [narrator]: If the dialogues would fade along with the Georgian dusk, the issues and principles would not. [man]: A basic dilemma of America is whether the negro should be accepted and taken seriously as a human being. [narrator]: The commencement speaker at Southern University is Ernest Morial of the Louisiana House of Representatives. [Morial] The negroes part in this basic dilemma is whether to persist in his insistence upon his rights as a human
being, without regard to the risk or consequences. Or whether to accommodate to the resistance by some of flagrant forms of withdrawal from the fray. For America cannot survive if we do not. And we and no other group of human beings are likely to survive if America does not. You, today's graduates among the thousands of college graduates of America in 1968 must be the architects of change, the engineers who build and construct a social system within our democracy for our nation to survive. Williams. William- [narrator]: Unlike any other black graduating class in history, these young men and women must make up their minds about participating in the black youth and thus the new American Revolution. Will their search be for middle class detachment or insightful involvement later? This is a mandate to the class of 68.
[host]: That was Ponchitta Pierce reporting for Black Journal. Ralph Ellison has written of the black American as the invisible man. For those who only read the white press this has long been the case. But for 140 years there has existed in the United States a black press borne of necessity, which has reflected every shade of opinion from conservative to revolutionary. And the black press is a story in itself. In its beginnings it filled a vacuum created by the refusal of most white papers to print anti-slavery appeals or notices of abolitionists rallies. The first black paper on record was called Freedom's Journal and it appeared in New York City on March 20th, 1827. It was published by John B. Russwurm, a Jamaican, and Samuel E. Cornish of Delaware. The paper's first issue declared, "We wish to plead our own cause. Too long have others spoken for us." Just two years later and 1829 David Walker a free Afro-American who was a contributor to Freedom's Journal published Walker's Appeal, a 70 page pamphlet that exhorted slaves to rise up with violence against
their masters. In 1847, the black abolitionist Frederick Douglas a former escaped slave who had bought his freedom, founded his famous North Star in Rochester, New York. The paper helped recruit black regiments in the Civil War. Throughout the 19th century black papers continued to take up the cry of Afro-Americans for justice, but it wasn't until 1905 when the Chicago Daily Defender appeared with its banner headlines that a black paper appealed to the less educated masses. The black press continued to speak out against racial injustice. Black troops played a prominent role in World War II as they had in World War I and the Afro-American press was active in denouncing discrimination in the armed forces. The black press today consists of two dailies in Atlanta and Chicago and almost 200 weeklies. These papers are largely unknown to white Americans and common with the rest of the nation, the black press has mourned the tragic death of Robert Kennedy, long known for a strong civil rights stand. Headline stories point out that two black athletes
Rafer Johnson and Rosevelt Greer felled the alleged assassin. Of all presidential candidates, Kennedy was the most favored by the black people of America. But curiously enough Vice President Hubert Humphrey was all along the candidate who seemed to be favored by most of the black press. One observer points out that the black establishment is traditionally tied to the incumbent administration, which Humphrey represents. The death of Kennedy was less shocking to black people than to whites. According to Tom Pico, executive editor of The Chicago Daily Defender, Picos says this is because black Americans live in the shadow of white violence. Donald Mosby as correspondent in Vietnam for the Chicago Daily Defender, which has a circulation of 37,000. He reports an interview he had with Marion Williams, who was the only accredited black woman reporter there and she told him, "black soldiers have no business fighting and dying for these people because the Vietnamese people hate them just as they hate the Montagnards, who are black people too." Other charges that black
servicemen have been discriminated against and that the confederate flags have been flown at the naval installation at Cameron Bay have been soft pedaled by the Navy says the Defender. Here at home the Michigan Chronicle with a circulation of 55,000 regularly honors fallen black soldiers in Vietnam on its front page. Chicago has been quiet for some time after the wave of teenage gang violence which caused twenty-eight deaths earlier this year. The violence is deplored by Defender staff writer Cheryl Fitzgerald who says, "the tragedy is that when black youth kills black youth, nobody cares." A bitter campaign by the Weekly Carolina Times, circulation 22,000, may prevent the sale of a leading black insurance company to white interest. A Financial Corporation in St. Petersburg, Florida wants to buy the Banker's Fire and Casualty Company of Durham, North Carolina, the only black casualty insurance company in America. The Times called on the present owners to stand up like men and not sell out,
and the deal is now reported, shaky. Incidentally, the Atlanta Daily World reports that the black owned Atlanta Life Insurance company recently announced assets of 70 million dollars. Altogether there are forty-six black insurance companies in the United States. In the weekly magazine Jet, with a circulation of 370,000, charges that prominent Afro-Americans are being used by federal anti-poverty forces to spy on the Poor People's March. The magazine says that the group is furnishing hourly security reports on the marchers to the Office of Economic Opportunity. Well those are just some of the stories that are appearing in the black press. They are stories with a difference. The difference being the unceasing concern of black America with racial injustice. The black press in fact often gives full coverage to important stories that would otherwise go unreported. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. left to the people of this land a legacy of love, a dream of peace, freedom, and an end once and for all to the misery of poverty. He challenged the country's conscience. He conceived the Poor
People's Campaign, a petition for human dignity to be presented at the gates of power by the mass bodies of the powerless. For a commentary on the progress of the Campaign here is C. Gerald Fraser of the New York Times. The Poor People's Campaign is more than six weeks old now and the poor that Dr. Martin Luther King wanted to bring to Washington have come. The blacks, the whites, the Puerto Ricans, the Mexican-Americans and Indians. More than 3000 of them have come from across the country and as Dr. King had dreamed, they built a shanty town to expose a nation's shame. They call it Resurrection City and it sits on the lawn beside the reflecting pool at the Lincoln Memorial. But instead of this as a symbol of the nation's poverty, for many it has become little more than another tourist attraction. Many of the poor who came, see their high hopes trickle away in disillusionment. Even a number of those who stay on in the dismal plywood huts seem to have given up on their cause. They realize that the campaign is at a virtual standstill.
But perhaps because they have nothing to go back to they stay and continue to hammer together new buildings and say that they will not leave until the government has dealt with the many problems facing the poverty stricken in America. There is little doubt that the campaign has lost its momentum. The staff of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference has not devoted adequate time to conducting demonstrations that would dramatize the plight of the poor. Instead the organization has been bogged down with problems overrunning Resurrection City, a task that has proved larger than most staffers would have believed. There have also been differences among campaign leaders and the lack of organizational planning that has had a telling effect. But Reverend Ralph David Abernathy, Dr. King's successor as leader of the campaign, remains confident. He denies accounts of internal disputes and he promises that the poor will not abandon their campsite until the government meets their demands. A position that leads some observers to guess that Mr. Abernathy wants a clash with the federal officials
perhaps at the June 19th mobilization or when the permit for Resurrection City expires on June 23rd. For the opinion of march leaders, only a massive confrontation with the authorities can rally the national support so sorely needed to revitalize this campaign. New Breed is an organization of some one hundred and fifty soul brothers who offer a new directions in men's clothing: The Afro-American Look. New Breed clothes are designed for the black man of today, incorporating elements of his past and present. New Breed is looking toward the day when it will be able to satisfy all black consumer needs. In the words of New Breed President Jason Bennings, we are quietly building a nation.
[music playing] New Breed Corporation, organized in Harlem by Benning's in 1967, is now nationwide with clothing outlets in New York, Chicago, Detroit, Washington, DC, and Los Angeles. The, uh, measurement of the male, the black male, he's uh, let's say slimmer in the waist, with uh slightly protrudinng, uh, back, uh, side with, uh, just a little bit, uh, heavier chest through here. So this jacket is constructed with this and taken in consideration. And this is the thing that's done with a peacock flare. The jacket comes down to the center and out which causes the, uh, peacock's flare to open up just slightly. And, uh, this is the same thing that we do, uh, with the, uh, slightly wider lapel, we give the
peek to give strength and also the squared front to also add strength to the garment. Now the daishiki is an adaptation of an African piece It's, uh, what we mean when we say daishiki is freedom. So it's a freedom suit, but the daishiki ends up being one of the pieces that have the freedom in the garment itself. In other words, the garment is free. In this piece, I never am attacked. I can do almost anything or I can move in any direction. I never feel the restriction of a regular jacket. So, uh, this is, uh, the New Breed piece, uh is the daishiki suit. It's a New Breed suit so to speak. Now we have another thing that we do, uh, in the, uh, let's say conventional types suit. It's called a breed all. Now Milton here has on a breed all. Now the breed all is one piece. It's a take off on the overall. See I used to wear the overall when I was on that farm in Georgia. Now I'm in New York. So this is a breed all. It's a to take off, he has another job while he's here. So he has a new pair of overalls. So this is
what we call it. The New Breed stores aren't just clothing stores; they end up being stores that involve paintings and any number of things that might be reflective of black culturalization. It's for the benefit of blacks. It's been a chance for me to get involved in the project with other people that, uh, have the same goals. Milton Clark in charge of New Breed clothing production cuts the pattern for our summer African print daishiki. We say our New Breed, which is an idea which is an idea. One which says that the black man can do whatever he needs to do to be successful. Being black, uh, orientated and, uh, being concerned about the lack of progress, and the lack of self-determination of black people I think New
Breed is a pretty groovy idea. So that a person that becomes a part of New Breed really becomes a part of the idea of blacks helping blacks. Blacks a new breed is just a matter of [garbled speaking] in the green come oh that's good enough. I spend most of my images trying to make new memories and see I enjoying New Breed as it succeeds so that, ahh in this sense the white man is really an irrelevant person it doesn't really matter that much. And this has been the thing that has, ah, enabled us to, ah, get as much done as we have. The fact that we have spent our time concentrating on positive things for New Breed, rather than negative things for other people. New breed financing came from sale of stock to the black community at $1 per share with
additional support from the Negro industrial and economic union headed by Jimmy Brown. You always get this retort, "well, you know, black people and, ah, don't know how to run businesses, etc'. Now, what we have done is we've disproved that theory 'cause in the last say, five and a half to six months we can (speaker's voice fades out as announcer begins) Ellis Fleming, administrative adviser, discusses the sale of the new breed stock to the black community. Speaker: Now the stock, per se, is we're still selling stock. We're concerned about the guy in the street... the fella in the street that got a couple dollars. When I say we sell them in blocks of 100 but now that was on an installment basis. That was really to get the guys to say, "look, I want a piece." So the chick comes in the store up here to retail shop. She says, "well look..." she brings her friends in... it's kinda an elderly lady, "I own part of the store. This is my store." Well, we want this because, number one, she brings that in, we want her to feel this type of thing so, as far as stock is concerned, everybody can get a piece of the action and really feel that this is really a part of their, like if they see a garment, that's a part of them. You follow? Within the New Breed structure, each department has a fund raising thing going on
so. So that we can have the funds necessary to carry out the next step of that department department or that particular company, or whatever the thing ends up being- that section, whatever their functions are. At a Tuesday night business meeting, members of the New Breed black communications department discuss allocation of funds for the organization's DRUM magazine, to be published at the end of June. Now Hayes got a thing going out there. Now Doug-Doug is goin' to set up another thing in Detroit as soon as he gets back over. Yeah. Yeah, he's going back over this week. How's he gonna do all that? You a magician. A little black magic. (laughter) The whole plan, I guess, would be to say that we are attempting to create a nation of citizens of the world. We'd like to go to the point where we free every person in the world that is enslaved. (music)
Next on Black Journal: People in the News. Here is William Greaves. A wide variety of people have made news recently in the nation's black press. In fact, they range from a black Air Force general to the first Afro-American to undergo a heart transplant operation. Patrolman Ronald Smith of the New York City Police died after receiving the heart of a Bronx man who reportedly killed himself. In Richmond, Virginia, the family of Bruce Tucker whose heart was transplanted to a white man who later died, is suing the doctors involved. The family says the transplant was not authorized by them. Retiring secretary of Housing and Urban Development Robert Weaver has been the subject of closed door discussions by organizers of the Poor People's Campaign. They have considered picketing his office because they claim he has done little to improve housing conditions. The Senate's only black member, Edward Brook of Massachusetts, will be the first senator affected by the Senate's new code of ethics which begins on June 20th.
That's the date on which Brooks supporters had planned to hold a fundraising dinner to pay off his 1966 campaign debts; a dinner which may now be canceled. The reason? John Stennis, the Mississippi Democrat who heads the Senate's new ethics code committee, has ruled that retroactive fund collecting is unethical. Lieutenant-General B.O. Davis, Jr. of the Air Force has been promoted to chief of the United States Strike Command in charge of all United States military operations in the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and Africa. The Muslims have reportedly endorsed Wesley South, a black Democrat, in his bid for Congress from a Chicago district. This was the first time that the Muslims have endorsed a candidate of any party. Our profile in the news tonight is the story of a jockey. In the early days of thoroughbred horse racing, black jockeys dominated the field. In fact, the greatest jockey of all time was a black man, Isaac Murphy, who rode
1420 horses and won almost half the races he entered, including three Kentucky Derbies. Black jockeys have won the Derby 14 times. The immortal Jimmy Winkfield won two straight Derbies and then had spectacular success touring great tracks abroad. However as racing became a big business, the black jockey gradually disappeared from the scene. Today, there is only one racing at the major eastern tracks. He's 21 year old apprentice jockey Ronnie Tanner. [male speaker] Here at Belmont Park, [hoof beats] Tanner is usually out on the track at 6:30am, exercising horses and showing trainers what he can do. In only nine months of regular racing, he's done remarkably well, winning 70 races and earning $40,000. [Tanner]: Right now, I'm the only one, and um- Most colored boys or negro boys they don't go in for it too much. The ones that they don't have anybody to enourage 'em or anybody to really help 'em out, like say in baseball, football, you have like, Willy Mays or Maury Wills...you know, someone you know, you admire and say, "wow, I'd sure like to be like him." But in the racing game, you don't have that, because there's nobody that say, "wow, I'd sure like to be like, um, a top [inaudible] rider" because there's no, you know, top colored jockeys right now.
[narrator]: Unlike most jockeys, Tanner rarely has a problem making the weight. He averages a hundred and five pounds. However, sometimes he faces the problem of discrimination. [Tanner]: There's, um, quite a few trainers that's alright, they will ride you no matter if I'm white or black. There's some, because of the color of my skin, they will not ride me. Sometimes I sit and think to myself, "well, why I can't I ride for 'em?" I know it can't be my ability. [narrator]: Tanner talks strategy before a race with Trainer Imperiale and owner John Cheney. Cheney is one of the few black owners in racing. [Cheney?]: Just sit back, make your move,you know, and get the job done. [Tanner]: Lotta times they give me compliments on my switchin' sticks from the right to the left and from the left back to the right It takes a lot of ability, 'cause you have to do it fast, you know, while the horse is still in motion running. And then, um, I'm known for finishing real strong on a horse; that means a whole lot. It might mean winning or losing. I'm noted for
like, comin' from way off the pace, you know, letting the horses settle the first part of it and make it one big run. [trumpet fanfare and cheering] [Announcer]: It is now post time. [male voice]: No, no, just a minute here, bud. Back it up. Back it up.[different male voice]: No, no, just one second. [bells ringing] [hoof beats] [music] [hoof beats]
[crowd cheering] [hoof beats] [crowd cheering] [hoof beats] [announcer]:This result is not official. The winner, number 7, Prestidigitator, a chestnut gelding by Like Magic from [voice fades] [narrator]: He kinda ran a good race, passing four horses in the stretch, but had to settle for fourth place. We asked him what happened. [Tanner]: The race was run just the way I figured it'd be run, with a lot of speed, and a horse that come from off the pace would probably win it. Which, the horse that, uh, did win it, he [unintelligible] come from off the pace. And uh, but the only thing is, he was was laying a little closer than where my horse was. You know, my horse he runs like, 15-20 lengths, you know, last...then he makes that one big run for half a mile, and usually steals a lot of speed in the race. The horses start getting tired and come back to him, and he'll pick 'em up the last part of it and usually win, finish second, and, y'know, run a good
race. [interviewer]: Are still you tired at the end of a long day today? [Tanner]: Oh, not really, I'm still ready to ride. I must have a few more races. Just getting warmed up now. [music] [hoof beats] Feel like my luck been changed, I've been riding few- quite a few horses but I haven't been able to win no races yet. Before I left aqueduct I seem to be doing like, pretty good, I was winning quite a few races, riding a lot of horses. So I guess this Just...racing love. 'Cause love plays a big part in this game. At times I say I'd rather be lucky than, um, a good rider. [hoof beats] [narrator]: Huey Newton, the leader of the militant Black Panther Party, will go on trial July 15th in Oakland, California, accused of murdering a policeman. The Black Panther Party has attracted strong national support from radicals and intellectuals, black and white. The Panthers openly advocate the use of guns against the police, claiming that they don't attack,
but will only shoot in self-defense, a point disputed by Bay Area law enforcement agencies. The Panthers say this is the only means of ridding the black ghetto of what they call police brutality and oppression. The party was founded in 1966 by Huey Newton, and has membership estimated between 250 and 1000. Within the last eight months, their policy and police response has led to two major gun battles, and to the deaths of a policeman and a Panther teenager. [overlapping voices] [male voice]: Take your hands of me! [narrator]: The Black Panthers first made national news just a year ago when they entered the state capitol in Sacramento armed with rifles and pistols. They were there, they said, to demonstrate opposition to the proposed legislation that would outlaw the carrying of loaded weapons. [overlapping voices]: Wait a minute, now wait a minute! Wait a minute! Am I under arrest? Am I under arrest?! Am I under arrest? Am I- Take your hands off me if I'm not under arrest! I'm telling you to take your hands off me!
[narrator]: In the year following this incident, there were a series of armed confrontations between the Oakland police and the Panthers. The police maintain the Panthers have provoked these incidents. The Panthers claim the police are trying to liquidate their leadership and destroy the party. Last April, when Oakland Police stopped a carload of Panthers, a gun battle broke out in this house. The details remain confused. Both sides claim they fired in self-defense. After 90 minutes of shooting, the Panthers surrendered. The Panthers say 17 year old Bobby Hutton came out first with his hands up and was shot to death. The police say they thought he had a gun and was trying to escape. Eldridge Cleaver, author of the much- praised book Soul on Ice, and Panther Leader, was shot by police and arrested in the incident. Oakland Police Chief Gaine. [Gaine]: There have been many people in this city who have maligned this police department, who have, through some maudlin sentimentality or other reason, sympathized with the Black Panthers and the peace and freedom
movement. And what really- what real evidence is there to cause people to be so sick as to do that aligning. Take a look at this maudlin, unjustified junk that has been put out. Bobby Hutton- they tried to deify one who tried to murder a policeman, and what do they say on this piece of paper? A black man who dedicated his life to defending the black community from racist oppression was murdered in cold blood by local police. Ridiculous lies, ridiculous attempts to create prejudice. The Black Panther Party poses a real threat to the peace and tranquility of the City of Oakland. [narrator]: The Panthers have a different version of their role; Huey Newton, Panther leader, will soon be on trial for his life. We asked him about the origins of the party and their concept of self-defense. [Newton]: We use the Black Panther as our symbol because of the nature of a panther. A panther doesn't strike anyone, but, uh,
when he's assailed upon, he'll back up first, but if the aggressor continues then he'll strike out and wipe out his aggressors: thoroughly, wholly, absolutely, and completely. Um, the party is a, um, I like to call it a thir- a second party, rather than third party, because we see very little difference, as far as black people are concerned, between the Republican or Democratic Party here in the, uh, United States. We view ourselves as a colonized people, so we're in a situation of a mother country and a colony. And, uh, the politics of the mother country, uh, is not to answer the needs of the black subjects in the colony. So, therefore, this is the black political party, and it's a vanguard group for the freedom of black people. Originally, our party was called the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense. The name now has been changed to the Black Panther Party because many people misunderstood, uh, the
scope of self-defense. Uh, the power structure, the establishment, has been aggressive towards us and every area- social area, the economical area, and the political area. So, therefore, we felt it necessary to erect a political party to defend and promote the general interests of black people. Uh, aggression in the economicical area is as real as aggression physically by the racist police that occupy our community as a foreign troop occupies- occupies territory. [narrator] While continuing their defiant stand against the police, they seek support by running candidates on the white organized Peace and Freedom Party ticket, and are publishing their own newspaper. Bobby Seale, Panther Chairman. [background chatter] [Seale]: This paper's did by black people, trying to unify black people around this program here. This is a fact of what the program the party's about, we say we want full employment,
every black man wants full employment; you know that. We want an end to the robbery by the white man of our black community, that's what we're talking about. Like, number three. Number four, we want decent housing fit for shelter human beings, ya dig? And then we got- we want education for our people that exposes the true nature of this decadent American society. We want education that teaches us our true history and our role in the present-day society. We want all black men to be exempt from military service, ya dig? We want freedom for all black men held in federal, state, county jail, city, prisons and jails, right? Because you know how black people get hung up in the man's [railroadistic?] prisons. We want an immediate end to police brutality and murder of black people. Basically, we want land, bread, houses, and education, clothing, justice and peace. [male voice] We don't want no white man, you know, in our organization. [Seale] We don't have white people in our organization. What we do, white people who want to help this organization solely controlled by black people, we direct those white people what they can doin' what they have to do to start stoppin' that racism, ya dig? And we don't want them down here in our community controlling us That's what we talkin' about. We tell 'em [male voice interrupts]: Go home and watch they own. [Seale]: Go home and [inaudible] the racism there.
[narrator]: The Panthers support this boycott of an open supermarket organized by the Blacks for Justice Committee, whose spokesman is on the Panther Advisory Committee, Paul Cobb. [Cobb]: We checked with the Better Business Bureau, a lot of consumer community organizations about- we've had repeated complaints about the meats here, they're the worst in the city; the sanitary conditions in stores are the worst; 96 percent of the people who shop here are black, and less than 5 percent of people who work here are black. This is inequitable, and this is why we're here. And there is a connection between boycotting here at Housewives and the indictment- of the murder of Bobby Hutton. And the police brutality is connected because the economic interests that control this city also control the policy of the police department. We're saying it is regrettable that there's a need for police in a society. But since this society is so racist, we have to have police, but the issue is who should control those police, and we're saying the black people should control the police 68 percent of the policemen in the city of Oakland live outside the city of Oakland. We are saying that the police must live in the black community. So they would have an opportunity to relate to humans properly, and they must be black.
[narrator]: The major issue in race relations in Oakland is the continued friction between the black community and the police. Both sides are holding firm to their positions, and the situation remains potentially explosive. We asked Carlton Goodlett, publisher of the influential San Francisco Black Weekly and The Sun reporter for his evaluation and comment. [Goolett]: I believe that the police department is slowly but surely becoming the provocateurs and the inciters of incidents that could very easily lead to the extermination if necessary of members of the Black Panther Party. I do believe that the possibilities of racial harmony and peace in Oakland is certainly on trial. If the police respond to the demands of these young people for the ending of two standards of police action; one for white citizens apprehended, and one for black then probably racial peace can be restored in that city. If not, we would see ourselves
move precipitously to that separation mentioned in the President's Commission on Civil disorders; of one nation black on one hand, and one nation white on the other. [narrator]: Yesterday in San Francisco Eldridge Cleaver a Panther minister of information and noted author was granted a writ of habeas corpus, and bail has been set at 50 thousand dollars. The state is appealing the decision. And now Black Journal of the airs news by Dateline, Washington DC. This stately home in Washington's Black Gold Coast cost 70 thousand dollars. Its new occupants will be Stokely Carmichael, and of course his wife Miriam Akiva neighbors joked that they're living in the most riot proof area in Washington, once the Carmichaels are there. In Durham North Carolina the black newspaper, Carolina Times has gone full circle by recommending a return to the word colored to describe black America not afro-americans, not Negro, not Black
says the newspaper, but colored. It points out that Adam Clayton Powell, for instance, who constantly describes himself as a black man is less dark than some white Americans. In Richmond Virginia, The Baltimore Afro-American reports that soul music sensation James Brown was recently banned by the Parks Department from appearing at the mosque Amphitheater in Richmond. Authorities said that Brown was likely to cause a problem by his habit of hugging and kissing women in the audience. Hollywood solves a problem dealing with race relations in a recently praised film which asked the question, "Can a rich beautiful white girl find happiness married to an average negro, who happens to be a world famous award-winning doctor, whose credentials run longer than the film?" Today network television executives grapple with the enormous problem: how to portray the average negro in a realistic and courageous manner. The network tries to place negroes in executive positions where they can be effective respected and, at times of crisis, considered a tower of strength. Black
Journal takes you now to Beverly Hills where a network executive meeting is now in progress. [B.J.]: Well, go on. We're in trouble. Look at the overnight ratings for our network. We're being beaten by Peyton Place, Sermonette and the [inaudible] market sweepstakes. We're in trouble boy. [laughter] [first man]:How about a series about a nun who flies. You know Debbie Reynolds was a hit in the picture, and we can do a spin off. [B.J.]: Are you kidding? [man]:Here we can have her help the poor negroes. [second man]: Yeah! [first man]: No, that's too chancey. [laughter] [second man]: I know, we'll make 'em Puerto Ricans. They look almost white. [laughter] Take the curse off the relationship. [B.J.]: Hell, who could identify with a Puerto Rican with a beer can in his hand.[laughter] [first man]: Well, we could try. It'll pick up our ratings in San Juan, Spanish Harlem and some grape pickers. [laughter] [second man]:Better yet well, we'll make her a spy for the Vatican sort of a . . . ecumenical subversive. How 'bout spies? I know it's been done, but something different. [B.J.]: How 'bout we get a white guy and a black guy as agents for the CIA. [second man]:Yea, a sort of defiant ones without that chained together bit. [first man]: Yeah, yeah like uh, like, like two guys, tough, you know masculine. [second man]: Yeah, yeah. [first man] So we don't get all hung up on that, uh, you know, uh, sex thing.
[B.J.]: Yes. [first man]: [lauging] Can you imagine Liberace with a colored part. [laughter] Boy, the letters we would get. Ahhh. [first man]: Ooh, I gotta take one of my pink pills. [B.J.]: I know spies was my idea, but how about we make 'em doctors. [second man]:Yeah. [first man]:Doctors? Are you kidding! Ben Casey and Kildare are dead! [B.J.]: But if we make the colored guy a doctor, white people will love him; they could identify. We can make him a Woody Strode type, ya know: gentle as a rose with a constant smile on his face, running around fixing knees and working on a cure for cancer in his spare time in his lab over the garage. [laughter] A sort of cross between Albert Schweitzer, Jonas Salk and the Jolly Green Giant. [laughter] You're average negro. [? man]: You're average negro? [laughter][first man]: Now wait a minute, Just wait a minute, B.J. Supposing Faye Dunaway hurts her knee in a guest shot. Boy, the letters! He can't touch her knee. No, spies is it. [B.J.]: Yeah, I always thought start 'em out by working for the government, that's typical. Mmm.
[first man]: I got it! [B.J.]: Whaddya got? [first man]: In the first show we can make the colored guy loved by all of white America! What's coming out of my head? I feel it it, I feel it. Ready? Here it is. [B.J.]: Go ahead. [first man]: We can have him running down an American Negro Red turncoat, and we can call the turncoat, Patrick Henry. Makes it more ironic. [second man]: Yeah, you'll get the colored agent say to Patrick Henry: "You're a disgrace! [laughter] Just as they settle the racial situation, you go out and give the reds a lot of propaganda. You're a disgrace. And as he reads 'em out, he can give the Boy Scout sign. [first man]: The Boy Scout sign? [second man]: Yeah. [first man] That's too obvious. [second man]: Huh. too obvious. Well. [first man]: Say what about white women on the show? You know we can't have the colored guy next to white women A lot of pressure there. Letters. Boy, if he touches Raquel Welch we're in big trouble. [B.J.]: Why don't we make him a eunuch? [laughter] [second man]: Hey, I got a great idea. [? man] B.J., you're a genius. [B.J.]: I know we'll do the first season in Hong Kong. I mean, if he gets next to an Oriental chick, who cares? [first man]: We have, uh, the white agent making love to Connie Stephens as the red agent. And the colored guy can bow out
like he's shy, or he wants to sing a spiritual at the Hong Kong Hilton. [second man]: And every time he gets next to a white woman, he can make the Boy Scout sign, ya know. Then people know his thoughts are pure. [first man]: No, that's too obvious, man. [B.J.]: Well it's too obvious. [first man]: Now look, we've got to get this color cat some love. There gonna think he's some sort of a queer. Why don't we throw him spade chick every now. [B.J.] :Uh, colored. [laughter] [first man]: How about a junkie, this way he doesn't get all hung up in a lasting relationship. [B.J.]: Mmm, nah, too many spades. Uh, colored. Ahh, we're ba [inaudible] [laughter] straight,true blue and trustworthy. We can move the show slowly back to the U. S. for more stories. [first man]: Don't rush things B.J.. These things take time. Say, supposing for the second season we go to Mexico. Now who cares about Mexican chicks. Yo man, I don't even drink their water. [laughter] Besides, Mexicans are a very small pressure group. Let's get 'im a family a mother the whole bit. An entire negro family! [B.J.]Great! [first man]: A TV first. [B.J.]:Yeah. [first man]: My god, we'll
make history. Probably grab us all of Emmys, just for courage. [B.J.]: Wait a minute, wait a minute. Great idea, but will the public accept it. According to our latest surveys white America will only buy the Negro family if it's a common law relationship [laughter] and you know these people never get married. You can't have a colored agent and an illegitimate kid. That just doesn't make it. Of course, if we had, uh-- it would make it if we had, uh, Thurgood Marshall or Ralph Bunche, but they're not available. [first man]: Oh hell, none of that chittlin' stuff and cornpone jazz. We'll just treat him not as Negro, but dark white people. None of that civil rights and all that jazz. What they're worried about is straightening Samson's teeth, crabgrass and trying to keep the national average of 2 point 2 children per family. [laughter] [B.J.]: Oh god, you're beautiful! [laughs]. You look flush, take another pill. [laughing][first man]: Well, we got all the points covered. [B.J.] We'll win a dozen Emmy Awards, I tell ya.
[first man?]: Well, uh, whaddaya think Grammerson? [Grammerson]: A- Anything you think, fellas. Look, I gotta get back to my desk near the door, the equal opportunity people are coming by today. [B.J.]: [inaudible] Uh, it's great to have you on the team. [Grammerson]: Uh-huh. [raucous laughter]. [laughter] [B.J.]: That man's a prince, a tower of strength. [sighing] [first man]: Say,B.J., I just heard that they're putting a Negro family in Peyton Place. [B.J.]: Incredible. I didn't read the book or see the picture, but can they have a home there? [laughs] [first man]: In New England, are you kidding? [B.J.]: Wasn't there a riot there 67 o' this year. There must be a few of 'em there. [first man]:Well, they wouldn't dare.
[narrator] And that's a Black Journal for this evening. We'll return one month from tonight, on Wednesday July 10th. We will look at black theatre, medicine and the major events of concern to Black America.
- Black Journal
- Episode Number
- Contributing Organization
- Thirteen WNET (New York, New York)
- Library of Congress (Washington, District of Columbia)
- AAPB ID
- Episode Description
- The premiere episode of NET's monthly magazine, Black Journal, the first of a series devoted to the interests and concerns of black America. Segments include a satire by Godfrey Cambridge, an address by Coretta Scott King, a report on the Poor People's Campaign, and a study of the African American political reaction to the [Robert] Kennedy assassination. The first segment consists of taped highlights of an address given on June 12 at Harvard University by Coretta Scott King, the first woman ever to present the Class Day address at Harvard. "It's In to Be Black," a skit written, staged, and performed by Cambridge with members of Chicago's Second City troupe, examines the quest for representation in the mass media. The progress of the Poor People's Campaign is analyzed by Earl Caldwell, daily columnist from Resurrection City for the New York Times. Other stories concern the attitudes of graduating black seniors at Harvard University and at Atlanta's Morehouse and Spelman colleges toward war, the draft, Black Po
- Other 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
- Copyright 1968, National Educational Television and Radio Center
- Media type
- Moving Image
Copyright Holder: Educational Broadcasting Corporation
Executive Producer: Perlmutter, Alvin H.
- AAPB Contributor Holdings
Thirteen - New York Public Media (WNET)
Identifier: 22406 (unknown)
Format: Betacam: SP
Thirteen - New York Public Media (WNET)
Identifier: netnola_bljl_1_doc (WNET Archive)
Library of Congress
Identifier: 1832283-2 (MAVIS Item ID)
Format: 1 inch videotape: SMPTE Type C
Library of Congress
Identifier: 1832283-1 (MAVIS Item ID)
Format: 2 inch videotape
Library of Congress
Identifier: 1832283-3 (MAVIS Item ID)
Generation: Copy: Access
Library of Congress
Identifier: 1832283-5 (MAVIS Item ID)
Generation: Copy: Access
Library of Congress
Identifier: 1832283-6 (MAVIS Item ID)
Generation: Copy: Access
Library of Congress
Identifier: 1832283-8 (MAVIS Item ID)
Generation: Copy: Access
Library of Congress
Identifier: 1832283-4 (MAVIS Item ID)
Library of Congress
Identifier: 1832283-7 (MAVIS Item ID)
If you have a copy of this asset and would like us to add it to our catalog, please contact us.
- Chicago: “Black Journal; 1,” 1968-06-12, Thirteen WNET, Library of Congress, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 25, 2022, http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-62-5m6251fv96.
- MLA: “Black Journal; 1.” 1968-06-12. Thirteen WNET, Library of Congress, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 25, 2022. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-62-5m6251fv96>.
- APA: Black Journal; 1. Boston, MA: Thirteen WNET, Library of Congress, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-62-5m6251fv96