Michigan State University and Detroit Public Television are pleased to announce the launch of an online multimedia archive for American Black Journal (ABJ), the longest-running US television program focusing on African Americans now in its 40th year.
More than 60 full-length ABJ shows can be freely viewed in streaming format on the American Black Journal: Documenting Detroit & American History from African-American Perspectives (www.matrix.msu.edu/~abj) website.
The ABJ online archive includes interviews, round table discussions, field-produced features, and artistic performances by African-Americans, many of whom are among the nation's most-recognized figures. It contains in-studio interviews with key political leaders such as Bobby Seale, Jesse Jackson, and John Conyers, as well as on-location footage of Nelson Mandela’s historic visit to the United States in June 1990. The website also features ABJ shows that examine important issues and events ranging from work in the automobile industry to nationwide urban civil disturbances in 1967 (including in Detroit) and the explosion of Motown music and rap. The diversity of voices represented in the American Black Journal includes those of African-American intellectuals Cornel West and Nikki Giovanni, and of musical icons Stevie Wonder, Wynton Marsalis and James Brown.
American Black Journal: Documenting Detroit & American History from African-American Perspectives is a web portal to African-American history and culture. The goal of ABJ online is to help teachers, students of all ages, and the general public better understand African-American culture, history, music, enterprise, politics, and life in Detroit and the nation. The ABJ web resource frames these videos with broad interpretive materials from historians and organizes content from the shows around major themes in African-American Studies.
MATRIX: The Center for the Humane Arts, Letters, and Social Sciences at Michigan State University provided the innovative technologies to bring the American Black Journal on line. Funding for this online archive was generously provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities Public Programs Division, Michigan State University and Detroit Public Television.
Originally titled Colored People's Time, the American Black Journal went on the air in 1968 as a televised public forum for black Americans during a historic moment of racial turmoil across the nation. During its forty-year run, the show (under different titles and formats) has documented Detroit and American history from African-American perspectives. The show represents a unique national treasury, possessing one of the most extensive audio-visual records of local African-American history and culture in existence, recorded in the city with the third largest black population in the United States. While many extant collections are limited to the contributions of African-Americans in specific areas such as civil rights or music, ABJ explores the entire spectrum. American Black Journal: Documenting Detroit & American History from African-American Perspectives makes this invaluable collection publicly available to a global audience.
To explore American Black Journal shows, go to: www.matrix.msu.edu/~abj.
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