When I was growing up in a northern-New Jersey ghetto in the early Afro-picked 1970s, my mom used to take me places in her car. Our radio dial was locked to 1430 WNJR, a soul AM station, and in the afternoons I would hear something at the top of the hour called “National Black Network News.” National black newscasters were talking about the condition of black people.
We don’t hear enough of that anymore.
I was reminded of that when I heard that William Greaves had passed away on Aug. 25 at the age of 87. Nearly 50 years ago, Greaves was fighting a war in the media world and we were all the beneficiaries. The skirmishes were over black public-affairs television programs – shows that presented undiluted African-American political, social and cultural views on white television during the height of the civil rights movement and black power eras. Greaves was a pioneer of one: “Black Journal.”