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Say Brother; Elma Lewis: Black Poetry For Children

Part of Say Brother.


Dubbed from A2-03295. Original date 1/8/75.

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Say Brother
Elma Lewis: Black Poetry For Children
Program Number


Series Description

Say Brother is WGBH's longest running public affairs television program by, for and about African Americans, and is now known as Basic Black. Since its inception in 1968, Say Brother has featured the voices of both locally and nationally known African American artists, athletes, performers, politicians, professionals, and writers including: Muhammad Ali, Maya Angelou, Thomas Atkins, Amiri Baraka, Doris Bunte, Julian Bond, Stokely Carmichael, Louis Farrakhan, Nikki Giovanni, Odetta Gordon, Henry Hampton, Benjamin Hooks, Jesse Jackson, Hubie Jones, Mel King, Eartha Kitt, Elma Lewis, Haki Madhubuti, Wallace D. Muhammad, Charles Ogletree, Babatunde Olatunji, Byron Rushing, Owusu Sadaukai, and Sonia Sanchez. Series release date: 7/15/1968

Program Description

Program is divided into two halves: the first featuring a 30-minute in-studio poetry reading by Elma Lewis, the second of magazine-style segments. Elma Lewis, Director of the National Center of Afro-American Artists, seated with children around her, talks about what poetry is, what a poem can make you feel, and why people used to write in rhymes. Lewis focuses on two African American poets, Langston Hughes (who is "of this time") and Paul Lawrence Dunbar, and reads selections from each. The second half contains the following segments: a mime performance by Halim Adbur Rashid (Fred Johnson) titled "The Writer," "Access" (with A.D. Saunders, who describes the Boston Jazz Society), "The Word" (with professor and historian A.B. Spellman, who comments on Black History Week), the "Community Calendar," "Information" (on Minority Recruitment Month for the Peace Corps), and "Commentary" by Producer Marita Rivero. Original air date estimated.



Asset Type

Broadcast program

Media Type


Lewis, Elma
African Americans in the performing arts
Johnson, Fred (Halim Adbur Rashid)
African American children
African American poets
African Americans--Attitudes
Oral interpretation of poetry
African American women
Poetry and children
Peace Corps (U.S.)
Spellman, A. B., 1935-
Boston Jazz Society (Boston, Mass.)
Race and Ethnicity
Marita Rivero (Producer)
White, Conrad (Director)
Barrow-Murray, Barbara (Associate Producer)
Boston Art Ensemble (Theme Music)
Cross, June (Community Coordinator)
Cogell, Lloyd (Still Photography)
Spooner, Dighton (Researcher)
Johnson, Henry (Filmmaker)
Nicholas , Huntley, Jr. (Film Sound)
Farrier, Stephen (Community Coordinator)
Jones, Vickie (Production Assistant)
Chicago: “Say Brother; Elma Lewis: Black Poetry For Children,” 08/05/1997, GBH Archives, accessed May 27, 2024,
MLA: “Say Brother; Elma Lewis: Black Poetry For Children.” 08/05/1997. GBH Archives. Web. May 27, 2024. <>.
APA: Say Brother; Elma Lewis: Black Poetry For Children. Boston, MA: GBH Archives. Retrieved from
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