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Say Brother; Survival on Mother's Island

Part of Say Brother.


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Say Brother
Survival on Mother's Island
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 consists of a number of magazine-style segments, including an Eduard Diaz interview with Bettye Washington, resident of Columbia Point, Boston (known as Mothers Island) on the difficulties facing the community, "man on the street" interviews with commuters to Columbia Point and their feelings about the area, an "Open Platform" debate moderated by Melvin Moore on whether or not homosexuals should be guaranteed equal rights under the law (with debaters Reverend Margaret Ragona of the Metropolitan Community Church and William Dunham, staff member of The John Birch Society, and panel reporters Neil Miller, editor of Gay Community News, and Flora Haas, contributing writer to the Boston Phoenix, an excerpt from a performance by Al Jarreau that originally appeared in program 608, "Another Approach to Theatre," and the "Say Brother News" with Karen Holmes, Eric Sampedro, Sonny Joe White, and Tanya Hart.



Asset Type

Broadcast program

Media Type


African American singers
Ayers, Roy
African American musicians
African American neighborhoods--Massachusetts
Haas, Flora
Washington, Bettye
Bolling, Royal, Jr.
Political prisoners--South Africa
Gay rights
Bond, Julian, 1940-
Columbia Point (Mass.)
Television broadcasting of news
King, Coretta Scott, 1927-2006
Dunham, William
Biko, Steve, 1946-1977
Miller, Neil
African American women
Jarreau, Al
African Americans in television broadcasting
Civil rights
Ragona, Rev. Margaret
Race and Ethnicity
Barbara Barrow (Producer)
Shah, Bruce (Director)
Moore, Melvin (Associate Producer)
Clark, Marvin (Intern)
Smith, Lee (Camera)
Buccheri, Ron (Switcher)
Morton, Wil (Audio)
Shipley, Jack (Still Photography)
Chigas, Basil (Assistant Cameraman)
Handyside, Keith (Video)
MacKnight, John (Videotape Recordist)
Moore, Melvin (Host)
Rivera, George (Production Assistant)
Lane, Frank (Camera)
Wareham, Skip (Camera)
Bordett, Bruce (Stage Manager)
Plausse, John (Lighting Assistant)
Wilson, Bob (Stage Manager)
Sullivan, John L. (Lighting Director)
Waters, Mitch (Lighting Assistant)
Pugliesi, Joe (Video)
Diaz, Eduardo (Host)
Hill, Rebecca (Make Up)
St. Onge, David (Videotape Recordist)
Johnson, Nat (Audio)
Cross, June (Assistant Director)
Holmes, Karen (Reporter)
Yang, Eileen (Researcher)
Sampedro, Eric (Reporter)
Tomaselli, Robert (Camera)
Joe White, Sunny (Reporter)
Lewis, Webster (Theme Music)
Mackles, Gene (Graphic Designer)
Smith, Kathy (Switcher)
Mahard, Fran (Scenic Design)
Chicago: “Say Brother; Survival on Mother's Island,” 09/16/1977, GBH Archives, accessed January 27, 2022,
MLA: “Say Brother; Survival on Mother's Island.” 09/16/1977. GBH Archives. Web. January 27, 2022. <>.
APA: Say Brother; Survival on Mother's Island. Boston, MA: GBH Archives. Retrieved from
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