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Say Brother; Black Athlete, The

Part of Say Brother.


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Say Brother
Black Athlete, The
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 explores the cliche, "Sports have been good to the Black man" by asking, "Has the Black man been good to sports?" With interviews with major sports figures of track, boxing, tennis, baseball, basketball, and football, the program explores the limitations of athleticism in achieving recognition and equality for African Americans. Program interviews, conducted on site, include: Frank Robinson (baseball), Arthur Ashe (tennis), Tom Sanders (basketball), Muhammad Ali (boxing), Ken Hudson (referee), Jim Brown (football), Bill Russell (coach), and Tommie Smith (track). Jim Spruill's introduction reviews athleticism before slavery was abolished, compares the manager-fighter relationship to the master-slave relationship, and talks about the educated athlete.



Asset Type

Broadcast program

Media Type


Hudson, Ken
Vietnam War, 1961-1975
Russell, Bill, 1934-
Ali, Muhammad, 1942-
Brown, Jim, 1936-
African American boxers
Civil rights
Vietnamese Conflict, 1961-1975
Professional sports
Robinson, Frank, 1935-
Ashe, Arthur
Sanders, Tom
James, Larry
African Americans in mass media
African American athletes
Race and Ethnicity
Ferguson, Andrew (Associate Producer)
Bright, Hazel V. (Associate Producer)
Ray Richardson (Producer)
Lark, Tony (Associate Producer)
Lathan, Stan (Associate Producer)
Isen, Eric (Cameraman)
Cabot, Ellen (Production Assistant)
Loerzel, David (Audio)
Spruill, Jim (Host)
Gomez, Jewelle (Production Assistant)
Ferguson, Andrew (Audio)
Norton, Chas (Lighting)
Star, Black (Still Photography)
Rogers, Steve (Video)
Lark, Tony (Cameraman)
Noble, Gil (Interviewer)
Attar, Eli (Still Photography)
Chicago: “Say Brother; Black Athlete, The,” 06/19/1969, GBH Archives, accessed January 27, 2022,
MLA: “Say Brother; Black Athlete, The.” 06/19/1969. GBH Archives. Web. January 27, 2022. <>.
APA: Say Brother; Black Athlete, The. Boston, MA: GBH Archives. Retrieved from
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