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Say Brother; Distortions of Black Life

Part of Say Brother.


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Say Brother
Distortions of Black Life
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 focuses on historical materials that illustrate the systematic degradation of African Americans in the United States. Host Barbara Barrow talks to Brenda Verner, a historian and media specialist who offers a socio-historical analysis of print materials (such as greeting cards and trade cards) dating from the post-Civil War period as a starting point for identifying the origins of racist attitudes and myths related to the African American community. Program features slides of relevant trade cards and early 20th century black and white photographs that dispute those cards' content.

Asset Type

Broadcast program

Media Type


Civil rights
African Americans in popular culture
African Americans in advertising
African American women
Verner, Brenda J.
Advertising cards
African Americans--Social conditions
Race and Ethnicity
Barbara Barrow (Producer)
Moore, Melvin (Associate Producer)
White, Conrad (Director)
Merhar, Milan (Videotape Recordist)
Lane, Frank (Camera)
Yang, Eileen (Researcher)
Morton, Wil (Audio)
Stewart, Aubrey (Video)
Marshall, Carolyn (Production Secretary)
Sullivan, John (Assistant Stage Manager)
Plausse, John (Lighting Director)
Songai, Jahid (Intern)
Cross, June (Production Assistant)
Smith, Lee (Lighting Assistant)
Wilson, Bob (Camera)
Clarke, Brian (Assistant To The Producer)
Mackles, Gene (Graphic Designer)
Horne, Danny (Intern)
Barrow-Murray, Barbara (Host)
Valdes, Mario (Researcher)
Johnson, Lenita (Intern)
Bordett, Bruce (Stage Manager)
Hill, Rebecca (Fashion Consultant)
Smith, Kathy (Switcher)
Kane, Pat (Videotape Recordist)
Mahard, Fran (Scenic Design)
Chicago: “Say Brother; Distortions of Black Life,” 03/10/1977, GBH Archives, accessed January 18, 2022,
MLA: “Say Brother; Distortions of Black Life.” 03/10/1977. GBH Archives. Web. January 18, 2022. <>.
APA: Say Brother; Distortions of Black Life. Boston, MA: GBH Archives. Retrieved from
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