Wednesday, February 15, 2017

'Say Brother' and the Radicalization of Ray Richardson


A Conversation on the Life, Legacy, and Mysterious
Death of Black Activist and TV Producer

The following is an excerpt from a 2001 article entitled 'The History of Say Brother', written by Sarah Ann-Shaw.

"Say Brother made its debut July 15, 1968. Ray Richardson, one of the show's first producers, was a brilliant young man in his early 20s. He never wavered in his commitment to portraying all facets and accomplishments of black life. Say Brother grappled with issues of housing, employment, and education; showcased local and national performers from all segments of the arts; provided a platform for political discussions; and much more, all from a black perspective. This is what Ray Richardson said in 1969 on the show's first anniversary:"

'We attempted to create an outlet for many of the viewpoints that exist in our community and to deal with political, educational, and cultural activities relevant to black people. We have had successes, occasional failures, and many memorable incidents.'

Joining me to discuss the circumstances that led to the creation of the groundbreaking series -- and the mysterious death of its maverick host -- is renowned scholar and activist Dr. Jeffery B. Perry. Dr. Perry was educated at Princeton, Harvard, Rutgers, and Columbia University and has been involved in domestic and international social justice issues for more than 30 years.

Dr. Perry preserved and inventoried the "Hubert H. Harrison Papers" and helped to place them at the Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Columbia University. Harrison was a West Indian-American political activist and educator who came to be known as 'the Father of Harlem Radicalism'. Dr. Perry was also responsible for developing the "Hubert H. Harrison Papers, 1883-1927: Finding Aid."
The interview was conducted via Skype on November 25, 2013.

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