Left of Black - Season 3, Episode 19
In January of 1969, WCBS-TV in New York City began to broadcast a series of half-hour lectures under the banner of Black Heritage: A History of Afro-Americans. The series, which ran six days a week until June of 1969 (108 episodes in all), was produced by historians John Henrik Clarke, Vincent Harding and political scientist William Strickland—the later two who were founding members of the Institute of the Black World, a groundbreaking thinking tank that was based at the Atlanta University Center. According to historian Martha Biondi, by providing "ordinary Americans access to the Black history courses beginning to be offered on college campuses...these men personally bridged the gap between scholarship and activism."
Left of Black is proud to be of the many progeny of this visionary project, born during an era in which Black student activism on American college campuses helped transform institutions that less than a generation earlier, Black students were largely denied access to. This moment is chronicled in Martha Biondi"s new book The Black Revolution on Campus (University of California Press). A historian at Northwestern University, Biondi joins Left of Black via Skype to talk about what she describes as "an extraordinary chapter in the modern Black freedom struggle." Biondi is also the author of To Stand and Fight: the Struggle for Civil Rights in Postwar New York City (Harvard University Press, 2003).