NYU Black Renaissance Noire Winter 2014 - Page 150

148 In the same month, Black Journal was awarded an Emmy for excellence in magazine-type programming — a mainstream acknowledgement of its artistic and professional accomplishments. The National Newspaper Publisher’s Association also bestowed Black Journal with its Russwurm Award for contributions in African American journalism. Greaves left the program shortly afterwards, stating that he planned to focus on filmmaking through his own production company established in 1964. St. Claire Bourne continued for another year before launching his independent film company, a route taken by several Black Journal alumni. Greaves was also leaving public television with a bitter taste in his mouth, which he revealed in an article for the journal of the National Academy of Television Arts and Science. He echoed the findings of the Kerner Commission report, arguing that racial unrest was due, in part, to “the lack of a mass media communication mechanism to adequately protest the outrages perpetrated against the black man… ” Greaves also wrote a lengthy and unsparing broadside in the New York Times in which he argued that American racism had destroyed the nation’s ability to engage with the rest of the world, and that black media workers were the only hope for rescuing the medium. “As Black producers, our task will be to encourage the mental health among the Black, Brown and Red people, to help still adaptable white people to be healthy, so that the transition from rule by racial paranoia to rule by racial harmony can be as painless as possible.” Tony Brown, who had developed Detroit’s black public affairs show, took over as executive producer of Black Journal in summer 1970. The program was renewed for the next year with a promised $350,000 of net’s Ford Foundation grant. The budget, considerably smaller than the early days of Black Journal, meant that Brown would need to find ways to cut costs by using freelancers and part-time staff. While Greaves was first and foremost a filmmaker, Brown’s experience was primarily as a producer and activist, and these distinctions became evident. Brown’s first episode in September 1970 focused on the lack of employment for blacks in the media featuring Greaves, filmmaker Melvin Van Peebles, and actor Ozzie Davis. Greaves called the presence of black filmmakers “quite grim” while Davis said it was impossible for blacks to underwrite the cost of film or television productions. The New York Time’s Jack Gould, a staunch advocate for the program until this point, was not enamored by the program’s stylistic shift. In his review of this first episode he suggested that Brown sacrificed quality for breadth and dealt only with generalities. Gould inspired Brown’s ire when he asserted that although Black Journal was clearly designed for black viewers, “its peripheral value is hardly insignificant, which is letting whites know the who, what, where and why of the black perspective.” In a heated response, Brown rejected this premise, arguing that Black Journal was not intended to serve th