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British radio coverage of the “Integration Struggle” in America in 1964

April 22, 2010

In 1964, BBC Radio mounted one of its biggest and most expensive series ever, “The Negro in America.”

For three months it broadcast to a national audience 17 programs of documentary, music, poetry, and debate designed to give a “coherent view of the integration struggle” to the British people. The leading poet Langston Hughes was invited to be the series’ co-editor, working alongside the long-serving BBC producer Geoffrey Bridson. This talk by Dr. David Hendy explores the origin of the series in the two men’s relationship as well as the critical and popular reaction to the series in Britain. What, it asks, did Hughes – or indeed the BBC – seek to get out of this historic, trans-Atlantic co-production?

David Hendy a Visiting Fellow at Beinecke Library. He has been teaching media history at the University of Westminster in London for the past 16 years. He studied history at the universities of St Andrews and Oxford, before joining the BBC as a trainee reporter in 1987. During his time at the BBC he produced news programs and documentaries for the Corporation’s main radio channel, Radio 4, covering the collapse of the Soviet Union and a range of European and British political events.

Full details of the lecture at the Beinecke Library, Yale University, click here.

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