Black Power TV effectively works in the space of the articulation between an emergent radical Black identity, the ascendant network of public television, and the debate over what equality and racial democracy might actually look like from the vantage point of progressive Black people. Devorah Heitner provides a rich look into an exciting and innovative world of black self-making and self-representation.”—Herman S. Gray, author of Cultural Moves: African Americans and the Politics of Representation

“The revolution—contrary to the proclamation by the Last Poets in the 1960s—was, in fact, televised. After decades of invisibility and ignominy African American politicians, artists and activists exploded onto the screen following the death of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. making the white landscape of broadcasting suddenly Technicolor. Television’s evening news delivered pictures of the Viet Nam war and Southern sit-ins to America’s dinner tables and changed countless hearts and minds. But the medium’s power was even more evident when television shows produced by and for African Americans flooded the airwaves. Putting the unique and previously-ignored perspectives of African Americans on the air created a seismic shift in what people of color expected from public and commercial television. The most revolutionary news of all was that African Americans and other marginalized communities would no longer accept being invisible on television or in any aspect of this country’s culture. Heitner’s account of the power of that revolution is dramatic and explains why it still reverberates in US media today.”—Jewelle Gomez, novelist, playwright, and former staffer for Say Brother