Dean Ernest J. Wilson III led a discussion and hosted a screening of the landmark and award-winning 1968 documentary Black on Black, produced by Prof. Joe Saltzman.
USC Annenberg Photo

"Black on Black" screening and discussion to be held by Dean Wilson and producer Saltzman

Dean Ernest J. Wilson III and journalism professor Joe Saltzman lead a discussion and host a screening of the landmark and award-winning 1968 documentary Black on Black, produced by Saltzman, on Oct. 27.

The program includes a discussion led by University Professor Geoffrey Cowan on how conditions have changed for African-Americans in the 40 years since the premiere of this documentary, which was hailed for its pioneering effort to capture the voices and experiences of black America during one of the most volatile times in the nation's history.

"This is an extraordinary program and the USC Annenberg community is proud to commemorate the 40th anniversary of this ground-breaking documentary first broadcast on CBS in Los Angeles, and then, nationwide in July 1968, less than three years after the infamous Watts riots," Dean Wilson said.

Black on Black won six major awards, including the Edward R. Murrow Award for “distinguished television reporting and best documentary”; the Greater Los Angeles Press Club’s Best Documentary; Radio-Television News Directors Association’s Golden Mike; Associated Press Certificate of Excellence; the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Emmy and the first NAACP Image Award.

Along with Saltzman, the discussion features political scientist Michael Preston, USC Vice Provost and author or editor of several books, including Racial and Ethnic Politics in California and The New Black Politics; and journalism and communication professor Félix Gutiérrez, co-author of Racism, Sexism, and the Media: The Rise of Class Communication in Multicultural America. This event is part of Visions & Voices: The USC Arts & Humanities Initiative and is co-sponsored by the Center on Communication Leadership and the Center for Black Cultural and Student Affairs. Reception follows discussion. RSVP requested. To RSVP, click here.

"Notwithstanding the many fine films, which have been made during and since the ascendancy of the civil rights movement, Saltzman’s Black on Black gets inside the minds and hearts of its subjects as no other documentary has quite done," said writer in residence Norman Corwin, who spent 15 years as chairman of the Documentary Awards Committee of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. "It demonstrates beyond peradventure of doubt, that nobody can speak as revealingly and cogently about how it is to be black in an essentially white world, than blacks themselves. It is a film that achieves high effect at ground level."

Saltzman is also the director of the Image of the Journalist in Popular Culture.

More on Saltzman
Center on Communication Leadership
Center for Black Cultural and Student Affairs