Broadcasting Freedom: Radio, War, and the Politics of Race, 1938-1948 / Edition 1

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Overview

The World War II era represented the golden age of radio as a broadcast medium in the United States; it also witnessed a rise in African American activism against racial segregation and discrimination, especially as practiced by the federal government itself. In Broadcasting Freedom, Barbara Savage links these cultural and political forces by showing how African American activists, public officials, intellectuals, and artists sought to access and use radio to influence a national debate about racial inequality.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
As the first national mass medium, radio emerged as a forum for debating racial injustice. Savage (history, Univ. of Pennsylvania) focuses on national public affairs programming from 1938 to 1948 and explores the interactions of radio, race, and politics. Tracing the origins, content, and reception of selected programs, Savage reveals the battle lines and hardworking heroes of the struggle to assure blacks a popularly accessible and politically acceptable place in the discourse of U.S. history and culture. Her deft treatment of the activists, programming, public policies, and symbolic politics broadens views of the Civil Rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s and pioneers new scholarship in radios rich but virtually ignored historical role. Savages work complements Melvin Patrick Elys The Adventures of Amos N Andy: A Social History of an American Phenomenon (Free Pr., 1991. o.p.), Herman Grays Watching Race: Television and the Struggle for Blackness (Univ. of Minnesota, 1995), and Sasha Torress Living Color: Race and Television in the United States (Duke Univ., 1998). Highly recommended.Thomas J. Davis, Arizona State Univ., Tempe
From the Publisher
A brilliant and provocative book.

American Historical Review

A study of great value to scholars of black history, communications, propaganda, and mid-century America.

The Historian

Savage has done a superb job.

Journal of Southern History

This extraordinary book will help shape the way we think about both [civil rights and the development of radio].

Journal of American History

Clearly organized and well written.

Choice

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Barbara Dianne Savage is associate professor of history at the University of Pennsylvania.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction 1
Pt. I Federal Constructions of "the Negro"
1 Americans All, Immigrants All: Cultural Pluralism and Americanness 21
2 Freedom's People: Radio and the Political Uses of African American Culture and History 63
3 "Negro Morale," the Office of War Information, and the War Department 106
Pt. II Airing the Race Question
4 The National Urban League on the Radio 157
5 Radio and the Political Discourse of Racial Equality 194
6 New World A'Coming and Destination Freedom 246
Conclusion 271
App Radio Programs Discussed in the Text 279
Notes 283
Bibliography 357
Index 377
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