Black Journal
Episode Number
Producing Organization
WNET (Television station : New York, N.Y.)
Contributing Organization
Library of Congress (Washington, District of Columbia)
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Episode Description
With the Milwaukee Bucks currently vying for their second consecutive National Basketball Association Championship, Black Journal focuses on their superstar, center Kareem Abdul Jabbar, recently voted by the players as the NBA's most valuable player. The episode aired during the final days of the NBA playoffs. The profile includes an exclusive interview with Jabbar by Black Journal's Stan Lathan, which reveals a candid picture of the man and the athlete. Jabbar, who generally avoids the press, says of the Black Journal episode, "I am glad to have the opportunity to show people where I'm at for real." From his boycott of the 1968 Olympics to his practice of the Islamic religion, Jabbar discusses a number of subjects - his feelings about his height, his marriage, sports as a money-making business, blacks as professional athletes and their commitment to the black community, and the media's portrayal of him, among others. "People have the feeling that I'm a nasty nigger," he says, answering why he is often booed on the road. "I've never been what you would call an organization man - I stayed away from the Olympics" - Jabbar goes on to explain that he has always been portrayed as the "arch nemesis - the bad guy - with a black hat and the mustache." He gives his reasons for boycotting the Olympics: "We were trying to point out to the world the futility of winning the gold medal for this country and then coming back to live under oppression." On Islam (not to be confused with the Black Muslim variety), he says: "I find it to be what I need - it gives me strength and the guideline by which to live." These guidelines are symbolized by his name Kareem, meaning "noble"- Abdul, the servant of Allah; and Jabbar, "strength." Jabbar also recalls his adolescence in Harlem ("hanging around and playing ball") where he met many of his friends, some of whom have become "disaster victims - scagged out" by drugs. Asked how he can reconcile the fact that he boycotted the Olympics yet takes part in a "big business" entertainment controlled by whites, he answers: "This is how I do my job - This is business. The Olympics is political." And as to the huge salary he commands (a five-year contract rumored to be in excess of $1,400,000), he says, "It's all been justified - Since I've been on this team, they've been making a lot more money." In another portion of the program Black Journal focuses on the condition of blacks in sports, reviewing among others the case of Vida Blue. "Black Journal" is a production of NET Division, Educational Broadcasting Corporation (Description adapted from documents in the NET Microfiche)
Other Description
Black Journal began as a monthly series produced for, about, and - to a large extent - by black Americans, which used the magazine format to report on relevant issues to black Americans. Starting with the October 5, 1071 broadcast, the show switched to a half-hour weekly format that focused on one issue per week, with a brief segment on black news called "Grapevine." Beginning in 1973, the series changed back into a hour long show and experimented with various formats, including a call-in portion. From its initial broadcast on June 12, 1968 through November 7, 1972, Black Journal was produced under the National Educational Television name. Starting on November 14, 1972, the series was produced solely by WNET/13. Only the episodes produced under the NET name are included in the NET Collection. For the first part of Black Journal, episodes are numbered sequential spanning broadcast seasons. After the 1971-72 season, which ended with episode #68, the series started using season specific episode numbers, beginning with #301. The 1972-73 season spans #301 - 332, and then the 1973-74 season starts with #401. This new numbering pattern continues through the end of the series.
Broadcast Date
Asset type
Race and Ethnicity
Media type
Moving Image
Embed Code
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Executive Producer: Brown, Tony
Interviewee: Jabbar, Kareem Abdul
Interviewer: Lathan, Stan
Producing Organization: WNET (Television station : New York, N.Y.)
AAPB Contributor Holdings
Library of Congress
Identifier: 1833176-1 (MAVIS Item ID)
Format: 2 inch videotape
Generation: Master
Color: Color
Duration: 0:30:05
Library of Congress
Identifier: 1833176-2 (MAVIS Item ID)
Format: Digital Betacam
Generation: Copy: Access
Duration: 0:30:05
Library of Congress
Identifier: 1833176-4 (MAVIS Item ID)
Generation: Copy: Access
Color: Color
Library of Congress
Identifier: 1833176-5 (MAVIS Item ID)
Generation: Copy: Access
Color: Color
Library of Congress
Identifier: 1833176-3 (MAVIS Item ID)
Generation: Master
Color: Color
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Chicago: “Black Journal; 60; Kareem,” 1972-05-02, Library of Congress, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed May 16, 2022,
MLA: “Black Journal; 60; Kareem.” 1972-05-02. Library of Congress, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. May 16, 2022. <>.
APA: Black Journal; 60; Kareem. Boston, MA: Library of Congress, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from