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 home >> Civil Rights History Project >> Survey of Collections and Repositories >> Collections >> Collection Record

The Civil Rights History Project: Survey of Collections and Repositories

Radio scripts collection

Repository: New York Public Library. Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture

Collection Description (CRHP): The Radio Scripts Collection consists of transcripts of radio programs, both serials and single broadcasts. Among the serials that are included are "Freedom's People" sponsored by the Federal Security Agency of the U.S. Office of Education (1941-1942); "Give me Liberty" sponsored by the American Committee for Democracy and Intellectual Freedom (1939); "Native Sons" written by Kirk Lord and Frank Griffin; "National Urban League" sponsored by the organization of the same name during its annual Vocational Opportunity Campaign (1941-1951); "Unity at Home; Victory Abroad" consisting of speeches and dramatizations of the lives of African Americans and whites (1943); "New World a-Comin'". (1944-1946); and "Within Our Gates" presented by the Philadelphia Fellowship Commission to deal with the problem of intolerance and bigotry and to provide all citizens equal opportunity and equal rights (1945-1948).
The largest group of scripts in the Radio Scripts Collection is from the radio series "New World a-Comin'". This program was based on the prize-winning bestseller of the same name by Roi Ottley. The radio series was broadcast weekly from 1944-1966 at station WMCA in New York, with the cooperation of the City-wide Citizens' Committee on Harlem. Many programs were directed by Mitchell Grayson, narrated by Canada Lee, and featured a variety of guest stars. The series consists of dramatizations of individuals' lives, and events, which impacted the lives of all minorities in the United States. The major focus was black related themes - national and New York City history, labor and migrant workers, the participation of African Americans during World War II, health issues, education, Jim Crow and aspects of racial discrimination are among the issues discussed. Guest authors included Owen Dodson, "Roll Call" and "They Knew Lincoln," and Howard Fast, author of the script "Freedom's Road."
There are also several single scripts including, "Speech of Paul Robeson," "Hampton Institute Forum of the Air, 1944", "Lincoln, Douglas and the Honor Roll In the Race Relations," and "Wings over Jordan."

Collection Description (Extant): The Radio Scripts Collection is an artificial grouping of scripts from radio programs that were developed to show the contributions of African Americans to the social, economic, political and historical development of the United States. Many of the scripts were created for public service programs during the 1940's to foster national unity and better race relations.

Collection URL: External Link

Digital Status: No

Finding Aid URL: External Link

Language: English

Rights (CRHP): Contact the repository which holds the collection for information on rights


African American radio broadcasters
African Americans--New York (State)
Civil rights movements--Press coverage


Sound recordings


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   May 15, 2015
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