Journalism and Mass Communications
24 Jan 2020

“We matter”: The cultural significance of a counter-narrative Black public affairs program in Columbia, S.C.

Awareness is believed to be the longest-running locally-produced African American public affairs show in the country. Through oral history interviews and archival documents, this article examines how African American public affairs shows, like Awareness, played an integral role in the Civil Rights Movement by presenting a counter-narrative to what was seen on the mainstream news. Through this counter-narrative, Awareness had the unique ability to elevate the conversation beyond protests and demonstrations, and deeply discuss issues that could potentially alter the Southern mindset of stereotypical Blacks and improve race relations in the South. As the show approaches its 50th anniversary, this article covers the launching of the show as well as reflections of those involved in this milestone.

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