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American Black Journal archive

Identifier: MSS 219 large

Scope and Contents

Videocassettes of American Black Journal episodes, correspondence, business files and research materials. The materials are pertinent to the production of the show at its inception in 1968 and spanning its 34 year broadcast history.


  • Creation: 1972-2002
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1976-1994

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Access

The material is stored offsite in Remote Storage. Please contact Special Collections three (3) working days in advance if you wish to use it.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright is retained by the authors of the items in this collection, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law. For photocopy and duplication requests, please contact the Stephen O. Murray and Keelung Hong Special Collections, Michigan State University Libraries.

Biographical / Historical

Colored People's Time first aired in 1968 in Detroit, Michigan as a weekly TV show highlighting and promoting African American history and culture. It began during the Civil Rights era, a time in American history fraught with upheaval and change. In the 1970s and until the late 1980s it held the title of Detroit Black Journal. In 1988 its title became the American Black Journal. ABJ, an important and prestigious venue of media coverage promoting interest in and responsibility for African American community involvement, is one of the longest running locally produced TV shows in the nation, giving a national voice to African Americans across all walks of life.


11 Linear Feet (98 boxes) ; 27 x 14 x 32 cm.

Language of Materials



Organized into four series: 1. ABJ Shows. 2. ABJ Correspondence. 3. Business & Production Files. 4. ABJ Show Research Files.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Special Collections, MSU Libraries, received the American Black Journal (ABJ) Archive as a donation from Detroit Public Television in 2008, in partnership with MATRIX, The Center for Humane Arts, Letters & Social Sciences Online. The analog videotapes of ABJ shows are deposited in Special Collections after digitization at MATRIX.

Processing Information

Materials were processed by Dr. Peter Berg, Molly Dean and Lisa Denison of the MSU Libraries in July 2008-October 2009.

Finding Aid for the American Black Journal archive,1972-2002, bulk 1976-1994
4 Published And Cataloged
Finding aid prepared by MarcEdit.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Stephen O. Murray and Keelung Hong Special Collections Repository

MSU Libraries
366 W. Circle Drive
East Lansing MI 48823 USA