’60s Black Radio and Beyond: Petey Greene and Beyond

Petey Greene

For some limited time the documentary “Adjust Your Color: The Truth of Petey Greene” will be available for free viewing on Hulu. Here’s the Hulu link.

You might also find it on your local PBS station this month: PBS Independent Lens. It is just under an hour and well worth watching.

Most people today would agree that one power of the Internet, or Web communications is that anyone “broadcast” almost instantaneously.

I think it might actually be more like narrow-casting. Valuable? Yes. Powerful? Without a doubt. Reaching across generations? Not necessarily. And when you toss income levels in with age, you’ve really constricted that filter.

We know that in our country old people are not valued as much as young people, and poor people are not valued as much as wealthier people. So, maybe it doesn’t matter that your YouTube video won’t reach many people in those groups, who won’t or can’t pay for Internet access in their homes or mega data plans for their phones.

Let me cut to the chase, RADIO was the tool that reached everyone. There is nothing now like radio was. There may be again some time. Probably will be, but not now. Not even TV. A) because of the costs of owning and operating a TV broadcast station and B) because of the division between broadcast and cable, and then we’re back at cost differences.

So, check out the Petey Greene documentary. You will see an all-star line-up of TV and radio personalities who got their start because of Petey Greene.

Check the history of NY’s WLIB which became Black-owned in the ’70s and was an important and powerful tool for the exchange of information and ideas among Black New Yorkers.

Petey Greene: b. January 23, 1931. d. January 10, 1984

On this 15th day of Black History Month, I salute Petey Greene and the other pioneers of Black radio and broadcast TV.

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