America’s Sunday news shows have gotten marginally much better with having Brown faces on their political roundtables to discuss issues of the day. But we’re still not there yet. Thirty years ago, there were only three major networks: NBC, ABC and CBS and their three Sunday political talk shows were dominated not only by white panelists, but with white male hosts as well. The only show that was centered on African Americans and that covered issues that specifically pertained to African Americans was “America’s Black Forum.”
“America’s Black Forum” started in 1977 and for many years it was ahead of its time. Groundbreaking, original Black thought came from the show on a weekly basis where Black people could see people that looked like them on national TV talking about serious issues. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, it was must-watch TV for anyone who not only wanted to become a household name in Black America, but for those who wanted to know how the national issues of the day impacted Black Americans on a daily basis.
The show was also perfect training for those who wanted to get practice speaking to a national audience, which in turn would mean an even larger platform to a mainstream audience. Names such as Julian Bond, Stephanie Mills, T.D. Jakes and Charles Ogletree answered moderated questions from James Brown, Deborah Mathis and Juan Williams on issues such as the economy, politics, race and culture. (Philadelphia Tribune)