Finding Aid for American Black Journal Production Materials

Collection Summary:

The Finding Aid for the American Black Journal is comprised of four Series containing ABJ shows, correspondence, business files and research materials. Each series contains materials pertinent to the production of the show at its inception in 1968 and spanning 34 years of its broadcast history.

Accessing the Finding Aid:

There are two ways to access the American Black Journal finding aid.

ABJ finding aid on this site:

ABJ finding aid at MSU Libraries, Special Collections:

ABJ finding aid record in the MSU Libraries catalog:,guest&custid=s8364774&groupid=main&profile=eds

ABJ production materials have not been digitized. Please contact MSU Libraries, Special Collections to access the contents of this collection.

Contact Information:

Special Collections
Michigan State University Libraries
100 Main Library
East Lansing, MI 48824
517 432-6123 ext. 100

Date Received:


Date Processed:

July 2008-November 2009

Acquisitions Information:

MSU Libraries received the ABJ ephemera in 2008. The ABJ analog videotapes started flowing into Special Collections in 2009.

Preferred citation:

Researchers wishing to cite this collection should include the following information:
Identification of item. Date (if known). Name of archive. MS # 219. Series number (where there is more than one series number in the archive), box number, folder number or title. Special Collections, Michigan State University Libraries.

Copyright Notice:

Copyright is retained by the authors of the items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

Usage Restrictions:

Photoduplication Restrictions:
Contact Special Collections.

Historical Background:

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 1970's 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.

Processing Note:

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

Arrangement: Four Series:

Series: 1: ABJ Shows - Undated/Un-numbered (Alpha ordered by subject matter) shows, Dated/Un-numbered (Chronological order) shows and Dated and Numbered shows.

Series: 2: ABJ Correspondence - Printed letters by Detroit Public TV (WTVS) managers, ABJ show artists/celebrities, publishers, producers and viewers between 1976-1987.

Series: 3: Business & Production Files - All files related to the financial and technical aspects of show production.

Series: 4: ABJ Show Research Files - Research materials collected to help aid in American Black Journal show topic selection and production.