Note: to send your email vote in support of Take this Hammer's nomination to the National Film Registry, please visit this web page at the Library of Congress's web site: http://www.loc.gov/film/vote.html.
Please note: copyright to Take this Hammer is held by WNET. All rights reserved. WNET is the premier public media provider of the New York metropolitan area and parent of public television stations THIRTEEN and WLIW21. Take this hammer was originally produced by KQED for National Educational Television (NET) - the predecessor of WNET - and first aired on February 4th 1964 at 7:30pm, on KQED Ch.9 in the Bay Area.KQED's mobile film unit follows author and activist James Baldwin in the spring of 1963, as he's driven around San Francisco to meet with members of the local African-American community. He is escorted by Youth For Service's Executive Director Orville Luster and intent on discovering: "The real situation of Negroes in the city, as opposed to the image San Francisco would like to present." He declares: "There is no moral distance ... between the facts of life in San Francisco and the facts of life in Birmingham. Someone's got to tell it like it is. And that's where it's at." Includes frank exchanges with local people on the street, meetings with community leaders and extended point-of-view sequences shot from a moving vehicle, featuring the Bayview Hunters Point and Western Addition neighborhoods. Baldwin reflects on the racial inequality that African-Americans are forced to confront and at one point tries to lift the morale of a young man by expressing his conviction that: "There will be a Negro president of this country but it will not be the country that we are sitting in now." The TV Archive would like to thank Darryl Cox for championing the merits of this film and for his determination that it be preserved and remastered for posterity.Follow this weblink to view an interview with director Richard O. Moore, who discusses the original production and working with Baldwin in The Making of Take this Hammer. As Moore notes, 15 minutes were cut from his original version by order of KQED's Board of Directors, some of whom felt the film cast San Francisco's race relations in an overly negative way. One board member stated that: "I believe we would all agree that it is not the function of KQED to produce inflammatory, distorted, sacrilegious, extremist programming under the name of educational television. I believe this program is all of these." The original 59 minute director's cut may now also be viewed in DIVA.
The Bay Area TV Archive’s digitization projects are supported in whole or in part by the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act, administered in California by the State Librarian.
For questions or comments about the Bay Area Television Archive, contact Alex Cherian, Film Archivist, by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone at 415-405-5565.