Losing just the same

About This Item

Please note: copyright to Losing just the same 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. Losing just the same was originally produced by KQED for National Educational Television (NET) - the predecessor of WNET - and was first aired on October 31st 1966, by KQED-TV in San Francisco.

This documentary reflects on the lives and aspirations of an African American family - the Johns - who moved to West Oakland from Louisiana, focusing on Robert Lee Johns and his mother Agnes. A voiceover prefaces the film with a statement that it presents: "A story of people caught in a lifelong struggle between their hopes and their abilities and their discovery that no matter how hard they try they will be losing just the same." Includes views shot around the streets of West Oakland, public speaking by Curtis Baker (Black Jesus), meetings at the Oak Center Site Office and excerpts from a graduation ceremony at McClymonds High School. Also features scenes of Robert attending a job interview at a garment factory in San Francisco and a fantasy sequence in which he imagines himself graduating successfully from high school. This film was written and produced by Richard O. Moore and Saul Landau and directed by Moore and Irving Saraf. Thanks to historical researcher and consultant Paul Lee for confirming the first date of broadcast.

Follow the link below to view KQED's earlier documentary Take this hammer (1963), which also looks at the economic and social experiences of African Americans living in the San Francisco Bay Area:


Type of material
documentary film
16mm b&w optical sound film
Rights for this video belong to
WNET.ORG Properties LLC
Date aired
Originally aired on
KQ 223

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I thought the video footage was great! I myself was born in the mid 60's, I've always been interested about Oakland's past.

nice posting... and nice video

This is a great video of our history.  thanks for posting it here for us to see.  It would nice if you could do a as well.

It's nice to know that there are documentaries such as this exist. Usually they affect some of the people that have watched them. I have always wished for discrimination to lessen or best if it really disappears. But then again, I think wishing it to totally vanish will just be a wish, no hope for it. Though, it may be lessened, that's what I hope for.

Losing just the same will be screened with Take this hammer at SF MOMA on August 27th & 29th, 2009. Producer/Director Richard Moore will introduce the program on Thursday 27th and do a post-screening Q&A. Here's a link to more details:


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