One Nation, Indivisible (Part I)

About This Item

Please note: there is a significant loss of picture quality in the 16mm film prints that comprise this 3-part documentary, due to chemical decomposition. Part I has been digitally remastered and color corrected by Monaco Digital Film Labs, to compensate for this.

Introduced as: "A television inquiry into American racism," this Peabody Award winning documentary (part I of III) was produced by the Westinghouse Broadcasting Company, aired on May 20th 1968 and is presented by chief Group W commentator Rod MacLeish. It examines: "Whether it's possible to bridge the dreadful chasm between the American races or whether ... our days as one nation indivisible are numbered." Part I was filmed in the weeks immediately prior to the assassination of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., in 7 major U.S. cities: San Francisco; Chicago; Pittsburgh; Boston; Philadelphia; Baltimore and Newark. It includes three sequences shot in San Francisco. Pharmacist Wesley Johnson, Jr. is followed walking along Fillmore Street, pointing out that whilst he is surrounded by African American consumers, virtually all of the neighborhood property and businesses are owned by white people. Lawyer Edward Stern describes how he's defending African American students from SF State College, who are charged with breaking into the student newspaper building and discusses the fear of white liberals that American society is increasingly polarized along racial lines. Ends with Don Herman and other African American students from the Black Student Association of City College San Francisco declaring their goal of introducing "revolutionary black consciousness" into society, so a new generation will grow up with the freedom to express themselves and study their own culture and heritage. Thanks to historical researcher and consultant Paul Lee for establishing the date when this program first aired.

Originally aired on
Group W
Date aired
Recording medium
16mm color optical sound film
Rights for this video belong to
The Westinghouse Broadcasting Company
Type of material
archival documentary film
One Nation Indivisible, Part I

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