Civil rights footage found in stations’ attic search

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Stations uncovered forgotten doc footage on several civil rights movements as they prepared for the preservation phase of the CPB-funded American Archives pilot project. Included were recordings of movement leaders Langston Hughes, Thurgood Marshall, Gloria Steinem and Harvey Milk as well as the Ku Klux Klan, some on 16mm film unseen for decades.

CPB hopes to use the project to raise funds for a wider preservation effort. In the second phase of the project, 22 stations get grants to preserve and digitize historical content. Project manager Oregon Public Broadcasting said it will give CPB-funded grants totaling $2 million. The pilot focuses on the civil rights movement plus more recent recollections of World War II produced to accompany the PBS series The War.

TV grantees include WTVS, Detroit; WNET, New York; WHUT, Washington, D.C.; KCPT, Kansas City; and the Louisiana, Iowa and Arkansas state networks. Radio grantees include WYSO, Yellow Springs, Ohio; Minnesota Public Radio and Pacifica Radio, Berkeley, Calif. Radio/TV joint licensees include WSIU, Carbondale, Ill.; Wisconsin Public Television and Radio; WGBH, Boston; WVIZ/WCPN, Cleveland; WQED, Pittsburgh; WOUB, Athens, Ohio; WKNO, Memphis; WILL, Urbana, Ill.; WCNY, Syracuse, N.Y.; Mississippi Public Broadcasting; KQED, San Francisco; and Texas Public Broadcasting Association. First-phase grantees were announced in June.