Oral history interview with Gilbert Alan Maddox, 1971


Maddox, Gilbert Alan (Interviewee)
La Brie, Henry G (Interviewer)
Oral history interview with Gilbert Alan Maddox, 1971
Other Titles
Reminiscences of Gilbert Alan Maddox : oral history, 1971; Oral history of Gilbert Alan Maddox, 1971
Dr. Gilbert Maddox discusses: his childhood and education; his background in broadcast journalism; his program Profiles in Black for local Detroit television; and his doctoral dissertation about black programming in Detroit public television. Maddox analyzes and critiques the state of black journalism at the time of the interview, and the impact of advertising on the quality of reporting. He commen ts on its role in shaping African American identities and cultivating community pride, especially in the northern United States, as well as its potential impact on white audiences. Maddox compares the different approaches of the black and white press when covering the Vietnam War and civil rights leaders. Finally, Maddox examines the limitations of the black press and television's growing role as the primary source of information for African Americans.
Collection Name
Black Journalists oral history collection
Journalists; Journalism--Political aspects; Journalism--Social aspects; African American press; African American journalists; Broadcast journalism--Michigan; United States Race relations; Maddox, Gilbert Alan; Detroit Public Television; DPTV Media
oral histories
Physical Description
sound files : digital preservation master, WAV files (96kHz, 24 bit); 24 pages
Note (Biographical)
Dr. Gilbert Alan Maddox was a Detroit-based African American broadcast journalist, educator, and historian. He received an undergraduate degree in Business Administration and Education, a Master's degree in Speech, and a Ph.D. in Mass Communications ( he is believed to be the first African American man to receive a doctorate in that field), all from Wayne State University. From 1959-1960, he wrote, produced, and hosted Black and Unknown Bards, a local television program showcasing the legacy of black American writers from the colonial era through 1960. He later hosted and co-produced Profiles in Black, which ran on Detroit's Channel 4 from 1969 to 1976. Profiles in Black featured half-hour interviews with prominent African Americans, from athletes and musicians to Vietnam veterans and academics. Dr. Maddox also taught at many universities, including Wayne State University, Howard University, and the University of the District of Columbia. He died in his Washington, D.C., home in 2013.
Interviewed by Henry G. La Brie III on June 10, 1971.
Note (Provenance)
Henry G. La Brie III Gift, 1975
Library Location
Columbia Center for Oral History, Columbia University
Browse Location’s Digital Content
Catalog Record
Also In
Oral History Archives at Columbia
Time-Based Media
Time-Based Media
Persistent URL
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Available digital content for this interview.