Ishmael Reed - "We're Metaphysical Detectives and we're about to make an arrest."
Ishmael Reed – “We’re Metaphysical Detectives and we’re about to make an arrest.”


NBC Radio – Analogue – Ishmael Reed and Morris Renek – December 10, 1972 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection

One of the interesting occurrences in mainstream media, before it all got strange and irrelevant, was the mashup of styles and approaches openly discussed and presented as a way of presenting views and discussing ideas to a mass audience.

And even though programs featuring that approach were relegated to the Sunday Public Service portion of daily programming during the 70s, it was still available – and if you took the time to check it out, could land yourself in the midst of an enlightening feast of discourse.

One such program was Analogue, a series produced as a Public Service by NBC Radio starting in the 1960s and lasting until the early 1970s. Analogue wasn’t necessarily a pro-and-con type of program, but rather presenting differing viewpoints of the same subject, usually based on racial perspectives.

In this episode, the subject of race relations in the modern American novel is discussed by two writers; Ishmael Reed, one of the notable Black authors of the 60s. And Morris Renek, a White writer from Brooklyn whose gritty stories of urban life were the subject of numerous novels and which received much critical praise in the literary community.

What’s great about this program is that, even though there are many differences of opinion from both writers, it never becomes reduced to name calling or shouting. It’s intelligent discourse in the best possible light.

To give you an idea of what “taking sides” was all about before the dumb-down got started, here is that discussion between Ishmael Reed and Morris Renek from Analogue for December 10, 1972.

Morris Renek - The nightmare is in the streets and journalists don't know the whole picture.
Morris Renek – The nightmare is in the streets and journalists don’t know the whole picture.
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