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RICHARD DURHAM

Destination Freedom premiered on June 27, 1948 on Chicago radio WMAQ and consisted of 91 different scripts produced solely by Richard Durham. Destination Freedom was a provocative half-hour show that showcased the lives and accomplishments of prominent African Americans. Destination Freedom demonstrated personalities that were in the words of the author "rebellious, biting, scornful, angry and cocky." Durham once told an interviewer that the goal of his program was to cut through the false images of black life propagated through the popular arts.

Richard Durham was born September 6, 1917 in Raymond Mississippi and was raised in Chicago. He died April 24, 1984. Durham developed an interest for radio during the depression as a young dramatist with the Writers Project of the WPA. Durham studied at Northwestern University in Chicago and was the editor of the local black newspaper, The Chicago Defender. His first major radio experience came in Chicago with the series "Democracy USA", which he wrote for the CBS station WBBM and with "Here Comes Tomorrow", a black soap opera he wrote for WJJD.

The success of Destination Freedom was underscored in many ways. Durham was paid only 125 dollars per script. The Chicago Defender paid part to its costs for the first thirteen weeks and early in 1950 the Urban League of Chicago helped to sponsor several broadcasts. Destination Freedom was recognized for its contribution to public education and enhancement of race relations. In 1949 it was cited by the South Central Association of Chicago as "one of the finest programs of its kind" and "as a splendid contribution toward the democracy in our time."

Reading the scripts 40 years after they were written, the perceptive vision of Richard Durham remains apparent. Destination Freedom appeared a decade before Martin Luther King and the civil rights movement, but still managed to portray a positive vision for blacks.

By bringing many of these dynamic scripts back in 1998, No Credits Production hopes to enlighten, entertain and educate today's listeners through the magic of radio. The shows can be heard on Boulder radio on KGNU 88.5 FM at 8:00 pm MST on the third Monday of each month.

 

 

Destination Freedom: Black Radio Days is a radio series aired on KGNU 88.5 FM at 8:00 pm MST on the third Monday of every month. It is a powerful series creating awareness of the role Blacks played in creating social changes. In addition the series will be live on 89.1 FM in Ft. Collins, 93.7 FM Ward and KGNU.org. The series is a 2 time winner of the "Scribes In Excellence Award" presented by the Colorado Association of Black Journalist judged by a national panel. Destination Freedom/Black Radio Days profiles the lives of African American Heroes and Sheroes and is sponsored by BlackRadioDays.com, Black and Read Books and Tapes (303) 467-3236, and The Urban Spectrum.

Sample Oscar Brown Jr., original cast member of Destination Freedom. Listen...

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