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Detroit in Wayne County, Michigan — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

WGPR-TV

 
 
WGPR-TV Marker image. Click for full size.
By J.T. Lambrou, May 3, 2021
1. WGPR-TV Marker
Inscription.  In 1973, the Federal Communications Commission granted the International Free and Accepted Modern Masons, led by Dr. William V. Banks (1903-1985), a permit to operate UHF television Channel 62 in Detroit. WGPR-TV debuted a few seconds before noon on September 29, 1975, becoming the first African-American owned and operated television station in the continental United States. The station provided job training and employment opportunities for African-Americans in television production, broadcast journalism and sales. Programming, most of which was locally produced, was crafted for an urban black audience. Popular shows included The Scene, Big City News and Gospel Time. In 1979, WGPR-TV began providing programs, such as The Arab Voice in Detroit, for the city’s minority ethnic communities.
 
Erected 2015 by Michigan Historical Commission - Michigan Historical Center. (Marker Number S0738.)
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African AmericansArts, Letters, Music
WGPR-TV Marker image. Click for full size.
By J.T. Lambrou, May 3, 2021
2. WGPR-TV Marker
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CommunicationsEntertainment. In addition, it is included in the Michigan Historical Commission series list. A significant historical date for this entry is September 29, 1975.
 
Location. 42° 20.429′ N, 83° 1.021′ W. Marker is in Detroit, Michigan, in Wayne County. Marker is at the intersection of East Jefferson Avenue and McDougall Street, on the right when traveling east on East Jefferson Avenue. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 3146 E Jefferson Ave, Detroit MI 48207, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Players (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Battle of Bloody Run (approx. 0.2 miles away); Elmwood Cemetery (approx. 0.4 miles away); First Michigan Colored Regiment (approx. 0.4 miles away); The Black Presence in Detroit (approx. 0.6 miles away); Chapman Abraham / Jewish Soldiers in the Civil War (approx. 0.6 miles away); St. John's Presbyterian Church (approx. 0.6 miles away); Glimpses of Detroit's Riverfront History (approx. 0.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Detroit.
 
Also see . . .  BlackPast.org article on WGPR-TV (1975-1995). Excerpt:
Whatever its popularity among blacks in the television industry, WGPR-TV failed to attract
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a large audience outside the African American community. Even within that community, it competed with larger stations that after 1975 offered more programs directed toward African Americans.
(Submitted on May 4, 2021.) 
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on May 5, 2021. It was originally submitted on May 4, 2021, by J.T. Lambrou of New Boston, Michigan. This page has been viewed 58 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on May 4, 2021, by J.T. Lambrou of New Boston, Michigan. • Mark Hilton was the editor who published this page.

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Jun. 23, 2021