WIS-tv "Awareness”: Preserving and making accessible a rare African-American television news magazine show from the 1970s.

Material Description

WIS-tv “Awareness” is a television news magazine show developed and produced by the African-American community in South Carolina to address the needs and interests of African-Americans in the city of Columbia and throughout South Carolina. Founded in 1970, “Awareness” is still produced by WIS-tv, but the 16mm film elements for the first decade of the program were donated to the University of South Carolina in 1984 as part of the WIS-tv News Collection. The films in this collection document the city of Columbia and the South Carolina Midlands. Because Columbia is also the state capital, the WIS collection contains vital records of the entire state’s political history as well as its response to national events, political movements, and cultural trends. Comprised of over 40 hours of original film content from the 1970s, “Awareness” provides a ten-year view of African-American interests in South Carolina, reflecting on a decade of civil rights struggles and looking forward to an expansion of political and cultural power in a newly desegregated South. The long-form television journalism of the magazine show format allowed “Awareness” to examine social and cultural issues in detail. As part of a year-long retrospective of “Awareness,” current host, Meaghan Norman, interviewed J. P. Neale, Jr., the show’s original host. Neale explained the original goals of the show. “The original owners of WIS… dedicated themselves to making sure South Carolina would transition better than a lot of our sister and brother states were going through during the 70s… The mission of “Awareness” was… to give people in the community a chance to identify with something of credence… give them a sense of ‘it’s alright for integration to occur, it’s alright for us to get along…’ We took the premise that if America ever becomes America it might happen in the South first.”

Year Added:



University of South Carolina Educational Foundation


Dr. Greg Wilsbacher

Ms. Amy


Date Range

1970 - 1980

Geographic Scope

Coverage of events in South Carolina, with emphasis on the city of Columbia (the state capital) and surrounding region. Series topics extend in relevance to the United States as a whole.


  • 90000 Audiovisual Recordings