The television program City Line was a public affairs show with topics centered around Baltimore City’s Black community and had a Black cast and crew. It aired from 1982 through 1989. The show was typically 60 minutes long and was broadcast weekly on Sunday afternoons. Occasionally, there were 90-minute specials, and from 1988-1989, the show was shortened to 30 minutes. Typical programs included a conversation with guests before a live studio audience, a community calendar, a "Newscap" on global and national Black news, and an "Entertainment Page" segment.
The show covered a wide range of cultural, social, and political topics. They interviewed political candidates for the 7th Congressional District in 1986, and in 1987 a Dunbar Middle School teacher and poet, Rita Townsend Crews, was featured on an episode. A February 15, 1987 episode featured a Pennsylvania Avenue Reunion celebrating the famed Black entertainment district of Baltimore.
Well over 200 City Line episodes were produced, and about 153 tapes are found in the series, suggesting that recordings of broadcast programs were not comprehensively saved. Some of the tapes are duplicates and not all of them are full episodes. Re-used labels suggest tape stock may have been recycled, taping over content from earlier shows. Some tapes are public service announcements, tapes from other networks that were used to source clips, raw footage from the field, and even auditions. The bulk of the recordings in the collection are masters, edited masters, and dubs of the show.
Language of Materials
Collection content is in English.
Conditions Governing Access
Local access is restricted due to the fragile nature of the materials and amount of staff available. Local research is available for a fee and must be scheduled far in advance. Access to digitized reproductions of materials is available for free online. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
1 U-matic (On tape label: City Line #161)
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Digitized with funding provided by the Council of Library and Information Resources' "Digitizing Hidden Special Collections and Archives: Amplifying Unheard Voices" grant program.