[News] St.Clair Bourne (1943-2007) Joins The Ancestors
news at freedomarchives.org
Mon Dec 17 12:37:24 EST 2007
Sistas & Brothas,
The tragic loss of Brother St. Clair Bourne is a massive one. He was a
staunch revolutionary Black nationalist. And this was reflected in all of
his work... even back to his days as a photographer. We have so few
principled, committed, Black filmmakers (in any of the categories) here
in the US that his joining the ancestors means a big big vacuum left in
our fight for positive Black cinema and documentation of our powerful
legacy of Struggle and Resistance inside the US.
He was my Brother and Comrade-in-struggle for more than 40 years. He
taught me how to frame a picture for my ambitions of being an amateur
photographer. Up until he went into the hospital, we were making plans
for an exhibit of his great fotos of the 1960's at the Brecht Forum as
well as a panel to discuss the importance of visual documentation of
Below is a slice of his principled professional life.
FROM: panafricanfilms <panafricanfilms at yahoo.com
When I received word about St. Clair's passing, it was such a shock
that I was at a loss for words, Please read the his bio below. May
he rest in peace!
St. Clair Bourne was born on February 16, 1943 in Harlem, New York.
While attending Georgetown University in the 1960s, he became active
in the peace movement and left college to join the Peace Corps.
Stationed in Lima, Peru, Bourne became something of a local celebrity
when he took on the editing and publishing duties of the Spanish
newspaper El Comeno. His work on the paper led to him being written
up in a feature article in Ebony magazine.
After his service, Bourne attended Syracuse University where he
graduated in 1967 with a dual degree in Journalism and Political
Science. On a scholarship, Bourne continued his education at the
Columbia University Graduate School for Arts where he studied
filmmaking. He was expelled, however, after his involvement in a
peace movement demonstration ended in the takeover of the
Not long after leaving the University, Bourne was recommended to
executive producer, William Greaves, to work on a series called The
Black Journal (notable for becoming the first black public affairs
television series in the United States) for public television. Bourne
started on the series as an associate producer and quickly worked his
way up to full producer status. In his three year tenure on the
series, Bourne helped the program to win an Emmy award and earned
himself a John Russworm Citation for Excellence in Broadcasting.
Bourne left the program in 1971 to seek greater challenges and more
creative freedom. To this end, he formed his own production company,
Chamba. With Chamba, Bourne continues to write, produce, and direct
award winning and highly acclaimed features and documentaries.
Starting in 1972, Bourne also served as publisher of the highly
regarded newsletter Chamba Notes. Bourne continues to contribute
articles to major publications that promote discussion of political
and cultural issues as well as the art of filmmaking.
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
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