A NEW GENERATION
Cable Access Television
A Historical Perspective of the African-American Community in Fort Wayne
On March 10, 1981, the first edition of "A New Generation" premiered on Fort Wayne Cable Access Channel 10. The 30 minute television program was hosted and produced by Steve Miller, a life-long resident of Fort Wayne.
According to Miller, “What I wanted to do was to present a different perspective on what was going on in the Black community at that time. The news media, print, television, and radio seemed to focus on negative activities going on in the Black community, but rarely focused on any of the positive things that were going on. Cable access was the perfect opportunity to present positive images about the Black community”.
In 1981, Cable Access was new. Housed in the Allen County Public Library, the whole purpose of Cable Access was to give any resident of Allen County the opportunity to produce any show of their liking and have it air on Cable Channel 10. Several people in the community took advantage of this “free service”. A variety of programs were produced in the early days, yet there were those in the larger community that believed Cable Channel 10 had no value to the community. In reality, Cable Channel became a forum for causes and ideas that otherwise would have never been heard.
From March, 1981 through September, 1991, nearly one hundred (100) 30-minute episodes of “A New Generation” aired on cable access. Guest included local civil rights leaders to mayors and political leaders. From local athletes to nationally known stars. From a future Broadway star to the author of one of the most important books of the 20th century.
Besides the guests, the topics were varied and important. From small business ownership, to Sickle Cell Anemia. From teenage pregnancy, to tours of HBCUs. From Black History celebrations, to celebration of Fort Wayne Black Expo. “A New Generation” provided a variety of news and information during its ten-year run that provided a different perspective of what was going on in the Black community that wasn’t be covered by other media outlets.
In addition to the 30-minute episodes of “A New Generation”, Steve Miller also produced several specials under the “A New Generation” brand including: “The Quality of Life for Blacks in Fort Wayne”; Fort Wayne’s Future- An African American Agenda”; and “Survival of the Black Male- An African American Agenda”. From 1990 through 2000, Steve Miller also produced “Celebrating Student Achievement” which showcased Black Student Achievers from Fort Wayne area high schools.
Following is a brief listing of some of the guests who appeared on “A New Generation” from 1981-2000.
Walter Jordan- “Parade of Stars”
Isiah Thomas- Detroit Pistons
Thelma Russell- The Gingerbread House
Levan Scott- FWCS
Alex Haley- “Roots”
Charles Redd- FW City Council
Hana Stith- African-American Historical Museum
Michael Patterson- Frost Illustrated
Eric Hackley- Entrepreneur
J. B. Pressey- Entrepreneur
Willa Starks- Counselor
John Dortch- Entrepreneur
Paul Helmke- Mayor
Win Moses- Mayor
Gayle Lymon- Sickle Cell Anemia
Condra Ridley- Pontiac Branch- ACPL
Marti Wright- News anchor
Arthur Ashe- Tennis icon
Liz Dobynes- NAACP President
Ruby Dee- Legendary actress
Ossie Davis- Legendary actor
Kevin Howell- Community Leader
Dr. Bernard Stuart- Black College Alumni Assoc.
Heather Headley- Student Achiever
A Positive Media Influence
(c) A New Generation, 2018