St. Clair Bourne

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 administration building.

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.

- by St. Clair Bourne
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