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Trail-Blazing Journalist Comes to UCR To Comment on Revolutionary 1960s Film

Trail-Blazing Journalist Comes to UCR To Comment on Revolutionary 1960s Film

(January 22, 2002)

Journalist William Worthy, who broke the ban on travel to China and to Cuba during the Cold War, will come to the University of California, Riverside on Friday, Jan. 25 to screen and comment on the controversial 1969 film “Burn!” The movie stars Marlon Brando as a soldier of fortune who first helps, then opposes, black liberation fighters in the overthrow of the colonial Portuguese government of the Caribbean island of Quemada.

Worthy’s comments and audience participation will follow the 5 p.m. screening in the Humanities and Social Sciences Building, room 1500. (number 35 in the online campus map.) The Department of History and the Center for Ideas and Society at UCR sponsor the event, the eighth in the two-year African Diaspora Series. The series spotlights the links between Africa and the Americas forged through the slave trade and its aftermath.

Worthy is currently chairing a committee at Howard University that is planning a celebration of the centennial publication of W.E.B. Du Bois’s classic “The Souls of Black Folk,” which appeared in 1903. He attended Boston Latin School, graduated from Bates College and was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard. He has been a Regents’ Lecturer at the University of California.

Worthy pushed the bounds of press freedom in his five-decade career. He twice defied U.S. travel bans, slipping into China in 1956 – while a foreign correspondent in the Soviet Union for CBS and one of the nation’s first black newspapers, The Baltimore Afro-American – and in Cuba in 1961. His defiance prompted the government seizure of his passport and touched off a legal battle ending in 1964 when a federal appeals court overturned his earlier conviction, ruling the travel restrictions unconstitutional.

Maps and directions to the UCR event are available at information kiosks at the University Avenue and the Canyon Crest Drive campus entrances, or on the campus web site Visitor parking costs $3 per vehicle after 4 p.m.

The University of California, Riverside ( is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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