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Carol Randolph-Jasmine

Television anchor, journalist and literary agent Carol Randolph-Jasmine received her B.A. degree in biology from Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee, and her M.A. degree in science education from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. She went on to earn her J.D. degree from the Columbus School of Law at Catholic University in Washington, D.C.

Randolph-Jasmine entered television broadcasting in the early 1980s as the co-host of the morning talk show, “Harambee,” which aired on WDVM-TV, a CBS affiliate in Washington, D.C. While there, she also worked as an anchorwoman and interviewed politicians and celebrities such as Senator Ted Kennedy, comedian Richard Pryor, former first ladies Roselyn Carter and Nancy Reagan, and musician Stevie Wonder. Randolph-Jasmine then joined Court TV, where she served as an anchorwoman, and as the host and moderator of the show, “Your Turn,” until 1986.

In 1987, Randolph-Jasmine joined the literary firm of Goldfarb, Signer & Ross (now Goldfarb, Kaufman & O’Toole), where she specialized in representing authors and clients in television from 1988 to 1991, and, during that time, she also wrote a bi-weekly column, “Metropolitan Life,” for the Washington Times. She then served as general counsel for New African Visions, Inc., the non-profit organization responsible for editing the book, Songs of My People (1992). She is the co-founder of Akin & Randolph Agency, LLC, a firm that represents authors, artists and athletes. Randolph-Jasmine was later appointed as the vice president of strategic communications for Miller & Long Concrete Construction, and was then named senior vice president of legal affairs for Walls Communications, Inc., a minority-owned public relations firm in Washington, D.C.

Randolph-Jasmine is a member of the Pennsylvania Bar Association, the District of Columbia Bar Association, and The Links, Inc., where she served as chair of the Hurricane Katrina Relief Committee. In 2005, she launched a “Construction Academy” at Cardoza Senior High School in Washington, D.C. for students interested in the construction business. Randolph-Jasmine is also a member of the board of directors for the Center for Dispute Resolution.

As co-host of “Harambee” in the 1980s, Randolph-Jasmine won several awards including an Emmy Award and the George Foster Peabody Award for “Outstanding Local Programming.”

Carol Randolph-Jasmine was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on December 5, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.335

Sex

Female

Interview Date

12/5/2013

Last Name

Randolph-Jasmine

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Schools

Catholic University of America

Washington University in St Louis

Fisk University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Carol

Birth City, State, Country

St. Louis

HM ID

RAN11

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Missouri

Favorite Vacation Destination

Hilton Head, South Carolina

Favorite Quote

Better To Wear Out Than To Rust Out.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

2/10/1941

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Broccoli

Short Description

Television anchor, newspaper columnist, and book publisher Carol Randolph-Jasmine (1941 - ) , co-founder of Akin & Randolph Agency, LLC, is the former co-host of the morning talk show, “Harambee,” which aired on WUSA-TV, a CBS affiliate in Washington D.C. She received an Emmy Award and the George Foster Peabody Award for “Outstanding Local Programming."

Employment

Miller & Long Concrete Construction

New African Visions, Inc.

Walls Communications

Akin & Randolph Agency

Court TV

Washington Times

Goldfarb, Kaufman & O' Toole

WDVM TV

Favorite Color

Yellow

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Carol Randolph-Jasmine's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Carol Randolph-Jasmine lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Carol Randolph-Jasmine describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Carol Randolph-Jasmine describes her maternal grandfather's education

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Carol Randolph-Jasmine describes the neighborhood where her parents grew up

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Carol Randolph-Jasmine describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Carol Randolph-Jasmine describes her grandfathers

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Carol Randolph-Jasmine describes her father's education

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Carol Randolph-Jasmine describes her similarities to her parents' personalities

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Carol Randolph-Jasmine talks about her siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Carol Randolph-Jasmine describes her earliest childhood memories

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Carol Randolph-Jasmine describes her childhood neighborhood in the suburbs of St. Louis, Missouri

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Carol Randolph-Jasmine describes the sights, sounds, and smells of her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Carol Randolph-Jasmine remembers learning to read and beginning kindergarten at age four

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Carol Randolph-Jasmine remembers learning about black history at Riddick Elementary School in St. Louis, Missouri

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Carol Randolph-Jasmine remembers a social science project in high school

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Carol Randolph-Jasmine talks about her early desire to become a psychologist and her high school biology class

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Carol Randolph-Jasmine talks about St. Louis, Missouri's black entertainment scene during her youth

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Carol Randolph-Jasmine describes her high school activities

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Carol Randolph-Jasmine describes her childhood career ambitions

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Carol Randolph-Jasmine talks about her decision to attend Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Carol Randolph-Jasmine describes her experience at Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Carol Randolph-Jasmine describes her experience at Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee as a married woman

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Carol Randolph-Jasmine talks about various professions as well as her professors at Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Carol Randolph-Jasmine describes experiencing racial discrimination as a graduate student at Washington University in St. Louis, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Carol Randolph-Jasmine describes experiencing racial discrimination as a graduate student at Washington University in St. Louis, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Carol Randolph-Jasmine describes going to the 1963 March on Washington

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Carol Randolph-Jasmine talks about teaching at McKinley High School in St. Louis, Missouri

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Carol Randolph-Jasmine talks about life in Washington, D.C. and working for the United Planning Organization

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Carol Randolph-Jasmine describes the 1968 riots in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Carol Randolph-Jasmine talks about auditioning for the television show 'Harambee' in 1969

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Carol Randolph-Jasmine recalls her early days on 'Harambee'

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Carol Randolph-Jasmine describes a black history segment on 'Harambee'

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Carol Randolph-Jasmine describes the African American community of Washington, D.C. during the early years of 'Harambee'

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Carol Randolph-Jasmine describes the impact of producer Beverly Price on the show 'Harambee'

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Carol Randolph-Jasmine describes the organization Blacks in Broadcasting group

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Carol Randolph-Jasmine talks about how 'Harambee' evolved as a television show and a special segment on Eubie Blake

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Carol Randolph-Jasmine describes 'Harambee's AIDS segment

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Carol Randolph-Jasmine talks about earning her law degree and taking the bar exam

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Carol Randolph-Jasmine recalls traveling to Israel to cover the First Intifada

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Carol Randolph-Jasmine talks about working at Goldfarb, Kaufman, & O'Toole

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Carol Randolph-Jasmine describes her role in the publication of "Songs of My People"

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Carol Randolph-Jasmine explains how she was hired at Court TV

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Carol Randolph-Jasmine describes covering the O.J. Simpson Trial for Court TV

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Carol Randolph-Jasmine analyzes the O.J. Simpson trial

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Carol Randolph-Jasmine explains how she came to work with Miller and Long Concrete Construction

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Carol Randolph-Jasmine describes her civic engagement

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Carol Randolph-Jasmine reflects on her hopes and what she would do differently

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Carol Randolph-Jasmine talks about the portrayal of black people in the media

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Carol Randolph-Jasmine talks about the importance of teaching black history

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Carol Randolph-Jasmine recounts a memorable experience from her time as a teacher

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Carol Randolph-Jasmine describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Carol Randolph-Jasmine reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Carol Randolph-Jasmine describes her family and second husband

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Carol Randolph-Jasmine describes how she would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$5

DAStory

6$5

DATitle
Carol Randolph-Jasmine talks about how 'Harambee' evolved as a television show and a special segment on Eubie Blake
Carol Randolph-Jasmine describes covering the O.J. Simpson Trial for Court TV
Transcript
Okay, okay. So now 'Harambee' lasted until?$$I don't remember when it went off the air.$$Okay. But it morphed?$$Yeah, it did. I morphed into "Everywoman" was (unclear) the show that followed and it had Rene Carpenter as the hostess and she at one time had another person hosting with her, I think it was JC Hayward. Well I came over and replaced JC, so I would get off the set of Harambee and then go over and walk across the studio and get on the set for "Everywoman". And then they put that together and it became "Nine In The Morning". They added a male host. It was 90 minutes that we did and Doug Llewelyn was the male host. Then they cut it back to an hour again for "Morning Break" and I did that by myself. And then I did the Carol Randolph Show by myself.$$Okay. Did the format change?$$It was still very much like you see today. You know, we had--sometimes we would--we'd have, sometimes a theme, dependent upon what the topic was, segments, musical, phone-in. I remember doing a show, and I don't know why this sticks in my mind, but we were talking about homosexuality and there was a tendency for the members of the panel that was up there to be condescending to some of the questions that were coming in, cause some of them could be really rather ridiculous and show a definite lack of knowledge. And I remember saying that if you hear it from one person then you know there's many more behind him that believes this. You need to give them an answer. And the guy on the program said she's absolutely right. And then he went around and answered that question. Now stands out in my mind simply because it was an open phone question. One of the best fun shows I ever did was with Billy Eckstine and Joe Williams. That was--cause as a teenager I had a crush on Billy Eckstine. And who didn't love Joe Williams with that deep voice of his and they performed. So it was a great show that I'm so sorry that we don't have. And we did a special with Eubie Blake. Claude Matthews was the co-host at that time. And we did a--that was just before Eubie actually died and he played. It was a wonderful, wonderful experience.$$Now he's a pioneer black (unclear). How old was he when he died?$$Was he in his nineties or something like that when he died, I think he was. His fingers could still move up and down the piano, you know, so. Yeah, I think they did this show. What was the Broadway show did in his--$$Oh, "Scott Joplin." Oh no, "Ragtime." Was that what you were talking about. Oh, no, not "Ragtime".$$--It was a Eubie Blake show and he was on '60 Minutes.'$$Yes. Uh-huh, but we were before them. And I don't know how we happened to get him before them, but we did, you know, and we did a special with him that aired at night time. Now I remember doing a show, who was the co-host of that one. I don't even remember now, but we did a late night show cause somebody had decided that there was an audience for late night, and we were talking about sex and a whole bunch of things on that one. That was an interesting show. That was a fun show.$$So it lasted for a few years, or--$$That was only for a pilot. We just did it just to see if there was an audience out there. There was. I don't remember now why they didn't decide to go on and, in fact, just sitting here talking to you about it has brought that back to me, you know, to my mind. But I had forgotten about it, yeah.$So did you have to move out to L.A. [Los Angeles, California] for that?$$No. They had a reporter out there. Actually, I was on the air when they had just gone into making the decision, cause you know these views about what was gonna happen and so forth. And I always felt that the prosecution had not done a very good job in terms of laying out their case. They'd over done it in terms of the DNA evidence, etc. And I remember one of my professors in law school said, "If you gonna go out to shoot a king, you better have a kings-sized rifle." I didn't think they had it and especially with that bit about with the glove, you know, if it doesn't fit, you must have acquit which is the way it was presented in the closing arguments.$$Yeah, by Johnnie Cochran?$$By Johnnie Cochran. And I thought--I remember when O.J. Simpson put on those gloves, I think he was just as surprised as anybody that the things didn't fit. 'Cause you know, I had done domestic law, not a lot of it when I was in Washington [D.C.], and the one thing I always thought, when a woman--when a man finally understands that a woman may really, one who has been abused, is really leaving you, she's in the most danger at that point. Because they don't see whatever, the beating up or any of these other things that they've done as being criminal because she deserved it, I'm entitled, that kind of thing. And so when the first story broke that she was dead and he was arrested, I thought he had done it. I just didn't think the prosecution ever proved it. So I was on the air talking to Ricky Clemmon [ph.], she was out in California, and all of a sudden they said, oh, oh, we got a verdict. But they didn't know what it was 'cause they had to bring in all the people, but it was very quick. So everybody thought it was gonna be a guilty verdict. And Steve Brill [ph.] had sent around this notice to saying there would be no outburst, you know, if you did that, you would be fired. But that was Steve Brill, you know, he would give you these extreme kind of you know notifications. And then when it came in, it was a not guilty thing. It was like most amazing to a lot of people. But it really wasn't to me because I think Marcia Clark thought she could handle that kind of a jury. I understand black people, I understand black women, whatever. Well, I have been, since, on a jury here and I can't tell you I can understand black people because we don't march in the same way. You know, you can say, you know, black people are gonna do this that and the other as she thought she could identify with and what they did was, you know, they were waiting for some kind of a hook, and Johnnie Cochran gave it to them with this, "If it doesn't fit, you must acquit." And there you have it. But it was on the air, and then O.J. Simpson called in and I was on the air one time. I didn't recognize his voice. I don't remember now exactly what it was he wanted to talk about-$$Did he call incognito or did he-$$--He even--no, he said this is--I was on the air and somebody came flying into the studio and said, O.J. Simpson is on the air. And he was trying to explain, I think, this was when his--the second trial was up, you know about the civil trial. I don't remember his question, but he and I got into a discussion about that, so those are things that stand out in my mind about Court TV.

Barbara Ciara

Television news anchor Barbara Ciara was born in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania on July 27, 1956 to Robert and Georgia Jones. Ciara received her G.E.D. at the age of 16 before moving on to Pima Community College and the University of Arizona in Tucson in 1974. Ciara left school to take a full-time position at Tucson television station KZAZ-TV in 1976. Two years later, Ciara was promoted to news director at KZAZ-TV, becoming the youngest and first African American female to attain a management position at a television station in the southwest region of the United States.

After working for KZAZ-TV, Ciara landed a co-anchor position with Norfolk, Virginia area television station and NBC affiliate WAVY-TV in 1983. She then served as a news co-anchor with Hampton Roads area television station and ABC affiliate WVEC-TV. After 12 years at WVEC, Ciara landed an anchor role with CBS affiliate WTKR-TV in 2000, anchoring three news telecasts. That same year, she completed her undergraduate education at Hampton University, graduating Summa Cum Laude. In addition to being a notable presence in the Hampton Roads community, Ciara gained a national profile in 2007 when she was elected president of the National Association for Black Journalists, the largest organization for journalists of color in the world. In the following year, Ciara assumed the role of president for UNITY: Journalist of Color, a coalition of four organizations representing Native American, Hispanic, Asian American and black journalists across the country.

Ciara is the recipient of numerous journalism awards, including an Emmy Award and a regional Edward R. Murrow Award for her broadcast journalism. She has also won an Associated Press award for her journalism and has been inducted into the Silver Circle of the National Capital Chesapeake Bay Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Ciara was featured in Ebony magazine. Her stateside coverage includes political campaigns, investigative reporting and interviews with luminaries like Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Oprah Winfrey.

She has provided analysis on CNN, CBS News, XM Radio, National Public Radio and the Tom Joyner Morning Show in addition to providing quotes for the New York Times and the Washington Post, among other news outlets. Ciara is married to her husband, Arthur Jarrett, Jr.

Barbara Ciara was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on February 7, 2012.

Accession Number

A2012.023

Sex

Female

Interview Date

2/7/2012

Last Name

Ciara

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Occupation
Schools

Hampton University

University of Arizona School of Law

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Barbara

Birth City, State, Country

Pittsburgh

HM ID

CIA01

Favorite Season

Fall

Sponsor

Herb and Sheran Wilkins Media Makers

State

Pennsylvania

Favorite Vacation Destination

Outer Banks, North Carolina

Favorite Quote

Thanks For The Company.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Virginia

Birth Date

7/27/1956

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Norfolk

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Strawberries

Short Description

Television anchor Barbara Ciara (1956 - ) is a pioneering news journalist and past president of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ), serving as the Hampton Roads, Virginia area’s most enduring and visible broadcast news presences.

Employment

WTKR TV

WVEC TV

WAVY TV

Main Sponsor
Favorite Color

Pink

DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Barbara Ciara's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Barbara Ciara lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Barbara Ciara describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Barbara Ciara describes her mother's growing up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and her life there

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Barbara Ciara describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Barbara Ciara talks about her father's education and his employment in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Barbara Ciara talks about how her parents met and married

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Barbara Ciara describes her parents' personalities and who she takes after

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Barbara Ciara talks about growing up in Pittsburgh, her parents' divorce, and their joint custody of her

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Barbara Ciara describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Barbara Ciara talks about her childhood household and religion in her family

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Barbara Ciara talks about her father introducing her to the football and baseball teams in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Barbara Ciara talks about her early days in school and her and her family's interest in music

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Barbara Ciara talks about the role that television and newspapers played during her youth and to the black community

Tape: 1 Story: 15 - Barbara Ciara talks about how she began to work on her school's newspaper

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Barbara Ciara talks about attending Schenley High School in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and the cultural activities of her childhood in Pittsburgh

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Barbara Ciara talks about her singing group in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Barbara Ciara describes the demographics and close-knit community in the St. Clair Village projects in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Barbara Ciara talks about her English teacher in junior high school, and her involvement in the school newspaper

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Barbara Ciara talks about the drug problem in her neighborhood of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania while she was growing up

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Barbara Ciara talks about her role models as a child and the appearances of African Americans on mainstream television and in the movies

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Barbara Ciara discusses her teenage pregnancy, her tensions with her mother, and running away to York City at the age of fifteen

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Barbara Ciara discusses her tensions with her mother, and running away to New York City at the age of fifteen

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Barbara Ciara talks about completing her GED and her desire to attend college to study broadcasting

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Barbara Ciara talks about her two years of separation from her parents and her son, and her decision to attend college in Arizona

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Barbara Ciara talks about her family's secrets around mental illness

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Barbara Ciara describes her experience at the University of Arizona and her motivation to perform well academically

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Barbara Ciara talks about the racial climate in Arizona in the 1970s

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Barbara Ciara discusses her studies at the University of Arizona

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Barbara Ciara describes how she got her first full-time job in television in Tucson, Arizona

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Barbara Ciara talks about the sexism against women in the newsroom in the 1980s

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Barbara Ciara talks about becoming the youngest woman to be promoted to news director at a commercial station in the southwest

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Barbara Ciara talks about her involvement with the Urban League and the NAACP's activities

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Barbara Ciara talks about her experience as news director of KZAZ in Tucson, Arizona, and her coverage of political news

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Barbara Ciara talks about athletics at the University of Arizona and her decision to move to Norfolk, Virginia

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Barbara Ciara describes the racial climate in Norfolk, Virginia in the 1980s

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Barbara Ciara talks about being racially discriminated against at WVEC in Norfolk, and her decision to move to WAVY instead of filing a lawsuit

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Barbara Ciara describes her experience at WAVY, the NBC affiliate station in Norfolk, Virginia

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Barbara Ciara talks about the Colonial Parkway serial murders in Virginia

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Barbara Ciara talks about her return to WVEC in Norfolk in 1989

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Barbara Ciara talks about her coverage of diverse news items in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Barbara Ciara talks about the Hampton Roads area of Virginia

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Barbara Ciara talks about her decision to leave WVEC and move to WTKR and her Emmy Award nominations

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Barbara Ciara describes her involvement with the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ)

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Barbara Ciara discusses her coverage of Operation Haiti in 1997 and receiving the Edward R. Murrow Award

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Barbara Ciara talks about going back to college and completing her undergraduate degree at Hampton University

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Barbara Ciara talks about her reason for moving to WTKR-TV in Norfolk, Virginia, and her experience there

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Barbara Ciara describes the highlights of her experience at WTKR-TV in Norfolk, Virginia and her one-on-one interview with President Barack Obama

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Barbara Ciara talks about her coverage of local stories and her projects in the community

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Barbara Ciara talks about becoming the president of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) in 2007

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Barbara Ciara talks about dealing the National Association of Black Journalists' (NABJ) response to race-based issues in the media

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Barbara Ciara talks about dealing the National Association of Black Journalists' (NABJ) response to race-based remarks in the media

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Barbara Ciara talks about UNITY

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Barbara Ciara talks about the disassociation of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) from UNITY

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Barbara Ciara reflects upon her coverage of more controversial stories in Norfolk, Virginia

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Barbara Ciara talks about her 2011 story covering a terror arraignment at Guantanamo Bay

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Barbara Ciara reflects upon her legacy and her journalistic philosophy

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Barbara Ciara reflects upon her life and career choices

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Barbara Ciara describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Barbara Ciara talks about her family

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Barbara Ciara talks about her family's health and he health of the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Barbara Ciara talks about how she would like to be remembered

Myron Lowery

City Council Member and former Mayor pro tempore Myron Lowery was born in 1947, in Columbus, Ohio. He received his B.A. degree from LeMoyne-Owens College and his M.S. degree from New York University. While at New York University, he taught for three years in New York public school with the National Teachers’ Corp. At Dr. Hollis Price’s invitation, Lowery went to works as an anchor at WMC-TV in 1973, where he remained until 1983.

Lowery sued WMC-TV for racial discrimination in 1981, making a successful settlement that paved the way for many other employment discrimination suits by African Americans. He then went on to work as press secretary for Congressman Harold Ford Sr. and as manager of corporate relations at FedEx. In 1991, Lowery ran for Memphis City Council and won. Five years later, he was a speaker at the Democratic National Convention when President Bill Clinton won the Democratic primary. He also served as a superdelegate at the Democratic National Convention in 2008, at which Barack Obama won the Democratic primary. In his role on City Council, Lowery has initiated a successful gun buy-back program, the installation of red light cameras at busy intersections, and the reform of some of the City Council’s discussion processes.

In 2009, the mayor of Memphis, Willie Wilbur Herenton, resigned from his post as mayor, leaving Lowery as mayor pro tempore for the next ninety days. During that time, Lowery sought to promote transparency in city government, asking many officials from Herenton’s corrupt administration to resign.

Lowery is a member of the board of directors for the National League of Cities. He has been a member of the board of many civic organizations, including the Tennessee Municipal League, Leadership Memphis, The Memphis Zoo, and the Headstart Policies Council. He has also served as vice president of the National Association of Black Journalists, chairman of the Democratic Municipal Officials, and treasurer of the United Negros’ College Fund’s National Alumni Council. He holds an honorary degree from Southeastern College of Technology. Lowery has been honored as one of the Three Outstanding Young Men in the state of Tennessee and Ten Outstanding Young Men in America by the Tennessee Jaycees, and in 2003, he was inducted into the National Black College Alumni Hall of Fame.

Accession Number

A2010.088

Sex

Male

Interview Date

7/27/2010

Last Name

Lowery

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Schools

LeMoyne-Owen College

New York University

University of Tennesee

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Myron

Birth City, State, Country

Columbus

HM ID

LOW05

Favorite Season

Fall, Summer

Sponsor

Herb and Sheran Wilkins Media Makers

State

Ohio

Favorite Vacation Destination

Las Vegas, Nevada

Favorite Quote

Take Care. Life Is Good.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Tennessee

Birth Date

12/26/1946

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Memphis

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Barbecue Chicken Ribs

Short Description

Television anchor, city council member, and mayor Myron Lowery (1946 - ) has served in Memphis city government for nineteen years, pioneered African American participation in television journalism, and paved the way for successful employee discrimination lawsuits by African Americans.

Employment

WMC TV

FedEx

Memphis City Government

Main Sponsor
Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Myron Lowery's interview, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Myron Lowery's discusses how he began his career in journalism

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Slating of Myron Lowery's interview, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Myron Lowery lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Myron Lowery describes his mother's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Myron Lowery describes his mother's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Myron Lowery talks about his family's move from Jonesville, South Carolina to Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Myron Lowery talks about his family's life in Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Myron Lowery talks about his mother's life in Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Myron Lowery describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Myron Lowery talks about his parents meeting and his brothers

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Myron Lowery talks about growing up poor and how it influenced his decision to pursue his education

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Myron Lowery describes his earliest childhood memories

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Myron Lowery describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up in Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Myron Lowery talks about his paper route in Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Myron Lowery talks about living with his great-grandparents in his junior and senior years of high school

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Myron Lowery talks about the schools that he attended in Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Myron Lowery talks about a male mentor

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Myron Lowery reflects on the role of church in his childhood and his views on religion

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Myron Lowery reflects upon his oratory skills and his self-confidence

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Myron Lowery expresses his regret at not attending the March on Washington in 1963

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Myron Lowery talks about football in Columbus, Ohio, while he was growing up there

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Myron Lowery talks about the integrated schools in Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Myron Lowery talks about his entry into extemporaneous speaking while in high school, and his debate partner, Myran Lewis

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Myron Lowery talks about reading about the Civil Rights Movement while growing up in Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 13 - Myron Lowery discusses his decision to attend LeMoyne-Owen College in Memphis, Tennessee, and his experience there

Tape: 2 Story: 14 - Myron Lowery describes his experiences while studying at LeMoyne-Owen College in Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Myron Lowery reflects upon Dr. Martin Luther King's assassination and his views of the civil rights struggle

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Myron Lowery describes his joining the National Teachers' Corps after graduating from LeMoyne-Owen's College

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Myron Lowery describes his experience in New York City and becoming the first full-time African American reporter at WMC-TV in Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Myron Lowery talks about his early years as a reporter at WMC-TV in Memphis, Tennessee, and his public affairs show, 'Minority Report'

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Myron Lowery talks about co-founding the Memphis [Tennessee] Association of Black Journalists and the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ)

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Myron Lowery discusses his EEO lawsuit against WMC-TV in Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Myron Lowery reflects upon his decision to file an employment discrimination lawsuit against WMC-TV, and about minorities in broadcast journalism

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Myron Lowery talks about the success of his public affairs show, 'Minority Report' on WMC-TV in Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Myron Lowery talks about his experience at WMC-TV in Memphis, Tennessee and his EEO lawsuit against them

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Myron Lowery talks about his public affairs show, 'Minority Report' on WMC-TV in Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Myron Lowery talks about his running for the Memphis City Council in 1983, and serving as Congressman Harold Ford, Sr.'s press secretary

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Myron Lowery describes his experience as press secretary to U.S. Congressman Harold Ford Jr.

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Myron Lowery discusses his election to the Memphis City Council in 1991

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Myron Lowery describes his experience as a senior communications specialist at FedEx

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Myron Lowery discusses his lawsuit against FedEx, and his decision to retire

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Myron Lowery describes his relationship with Mayor Willie Herenton of Memphis, Tennessee, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Myron Lowery describes his relationship with Mayor Willie Herenton of Memphis, Tennessee, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Myron Lowery describes his brief tenure as Mayor of Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Myron Lowery talks about speaking at the Democratic National Convention in 1996

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Myron Lowery describes his meeting with the Dalai Lama

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Myron Lowery talks about the City of Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Myron Lowery talks about being a representative to the Democratic National Convention and President Barack Obama's administration

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Myron Lowery reflects upon his service on the Memphis City Council

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Myron Lowery describes his hopes and concerns for the community

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Myron Lowery talks about his family

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Myron Lowery talks about how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Myron Lowery describes his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$4

DAStory

6$7

DATitle
Myron Lowery discusses his EEO lawsuit against WMC-TV in Memphis, Tennessee
Myron Lowery describes his brief tenure as Mayor of Memphis, Tennessee
Transcript
Now let me explain why they did that. Because I was a weekend anchor [at WMC-TV, Memphis, Tennessee] for ten years, from '73 [1973] to '83 [1983], but I could not get promoted to the weeknight anchorship. And the weeknight anchors had contracts. I didn't have a contract. They had a clothing allowance. I wasn't given any money for clothes, and they made much more money than I did. They even bought a weeknight anchor, his name was Clyde Lee, a Porsche to stay in the city. Clyde had an offer from another cit--"Clyde, we'll get you a car"--bought him a Porsche. And I was making, oh, less than $20,000 a year at the time. And I told the station, I said, "Now, wait a minute, all I want is the opportunity. If I don't have the numbers then you take me off. I want the opportunity to do the weeknight." By the way, and speaking of the numbers, I had a 53 percent share of the audience on the weekend. Now stop and think about that for a moment. In this day and age with cable, with all the stations, no one would ever get a 53 percent share of anything again. But on the weekend news, at the time there were only four stations, I had a 53 percent share of that audience. So everybody was watching me. And my numbers were good. My anchoring was not the best, but I wasn't the worst. They promoted other people before me and gave them that chance before they took them off and never gave me that chance. So, I eventually sued the company and won. And my lawsuit was described by the judge as one of the worst cases of subtle discrimination in the history of broadcast journalism, and he ruled in my favor. There was a five day trial. Let me give you a time capsule on this. I filed the EEO [Equal Employment Opportunity] complaint in 1980. I left the station in 1983. I left because I was being set up to be fired over some minor incident. The minor incident was that I knew Jerry Lee Lewis. Jerry Lee Lewis had gotten married. His--the wife that he married drowned ten days later. And 'Entertainment Tonight' called for the video, and I sent the video to 'Entertainment Tonight.' They ran a twelve-second clip. And the station said you violated company policy because you didn't have permission. I said, "What are you talking about, we send stories to 'Entertainment Tonight' all the time." I did stories for 'NBC News,' news program service all the time. And they said, well, this was a violation of company policy. So I realized they were gonna set me up to fire me for that incident, and I quit. But anyway, you know, one story sort of leads to another here.$$So you filed--$$I filed the EEO complaint (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) You filed a lawsuit in--$$--in 1980.$$'80 [1980], okay.$$1980 was the EEO complaint.$$And didn't you quit?$$And you have to go through the--$$What year did you quit--$$I quit in 1983.$$Eighty-three [1983], okay.$$But you have to go through the EEO complaint before they give you the right to sue. So the lawsuit was filed. There was a nine day trial in 1985, nine days. The judge, Odell Horton, ruled in 1987. And at that time, he said this was the worst case of subtle discrimination in the history of broadcast journalism. By the way, Judge Horton's seventy-four page ruling can now be found in a book on employment discrimination period. I can't think of the--the, the title, but it's been written up, his case has been written up. By the way, if you go to Fastcase on the internet, Fastcase has 'Lowery v. WMC-TV.' You won't believe it if you read it. And Judge Odell Horton--I won on all counts. He gave me $100,000 in back pay, $100,000 in punitive damages, and penny-for-penny the price variation in salary between my salary and that of Mason Granger, a weeknight anchor, and that amounted to $74,000. So, at the time, 1987, that was unheard of. The first case ever won in broadcast journalism was mine. And, so I served to be a role model for the people coming up, and I--that case helped open the doors for many people here in Memphis [Tennessee] and around the country so that they would be treated equally.$Now that [Mayor Willie Herenton's resignation as the mayor of Memphis, Tennessee] was good for me, personally, because I had the opportunity to serve as mayor for eighty-seven days during the fall of 2009. I was council chair at the time, so I loved that opportunity. But it was ninety days of strife only because I tried to straighten up some of the stuff here at city hall that was difficult to do. I tried to fire the city attorney. The city attorney gave the mayor carte blanche on some things he wanted to do. And the council said you can't fire him. I had to do that with the permission of the council. They wanted to keep him on. And then he was being investigated by the local Shelby County attorney general. Well, he didn't come to work after thirty days that I was in office, and the city attorney eventually resigned because he was gonna be challenged in an ouster lawsuit. You know, I fired another attorney. He was working on the Beale Street case. This attorney was making $35,000 a month, one attorney handling one case for the city, and this was part time for him, this case. That was too much money to make. And we were not resolving the lawsuit. It was not--it was just lingering. He was the only one making money, so I fired that attorney, Ricky Wilkins. And folks didn't like this. I was shaking things up. When I was mayor, I had an open house at city hall. I invited the whole community to come up to the 7th Floor of city hall. People had never been to the mayor's office before. People worked in city hall had never been up to the 7th Floor. I said, "This is the people's office. Come and enjoy it." So I had an open and transparent government. I listed everything that I did as mayor. It's on the website right now by the way. If you go to the city's website and you look under the city council under my name, you'll see everything that I did every day at city hall as mayor. You'll see the number of dollars in contracts that I signed. So, I set the tone that our current mayor has continued to keep, that is open and transparent government. A C Wharton [mayor of Memphis] is now listing city contracts on the internet on the website. That hadn't been done before. You couldn't find out who was making what money from city government, and now we have a, a more openness in our government and our city is better for it.$$Okay.

Monica Pearson

Monica Pearson has led a distinguished career in journalism at WSB-TV in Atlanta, Georgia, as the anchor of Channel 2 Action News at five, six and eleven o’clock. Pearson has received over twenty-eight Emmy Awards as well as other awards for her reporting and her “Closeups” segments. She is also a humanitarian who assists in charitable, non-profit, and community causes.

Born on October 20, 1947, in Louisville, Kentucky, Pearson is the daughter of Hattie Wallace Jones Edmondson and the late Maurice Jones. Like her mother, Pearson attended Catholic schools during her formative and high school years. Her mother, who worked her way through school, attended St. Mary’s Academy in New Orleans, Louisiana, a prestigious boarding school for black females. Her mother was also one of the first black women to work at the Louisville Post Office.

Pearson knew at an early age that she would pursue a career in communications. One of her part time jobs in high school included working at the local black owned radio station where she did voice over work and read prayers on the station’s religious programs. She also sang country music as a teenager on a television show called Hayloft Hoedown. Pearson pursued and obtained her B.S. degree in English from the University of Louisville. She also participated in the Summer Program for Minority Groups at the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University in New York City. Before joining WSB-TV Channel 2, Pearson worked in public relations for Brown Forman Distiller; as an anchor and reporter for WHAS-TV in Louisville, Kentucky; and as a reporter for the Louisville Times. Pearson began her career as the first African American and the first female to anchor a daily evening newscast in Atlanta at WSB-TV in 1975.

Pearson is a recipient of numerous awards: the Women’s Sports Journalism Award, Citizen Broadcaster of the Year Award, Broadcaster of the Year Award, Women of Achievement Award, and the Southern Regional Emmy Awards. She also won first place for excellence in journalism/documentary from the Atlanta Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists for her documentary, Hot Flash: The Truth About Menopause.

Pearson is a mother and resides in Atlanta with her mother and husband.

Accession Number

A2006.030

Sex

Female

Interview Date

2/21/2006

Last Name

Pearson

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Occupation
Schools

Presentation Academy

St. William School

University of Louisville

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Monica

Birth City, State, Country

Louisville

HM ID

KAU01

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Kentucky

Favorite Vacation Destination

Destin, Florida

Favorite Quote

It Is What You Do With What You Have That Makes You What You Are.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Birth Date

10/20/1947

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Atlanta

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Lasagna

Short Description

Television anchor Monica Pearson (1947 - ) began her career as the first African American and the first woman to anchor a daily evening newscast in Atlanta at WSB-TV in 1975. She has won numerous awards for her journalism and documentary work.

Employment

Liberty National Bank and Trust

Louisville Times

WHAS-TV

WSB-TV Atlanta

Favorite Color

Baby Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:8550,193:8930,210:10450,229:12920,273:14155,317:23182,389:23893,399:24920,415:30687,552:31240,560:32109,602:38903,736:39377,743:42142,802:43090,820:52103,929:55315,995:55607,1000:57213,1046:59330,1072:59987,1082:61885,1132:62469,1143:62980,1152:63272,1157:67686,1186:68190,1194:71934,1294:72222,1299:75462,1368:82158,1537:101470,1860:103150,1884:105630,1927:106110,1934:114910,2221:115630,2231:116110,2238:118110,2262:118430,2267:121070,2303:122430,2321:122750,2326:125310,2370:145834,2593:146389,2599:151014,2648:154209,2716:159246,2781:159534,2786:160542,2801:161046,2812:161694,2823:162774,2845:163062,2850:177710,3111$0,0:4050,131:4779,141:25839,613:46109,877:61745,1052:69395,1185:70075,1194:70585,1283:71350,1294:72030,1303:73220,1337:73815,1345:74155,1354:74835,1368:77810,1395:95112,1577:96765,1761:97461,1770:104334,1855:110337,1954:111120,1966:114948,2042:117123,2087:117471,2092:119211,2131:119994,2141:121038,2164:122256,2184:136472,2441:138992,2494:139424,2501:139784,2507:166024,2851:177806,3047:192486,3376:195474,3435:196138,3444:209584,3829:212406,3941:212904,3948:246132,4486:248004,4526:248394,4532:250890,4592:252996,4627:253308,4632:253698,4638:256100,4644
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Monica Pearson's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Monica Pearson lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Monica Pearson describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Monica Pearson describes her mother's education and occupations

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Monica Pearson recalls Presentation Academy and Louisville's Smoketown neighborhood

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Monica Pearson describes her father's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Monica Pearson recalls tracing her mother's ancestry

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Monica Pearson explains why she cannot trace her father's ancestry

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Monica Pearson describes her maternal grandmother

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Monica Pearson describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Monica Pearson describes her mother's parenting style

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Monica Pearson describes her relationship with her mother

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Monica Pearson describes her father's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Monica Pearson describes her mother and father's wedding

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Monica Pearson describes her childhood home and early education

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Monica Pearson describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Monica Pearson describes the neighborhood where her mother grew up

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Monica Pearson recalls her family's Easter and Christmas celebrations

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Monica Pearson describes her cousins' complexions

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Monica Pearson remembers when her family's home was sold against her wishes

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Monica Pearson describes her mother's high school experiences

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Monica Pearson recalls her Catholic school experiences

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Monica Pearson recalls visiting her mother's high school, St. Mary's Academy

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Monica Pearson lists her elementary and high schools in Louisville, Kentucky

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Monica Pearson remembers her dresses for special occasions

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Monica Pearson remembers her Cousin Lee's cooking and pastimes

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Monica Pearson recalls Presentation Academy and other Louisville high schools

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Monica Pearson describes the Presentation Academy's sports teams

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Monica Pearson explains her religious background and her name's origin

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Monica Pearson describes the jobs she held as a teenager

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Monica Pearson recalls singing on television and working at WLOU Radio

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Monica Pearson recalls winning Miss Congeniality in a beauty contest

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Monica Pearson recalls her decision to attend the University of Louisville

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Monica Pearson describes Dr. Eleanor Young Love

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Monica Pearson reflects upon the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Monica Pearson describes the demographics of her elementary and high schools

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Monica Pearson recalls her coursework at the University of Louisville

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Monica Pearson remembers becoming a television reporter

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Monica Pearson recalls becoming the Atlanta's first African American evening anchorwoman

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Monica Pearson recalls enduring criticism as an African American anchorwoman

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Monica Pearson details her volunteer work

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Monica Pearson describes her experiences of racial discrimination in Atlanta

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Monica Pearson recalls lessons learned from her mother and grandmother

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Monica Pearson reflects upon her relationship with her father

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Monica Pearson reflects upon her life

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Monica Pearson shares her advice to aspiring broadcasters

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Monica Pearson describes her husband, John E. Pearson, Sr.

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Monica Pearson reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Monica Pearson reflects upon her spirituality

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$4

DAStory

9$5

DATitle
Monica Pearson recalls winning Miss Congeniality in a beauty contest
Monica Pearson remembers becoming a television reporter
Transcript
Then, I would volunteer to do columns for the Louisville Defender, which was the black-owned newspaper, the Louisville Defender, owned by Frank Stanley [Frank L. Stanley, Jr.]. So, I would do that. Now, they also had a pageant every year--the only time I can remember my mother [Hattie Wallace Edmondson] not being supportive of me. I was--the year of the Emancipation Proclamation one hundredth anniversary, so that would have been maybe 1963 (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) Nineteen sixty-three [1963], '64 [1964].$$I wanted to be in their beauty contest because it would give you some money--you would win some money. And my mother--I came home and told my mother I'd applied. And my mother said, "I think you're beautiful, but nobody else is. I don't want you being in this." And I said, "I really want to do this." She said, "Well, I'm not going to help you." So, I took one of her old formals, and took the little money I had made, and had her formal cut up into a dress that was more contemporary. I practiced singing and all of this. And there was this wonderful woman, Mrs. Lois Morris [Lois Walker Morris], who went on to become a city councilman, who actually was working with them on this pageant. And my mother went to her and said, "I don't want my daughter in this. Your daughter is, is--can be in it but, you know, they're going to pick a light girl to win. My daughter doesn't have a chance. I don't want you all tearing down her self-esteem." And Mrs. Morris told my mother, "Please let her do it--it's important." It ended up--I won Miss Congeniality, and I was third runner-up, so I didn't do too badly. But she was right--the girl who won it was light and bright, and damn near white (laughter).$$(Laughter) Even in Louisville [Kentucky]?$$Even in Louisville, even in Louisville. But also, you know, that's just the way things were back then. That's just--you don't take it personally, that's just the way it was.$$Well, that still didn't deflate your ego (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Oh, no, no, no, no--$$--or your self-esteem?$$--I was happy to be Miss Congeniality. It had great pictures and it had a huge trophy. At the University of Louisville [Louisville, Kentucky], something really happened that showed me that people can change. And many times, where we are now, it's because of the strength of people who said, this is the way it should be, and I'm not going to be. I ran for Miss U of L [Miss University of Louisville], and I think I won Miss Congeniality in that one, too. But one of my sponsors, the main sponsor, actually was a white fraternity. And I'm--I, I bet you if I found--I cannot remember--I tell you, my mother remembers everything. But a white fraternity sponsored me for that pageant, and I came in as Miss Congeniality. That was a very brave move on their part, a very brave point on their part.$$Did you solicit them or they volunteered (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) No, they--what happened is they--all the girls needed sponsors. And this group, you know, the different fraternities and sororities, and so, they sponsored me.$But in my sophomore year [at the University of Louisville, Louisville, Kentucky], I decided to get married, so I dropped out in my sophomore year. My mother [Hattie Wallace Edmondson] nearly died. Got married, and took a job working at a bank as a teller. And the teller, the bank, Liberty National Bank [Liberty National Bank and Trust Company, Louisville, Kentucky] was across the street from the Courier-Journal and the Louisville Times newspaper. And after I'd been there, I guess, about a year, I kept wanting to get into the management training program. And they told me that women would never be bank managers. And so, I said, "Well, if I can train these people how to figure out when I'm out of balance, while I'm out of balance, and if I can teach them to do what I'm doing, I surely could be a bank manager." So, I started looking for a job. The newspaper at that time--John Herchenroeder was the ombudsman. It was a new thing where people could call and complain, and Mr. Herchenroeder would then solve their problems.$$Right.$$So, they hired me as a newsroom clerk. Then, in the summer of 1969--well, actually, I need to back up. In 1968, the summer program for minority groups [Summer Program in Broadcast and Print Journalism for Members of Minority Groups] started at Columbia University [New York, New York]. Because what had happened, the riots of 1968, white owned media looked around and said, oh, my God, we don't have any black people in here, and the white reporters we're sending in to cover these riots are being seen as the enemy. We need some black reporters (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) Right.$$So, the Ford Foundation [New York, New York] and Columbia University in New York [New York] started the summer program for minority groups in 1968. In 1969, they added print. They started with television, then they added print in '69 [1969], and I went to the first print class. I came back from that program and worked as a reporter at the Louisville Times in the women's department, and then on the city desk. When I had been there a total of five years, I decided I really wanted to do something else. I wanted to get into this new thing called television. So, one of the TV stations actually had an opening, and I went to apply for the job. And I am so happy to say that the guy who talked to me said to me, "You know, we like you, you're very nice, but you're never going to make it in this business." And so, I said to him, "What do I need? What's wrong with me--tell me." And to his benefit and to his credit, he said, "Well, you sound like Mickey Mouse. You dress like you're still in high school. You need to--." And just gave me a laundry list of things to do. So, then took a charm course to learn how to dress--$$Charm--okay.$$--to learn how to dress--$$Okay.$$--how to do makeup. Now, this is at a time when Diane Sawyer was the weather girl at an independent station [WLKY-TV] in Louisville, Kentucky. This was a woman with a degree who was the weather girl. So, you know, back then, they were looking at hair down to here, chest out to here, and not much up here.$$Okay.$$So, he basically--they were more interested in you being pretty than they were in being smart. Diane Sawyer was the weather girl.$$(Laughter) Okay.$$So, I took a charm course to learn to do makeup, learn to do hair, learn to sound a certain way. And part of that charm course involved doing informal modeling for Byck's department store [Byck Brothers and Company, Louisville, Kentucky]. We're back at Byck's.$$Right, okay.$$You would put on a dress at Byck's out at the mall. You'd go into this restaurant. You'd walk through, and tell people what you were wearing. So, I ran into a woman one night who said, "What are you doing? You don't do this." I said, "Well, I'm a former newspaper reporter, now working for Brown-Forman Distillers [Brown-Forman Corporation, Louisville, Kentucky] in public relations, and trying to get a job in television." Her husband was the news director of WHAS-TV in Louisville, Kentucky. She said, "My husband will be here in a moment. I want you to come back and talk to him." I talked to Tom Dorsey, who is now the critic at the, at the newspaper [Courier-Journal] in Louisville--television critic. And he said, "Well, come in, and I want to," you know, "interview you some more." I went in--got the job as a reporter. What I didn't know, when they finally put me on as an anchor, that I was the first black anchor in the city.$$Okay.$$Never knew that--first black woman anchor in the city, never knew that, never knew it. They told me that years later.

Amyre Ann Makupson

Detroit television news anchor, Amyre Ann Porter Makupson was born on September 30, 1947 in River Rouge, Michigan to Dr. Rudolph Hannibal and Amyre Ann Porche Porter. She attended Visitation Catholic Elementary School in Detroit, Michigan and graduated from St. Mary’s Academy High School in Monroe, Michigan in 1965. She earned her B.A. degree in dramatics and speech from Fisk University in 1970 and her M.A. degree in speech arts/communications theory from American University in 1972.

Makupson held positions at WSM-TV in Nashville and WRC-TV in Washington, D.C. before returning to Detroit, Michigan in 1975 to work as director of public relations for Head Start, the Michigan Health Maintenance Organization. That same year, Makupson was hired by WGPR-TV, the nation’s first African American-owned television station, as a news anchor for “Big City News” and the Detroit focused talk show “Porterhouse.” In 1977, Makupson joined WKBD-TV as a news anchor and public affairs director. At WKBD-TV, she hosted “Morning Break,” the station’s daily talk show, and produced and anchored a five-minute newsbreak. In 1985, Makupson co-anchored WKBD’s “Ten O’clock News” and anchored “Eyewitness News at 11” on WKBD’s sister station, WWJ-TV.

Makupson has won six local Emmy awards including Best News Anchor, Best Interview/Discussion Program, and three for Best Commentary. In 1992 and 1995, Makupson won the Oakland County Bar Association Media Award for the show “Straight Talk” and named SCLC’s Media Person of the Year in 1995. She was also named the March of Dimes’ Humanitarian of the Year in 1996 and Makupson was inducted into the Silver Circle of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in 2003. An author, Makupson published “So...What’s Next?” in 2004. Makupson serves on the boards of The Alzheimer’s Foundation, the Sickle Cell Association, the Skillman Foundation, Covenant House, the Providence Hospital Fund, and the March of Dimes. Makupson lives outside of Detroit, Michigan with her husband, Walter, with whom she has two children.

Amyre Ann Makupson was interviewed by The HistoryMakerson April 5, 2005.

Accession Number

A2005.097

Sex

Female

Interview Date

4/5/2005

Last Name

Makupson

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Ann

Occupation
Schools

Visitation Catholic Elementary School

St. Mary’s Academy

Fisk University

American University

Search Occupation Category
Speakers Bureau

Yes

First Name

Amyre

Birth City, State, Country

River Rouge

HM ID

MAK01

Speakers Bureau Honorarium

Yes

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Michigan

Favorite Vacation Destination

Caribbean

Favorite Quote

Aw, Man.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Michigan

Birth Date

9/30/1947

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Detroit

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Pizza

Short Description

Television anchor Amyre Ann Makupson (1947 - ) was hired as an anchor by WGPR-TV, the nation’s first African American-owned television station. She has also hosted "Morning Break," was co-anchor of WKBD’s "Ten O’Clock News," and is the winner of five local Emmy awards.

Employment

WSM TV

WRC TV

WGPR TV

Head Start Program

WKBD TV

Favorite Color

Navy Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Amyre Ann Makupson's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Amyre Ann Makupson lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Amyre Ann Makupson recalls her maternal family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Amyre Ann Makupson remembers her mother

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Amyre Ann Makupson talks about her father

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Amyre Ann Makupson describes how her parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Amyre Ann Makupson talks about her father's medical school years and medical career

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Amyre Ann Makupson recalls her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Amyre Ann Makupson talks about her household and remembers the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Amyre Ann Makupson describes her childhood personality and love for Motown

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Amyre Ann Makupson talks about her Catholic faith

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Amyre Ann Makupson recalls her grade school years and going to lunch with a nun who taught her in the second grade

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Amyre Ann Makupson talks about attending St. Mary Academy in Monroe, Michigan

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Amyre Ann Makupson talks about the Civil Rights Movement and attending high school at St. Mary Academy in Monroe, Michigan

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Amyre Ann Makupson recalls her career interests as a youth and lists where she attended college

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Amyre Ann Makupson recalls her brother's death and her time at Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Amyre Ann Makupson talks about her mentor at Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Amyre Ann Makupson talks about earning her M.A. degree from American University in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Amyre Ann Makupson describes her career trajectory in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Amyre Ann Makupson describes how she behaved as an anchor

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Amyre Ann Makupson talks about working for WKBD under five separate ownerships, earning six Emmys and her public speaking

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Amyre Ann Makupson remembers interviewing families during telethons

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Amyre Ann Makupson talks about how her racial ambiguity has impacted her life and career

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Amyre Ann Makupson recalls memorable news stories she has covered over the years

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Amyre Ann Makupson talks about advancements in women's roles in the media

Tape: 2 Story: 13 - Amyre Ann Makupson narrates her photographs, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Amyre Ann Makupson talks about her civic engagement in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Amyre Ann Makupson describes the most exciting days of her career

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Amyre Ann Makupson describes her endeavors after ending twenty-five years of news at WKBD in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Amyre Ann Makupson describes her book 'So What's Next' and explains what motivated her to write it

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Amyre Ann Makupson reflects on the decline of Detroit, Michigan and her hopes for the city

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Amyre Ann Makupson reflects upon her life

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Amyre Ann Makupson talks about working with Detroit Repertory Theatre

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Amyre Ann Makupson reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Amyre Ann Makupson talks about her family

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Amyre Ann Makupson describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Amyre Ann Makupson recalls working on a PSA with Isiah Thomas

Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Amyre Ann Makupson narrates her photographs, pt. 2

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$2

DAStory

4$6

DATitle
Amyre Ann Makupson talks about her mentor at Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee
Amyre Ann Makupson describes her career trajectory in Detroit, Michigan
Transcript
Okay, were there any teachers that were like mentors or, or role models at Fisk [University, Nashville, Tennessee]?$$I had a teacher and her name is Dr. Gladys Ford, from Houston, Texas, she was the head of the speech and drama department which I--was my major. I am to this very day, thirty-five years later, I'm still very friendly with Dr. Ford, she still lives in Houston, Texas, I visit her often, well not often but I do visit her and she has come up to visit us and she was my drama teacher, she's the first person I sent a copy of my book to for her to review because I, I knew she would tell me the truth about what she thought about it. And, and the way we got friendly was kind of interesting because I used to debate a lot and of course she was involved in that but I just, it, it--shortly after I got there, one day I just was horribly depressed and just thinking about my brother [Rudolph Porter, III] who had died maybe, I don't know, two months earlier or three months earlier and I was kinda walking down the hall of one of these buildings where she was teaching and she says wh--what's, what's the matter? Come on in here. And I started talking to her and just, you know, you never know what kind of reaction and action she's going to have and the fact that she saw me, the fact that she asked me to come in her office, the fact that she sat there and listened as I cried and talked, just, I mean it was like somebody had given me fifteen winning lottery tickets, it just meant so much to me and that's when I definitely, 'cause I hadn't even declared a major. That's when I decided right then I was gonna be in her department 'cause I so admired her and wanted to be around her and, we've been friends for life and I just think she's a terrific person, it's one of those human things that I don't think could happen at one of these huge [University of] Michigan [Ann Arbor, Michigan], Michigan State [University, East Lansing, Michigan] type schools and I think it's one of the advantages of a, of a place like Fisk University. And she, she made it for me, she just, and I just, there's nothing I wouldn't do for her today, nothing.$$Okay.$So what did you do afterwards [after earning her M.A. degree from American University, Washington, D.C.], I mean, what--?$$You know what? I am one of the luckiest people alive on the face of the earth. I came back home [Detroit, Michigan] after grad [graduate] school and right about that time, they were about to launch WGPR TV in Detroit, that was, was the first black television station in the country. I knew some people over there, my father knew a couple people over there, I went over there and told them what I wanted to do and they hired me to be the anchor for Big City News, it was called, it debuted September 29, 1975, 'Big City News' with Amyre Porter and Pal D'Que. I had never anchored a newscast in my life, I had pretty much, other than an internship, never been in a television station in my life, to be able to start on that level in a top ten market in the city I grew up in, you, you can get struck by lightning first, I'm sure and win fifteen lottery tickets first as well. But that's the way it happened and that's how it started, I stayed there and I, I did 'Big City News,' I did a talk show every day called 'Porterhouse,' I didn't have a clue how to do a talk show, I would, c--in a hour a day, I would find people on the street and say, you know one thing I can do is talk, I can talk to anybody for an hour about anything, including a tree and I really believe that. I'd pull people off the streets, I'd call restaurants and ask for the owner, I called Detroit City Council and had them come in, just anybody I could think of who I knew who had something to say, I'd call 'em and invite 'em on 'Porterhouse' and we would sit there and talk and talk and talk and that's really how it all began. Now I had been there, it's a really interesting story and I used to tell this to kids in, in my speeches all the time, I had been there, oh geez, they canceled the news shortly after I started because they didn't have the money to keep it on, I decided that I was gonna stay anyway because I wanted the experience. After about a year, here I've got my big bad master's degree, I'm making zero, absolutely zero. First of all, I'd left a job, I was making 22 thousand dollars at Michigan Health Maintenance Organization, left that job to go to GPR for twelve five [twelve thousand five hundred], 30 days later they stopped paying me because they couldn't afford to keep that news on, but I stayed to do the Porter House and some other things. I'd gotten pretty discouraged and was able to get my old job back at Michigan Health Maintenance Organization at my old pay, well, just then, channel 50 called and asked me if I was interested in coming over there and I really was not, I was kinda discouraged because of what had happened and I decided, well, I'll give it one more shot. I went over there and that was in September of '77 [1977], and what I did was produce and host a live thirty minute talk show Monday through Friday and was also public affairs manager of the station, we started news in '86 [1986], and I've anchored that and, and in some form had a talk show ever since. But I, I, I walked away from a, from another job, it wound up being the best decision that I'd ever made and then I stayed there for, I stayed at 50 or WKBD for twenty-five years.$$Okay. Wow, that is--this story is, is really remarkable, you know?$$It is.$$It just seems like it just--$$It absolutely is, I was never a reporter, I never had to do the street thing, I never had to go to the cities that you've never heard of before to get experience. I never led the gypsy lifestyle, I never left there, I stayed there and never left and I'm still doing special projects for the station (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) Now--

Belva Davis

Broadcast journalist Belva Davis was born on October 13, 1932. She attended Berkeley High in Berkeley, California, graduating in 1951. She was accepted at San Francisco State University. However, her family could not afford the tuition, and Davis began working at the Naval Supply Center in Oakland.

Davis's first paid writing job was as a freelance writer for Jet magazine. She soon found work with several weekly black newspapers, including the Bay Area Independent and the San Francisco Sun-Reporter. Davis's career in broadcasting began at radio station KSAN, where she read newspaper clips on the air, becoming the first black female at KSAN. Davis left KSAN to work for another radio station, KDIA. Here she had a regular two-hour radio show which featured music, studio interviews and political coverage.

In 1966, Davis was hired to replace television news anchor Nancy Reynolds on KPIX-TV, San Francisco's CBS affiliate. This made Davis the first female African American television reporter on the west coast. Davis also hosted and helped to create All Together Now, one of the country's first prime-time public affairs programs to focus on ethnic communities. In 1977, left KPIX to work at the PBS affiliate in San Francisco, KQED. She anchored A Closer Look and then Evening Edition from 1977 to 1981. She next took a job as anchor and urban affairs specialist for KRON-4, where she worked full time until 1999, when she became a special projects reporter for the television station.

Davis has received countless awards for her contributions to the field of journalism. These awards include national recognition from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, San Francisco State University and the National Education Writers Association. She received the Northern California Chapter of National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences' highest lifetime achievement award, the Governor's Award, in 1996. Davis is also well known for her work as a labor activist, vice president of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, and for being active within the community.

Accession Number

A2002.033

Sex

Female

Interview Date

3/27/2002

Last Name

Davis

Maker Category
Occupation
Organizations
Schools

PLACE @ Prescott

Berkeley High School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Belva

HM ID

DAV03

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Louisiana

Favorite Vacation Destination

Italy, Islands

Favorite Quote

Don't be afraid of the space between your dreams and reality. If you can dream it, you can make it so.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

10/13/1932

Speakers Bureau Region City

Bay Area/San Francisco

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Greens (Southern)

Short Description

Television anchor Belva Davis (1932 - ) was the first African American female newscaster in San Francisco. Davis worked as anchor and urban affairs specialist for KRON 4, where she worked full time until 1999, when she became a special projects reporter for the television station. Davis also hosted and helped to create All Together Now, one of the country's first prime-time public affairs programs to focus on ethnic communities.

Employment

Jet Magazine

Bay Area Independent

San Francisco Sun-Reporter

KSAN TV

KDIA Radio

KPIX TV

KQED TV

KRON TV

Delete

Favorite Color

Yellow

DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Belva Davis interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Belva Davis's favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Belva Davis describes her parents' backgrounds

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Belva Davis discusses her siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Belva Davis shares memories from her early life in Louisiana

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Belva Davis shares memories from her childhood in San Francisco, California

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Belva Davis recounts her early school life in West Oakland, California

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Belva Davis describes her sense of lonliness as a child

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Belva Davis discusses a special friendship

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Belva Davis discusses influences during her youth

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Belva Davis explains her attendance at Berkeley High School, Berkeley, California

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Belva Davis describes her family's relocation to Berkeley, California

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Belva Davis discusses the ethnic/racial history of San Francisco, California

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Belva Davis remembers her role models

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Belva Davis discusses her career preparation

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Belva Davis describes her interests while in high school

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Belva Davis describes her pursuits following high school

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Belva Davis recalls starting a family

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Belva Davis describes her contribution to 'Jet' magazine

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Belva Davis evaluates her early newspaper experience

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Belva Davis discusses her second marriage

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Belva Davis discusses her divorce

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Belva Davis discusses her beginnings as a newscaster

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Belva Davis recalls initiating her own radio show

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Belva Davis describes the development of her newsradio career

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Belva Davis recounts her break into television news

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Belva Davis shares her struggles as the first black TV news reporter in San Francisco

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Belva Davis recalls interviewing Malcolm X in the early 1960s

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Belva Davis recounts memorable episodes from her career

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Belva Davis describes her news interests during the 1960s, 70s

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Belva Davis recalls her work at KQED, San Francisco, California

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Belva Davis details her international news reporting in Cuba and the MIddle East

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Belva Davis describes increased opportunities for women in the newsroom

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Belva Davis reflects on her professional and personal partnership with her husband

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Belva Davis reviews her news reporting during the 1960s

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Belva Davis recalls memorable interviewees

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Belva Davis discusses her involvement with the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Belva Davis reflects on the course of her career

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Belva Davis shares advice for aspiring journalists

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Belva Davis reflects on the state of the news industry

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Belva Davis describes her commitment to reporting news

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Belva Davis considers her legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Belva Davis emphasizes the role of community in black lives