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Paul Brock

Distinguished journalist Paul Brock was an only child born in Washington, D.C., on February 10, 1932. After attending Howard University in Washington, D.C., Brock set out on his career path.

Brock spent eighteen years as a radio journalist before moving into television producing and reporting, starting at WBNB in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands. From there, Brock went on to become news director at WETA and later WHUR in Washington, D.C. While with WETA, he was credited with bringing the first live coverage of a congressional committee hearing ever aired. Brock was also the originator, producer and chief fundraiser of the NAACP Nightly Convention Highlights program that aired on PBS from 1978 to 1983. Later, Brock served as producer, writer, editor and national distributor of the NAACP Voter Education public service announcements. The success of this was a launching point for him to move into a position as fundraiser, assistant producer, and vice president of the company that produced American Playhouse. In 1994, Brock became media coordinator of the Village Foundation, an organization working to "repair the breach" between African American males and the rest of society.

Brock left the Village Foundation in 2002, but he remains active with the NAACP, having been with the organization since 1948. He has also served as the deputy director of communications for the Democratic National Committee, vice president for news and operations at American Urban Radio Network, and is a senior fellow for public affairs at Howard University's Institute for the Study of Educational Policy. He has also been a member of the National Association of Black Journalists since 1974. In 1975, Jet and Ebony both recognized him as Man of the Year, and in 1983, Brock received the Black Filmmakers Award for Producer of the Year. Brock has four children and a wife, Virginia.

Accession Number

A2003.106

Sex

Male

Interview Date

5/14/2003 |and| 6/8/2003

Last Name

Brock

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Occupation
Schools

Briggs Elementary School

P.S. 139 Frederick Douglass School

Shore Junior High School

Samuel C. Armstrong Manual Training High School

Howard University College of Pharmacy

Search Occupation Category
Speakers Bureau

Yes

Speakers Bureau Availability

Any

First Name

Paul

Birth City, State, Country

Washington

HM ID

BRO01

Speakers Bureau Preferred Audience

Flexible

Speakers Bureau Honorarium

No

Favorite Season

Late May, Early June

Speaker Bureau Notes

Preferred Audience: Flexible

State

District of Columbia

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

2/10/1932

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Sashimi

Short Description

Photojournalist Paul Brock (1932 - ) specializes in celebrity, commercial, fashion and public relations photography. His photos have been published in Ebony, Essence, Vibe and other magazines and publications.

Employment

WBNB TV

WETA TV

WHUR TV

Village Foundation

Favorite Color

Deep Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Paul Brock's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Paul Brock lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Paul Brock describes a relative of his, West Ford, who was a slave of John Augustus Washington

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Paul Brock talks about the possibility that his relative, West Ford, was the son of President George Washington

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Paul Brock describes his mother's family background in Gum Springs, Virginia

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Paul Brock describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Paul Brock describes his mother's childhood and career

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Paul Brock describes his childhood living near Lenox Avenue in Harlem, New York and the people that lived near him, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Paul Brock describes his childhood living near Lenox Avenue in Harlem, New York and the people that lived near him, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Paul Brock describes the sights, sounds, and smells of his childhood in Brandywine, Maryland

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Paul Brock describes his experience in Georgetown, Washington, D.C.

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Paul Brock describes moving back to Washington, D.C. in 1945 and attending Shore Junior High School and Armstrong Manual Training School

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Paul Brock describes the one time he met his biological father, William Brock

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Paul Brock describes his childhood interest in reading and writing

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Paul Brock describes his mentors and prominent African Americans who lived in his Washington, D.C. community

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Paul Brock describes his social life in the Yadrutas Club in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Paul Brock talks about his favorite subjects in high school

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Paul Brock describes his intention to major in pharmacy after graduating from high school.

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Paul Brock describes his employment during the two years he studied at the Howard University College of Pharmacy in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Paul Brock describes his experience in the U.S. Air Force and in the National Security Agency

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Paul Brock describes leaving the National Security Agency, his wife, and Washington, D.C. to open a business in St. Thomas in 1960

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Paul Brock describes moving to St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands and gaining custody of his children

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Paul Brock describes working for IBM and the radio station in the U.S. Virgin Islands and being hired in television

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Paul Brock describes anchoring television news and creating a radio jazz show in St. Thomas

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Paul Brock describes returning to the United States to work in radio after the Selma to Montgomery March in 1965

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Paul Brock describes being news director at WETA radio in Washington, D.C. and being interviewed to be news director of NPR

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Paul Brock describes his experience as news director for WHUR in Washington, D.C. in the early 1970s

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Paul Brock describes the formation of the Washington Association of Black Journalists and the National Association of Black Journalists

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Paul Brock describes Max Robinson, HistoryMaker Maureen Bunyan, and the founding of the National Association of Black Journalists in 1975

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Paul Brock describes his two interns at the Democratic National Committee, Maurice Williams and HistoryMaker Barry Mayo

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Paul Brock describes the murder of Maurice Williams by Hanafi Muslims at the Washington, D.C. City Hall in 1977

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Paul Brock describes his being a vice president for news and operations at the Mutual Black Network

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Paul Brock talks about the difficulty of running Mutual Black Network and its importance

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Paul Brock describes reporting on the Democratic National Convention in Miami Beach, Florida in 1972 for WHUR-FM

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Paul Brock describes his experience of the Democratic National Convention in Miami Beach, Florida in 1972

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Paul Brock talks about HistoryMaker Basil Paterson and the momentum of African American politicians between the 1972 and 1976 Democratic National Conventions

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Paul Brock talks about how the political perspective of African Americans contrasts with that of white American voters

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Paul Brock describes the Democratic National Committee after the 1972 election

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Paul Brock describes the murder of Maurice Williams by Hanafi Muslims at the Washington, D.C. City Hall in 1977

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Paul Brock talks about his proximity to the Watergate burglary and the guard who discovered the break-in, Frank Wills

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Paul Brock describes Hamilton Jordan's strategy for convincing Democratic delegates to select Jimmy Carter as the Democratic nominee in 1976

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Paul Brock reflects on the success of President Jimmy Carter's campaign strategy

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Slating of Paul Brock's interview

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Paul Brock describes the disappointment of the Democratic coalition in Jimmy Carter's presidency

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Paul Brock describes Ted Kennedy's campaign against President Jimmy Carter during the 1980 presidential election

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Paul Brock describes his response to President Jimmy Carter's firing of HistoryMaker Andrew Young in 1979

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Paul Brock describes the issues that the NAACP spoke on during the 1980 presidential election

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Paul Brock describes his role in HistoryMaker Reverend Jesse Jackson's 1984 presidential campaign

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Paul Brock talks about HistoryMaker Milton Coleman's interview with HistoryMaker Reverend Jesse Jackson during his 1984 campaign

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Paul Brock talks about HistoryMaker Reverend Jesse Jackson's speech at the 1984 Democratic National Convention

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Paul Brock describes HistoryMaker Reverend Jesse Jackson's 1984 presidential campaign strategy

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Paul Brock describes his experience with American Playhouse, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Paul Brock describes his experience with American Playhouse, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Paul Brock describes the life story of Denmark Vesey

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Paul Brock describes the casting and reception of "Denmark Vesey's Rebellion"

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Paul Brock describes his second television production, "Solomon Northrup's Odyssey"

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Paul Brock describes the reception of "Solomon's Northrup's Odyssey" and the loss of funding for the his series with American Playhouse

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Paul Brock describes the difficulty African American historical films have reaching a teenage audience

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Paul Brock describes his experience at a screening of "Solomon Northrup's Odyssey" in Santa Monica, California

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Paul Brock describes the importance of understanding history

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Paul Brock describes how covering the Bakke case in the press informed his understanding of the black community and white journalists, pt. 1

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Paul Brock describes how covering the Bakke case in the press informed his understanding of the black community and white journalists, pt. 2

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Paul Brock describes the details of the Bakke case

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Paul Brock describes his current involvement in protecting affirmative action

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Paul Brock describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Paul Brock reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 8 Story: 9 - Paul Brock describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Paul Brock narrates his photographs

DASession

1$2

DATape

3$5

DAStory

7$1

DATitle
Paul Brock describes returning to the United States to work in radio after the Selma to Montgomery March in 1965
Paul Brock describes his experience of the Democratic National Convention in Miami Beach, Florida in 1972
Transcript
And one day, we were listening to the radio, and the-- [Reverend Dr.] Martin Luther King [Jr.] was getting ready to cross the Edmond Pettus Bridge [in Selma, Alabama, 1965], and the kids were looking very concerned. And I asked them if they knew what was going on, and one of them replied that they thought the police were beating those negroes. That didn't sound right to me, and I asked, "Well, do you guys know any negroes?" They looked at one another and thought about it for a long while, and the I believe my oldest son said, "Dad, I believe I know one," and he named a friend of mine who had an afro long before they became popular in the states, but that was the only one they could think of. I knew--you knew, I had many friends, many multicultural friends, but the fact that they didn't know that they were negroes, I knew it was time for me to leave the Virgin Islands, and right after that, that summer, I left and came back to New York. I'm going to my friends now to see if they're ready to hire me at NBC and so forth and so on, and they wouldn't return calls, and I finally got a job part-time at Westinghouse at WINS there in New York, and was doing only part-time at KYW in Philadelphia [Pennsylvania]. And after about two years, I got a break. They interviewed me, the general counsel of ABC had or was starting this program "Wide World of Sports" and he wanted me to be in then. And he set up an interview, and supposedly they were hiring me. They said, "Oh, you're hired, don't worry," but they never brought me to work. And I recognized it was a rouse.$$Was that Barry Frank or somebody by that name?$$I'm trying to--you mean the people who interviewed me? I can't remember for some strange reason, I cannot remember. I know they--every time I'd go there, "Okay, we're going to bring you to work in three weeks." Three weeks would come and go, never happened. Finally, I just got tired of running around, just doing radio work I could pick up. Oh, by the way, at that time, I had gone back to doing typewriter and office sales for an independent company in New York just to supplement my income. I was teaching English. That's where I met the wife of the general counsel of ABC, and I realized I wasn't going to get that job even though they were saying I had it; and I got an offer from Smith-Corona to come Washington [D.C.]. And I took that job, and went home with my kids.$$Was that a sales job?$$Yes, a sales job. I was given the major federal agencies, Howard University. I mean they made the deal so sweet, and I knew I could make much more than I could part time at Westinghouse and no time at Wide World of Sports with them making excuses, so that's what brought me back to Washington.$We were talking last time I think about the Democratic [National] Convention of 1972 [in Miami Beach, Florida].$$Alright.$$Can you tell us about your role in that?$$Yeah, that was a historic convention in many ways. I was a news director for a station in Washington, D.C., a radio station in Washington, D.C. WHUR-FM and we somehow scrapped the bottom of the barrel to get a couple of reporters to get a couple of reporters to that convention to cover it for our Washington D.C. audience. We went to Miami [Florida], and at that convention, of course, it was historic for a number of reasons. A) It was the convention where Shirley Chisholm announced, threw her hat into the ring and ran for president, of for the presidential democratic nomination at that convention. It was the convention where a number of African Americans wanted to play a pivotal role in that convention because they knew they held a certain percentage, a very important percentage, of that vote that the Democrats were gonna have to depend on. And so people like [Robert] Sonny Carson went down, and they were urging their people to get out and vote in New York City [New York]. And some of the other civic leaders, grassroots leaders, gang leaders in various cities, including Chicago [Illinois], Los Angeles [California] were going to urging their people to get out and vote, to take part in that democratic process. We were down to cover it for-- George Wallace was one of the people down for that democratic convention. I remember that well because one of my reporters who was Trinidad was not aware of George Wallace's previous reputation; and looking for him one day, I couldn't find him and there he and George Wallace were just having a great pow-wow and enjoying themselves. And I think I was very, very surprised at that moment, but most important, I think, besides Shirley Chisholm trying to run, the Maynard Jacksons and the [HM] Julian Bonds, trying to get the black community from all over the states--the United States to pull their power together behind a candidate was very, very important. The black vote was not promised to any one individual, not even Shirley Chisholm and they wanted--the Julian Bonds and the Maynard Jacksons of the world, the [HM] Basil Patersons of the New York, the Charles Evers of the Mississippi and so forth, they wanted to negotiate with the power structure there at that convention to get the very best deal that they could of the recognition of the power that they had and what they brought to the party. And, of course, George McGovern was a leading candidate at that convention, and eventually, of course, did win the nomination.$$McGovern is described as the only honest man in the senate at one point by one of the Kennedys (unclear).$$I was not aware of that statement, but it's certainly an excellent statement. How true it is, I have no idea, but I do know that once he was on the verge of winning that nomination to get him over that final hump, Charlie Evers forced McGovern to deal with African Americans at that convention and that we wanted a piece of the pie, we wanted the chair of the Democratic party. And McGovern was not going to give that up, but, finally, the negotiations came down to the vice chair and they looked at some names and finally they settled on the name of [HM] Basil Paterson to be the vice chair of the democratic party, and, of course, this was as high as any black had come.