The Nation’s Largest African American Video Oral History Collection Mobile search icon Mobile close search icon
Advanced Biography Search
Mobile navigation icon Close mobile navigation icon

Sidmel Estes

Media consultant and executive television producer Sidmel Estes was born on November 27, 1954 in Marysville, California, to Emellen Estes and Sidney Estes. Estes attended elementary and high school at public schools in Atlanta. She earned her B.S.J. degree in 1976, and her M.S.J. degree in 1977, both from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism in Chicago, Illinois.

In 1979, Estes returned to Atlanta and was hired at WAGA-TV/Fox 5, where she served as the executive producer of numerous programs. She was the co-creator and executive producer of Good Day Atlanta, which became the number one show in its market, and won seven Emmy Awards under her direction. In 2006 Estes left WAGA-TV in order to found and serve as CEO of BreakThrough Inc., a media consulting firm whose clients include the Frederick Douglass Family Foundation, the McCormick Tribune Fellows Foundation, the Tupac Amaru Shakur Foundation and the Atlanta Center for Creative Inquiry. She has also taught as an adjunct professor at Emory University and Clark Atlanta University.

In 1991, Estes was elected the first woman president of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ). Under her leadership NABJ increased its membership to over 2,000 journalists and was included in Ebony’s list of Top 100 Black Organizations. In 1994, she was a leader and co-creator of the first Unity Conference, an alliance of journalists of color, and was instrumental in the release of their report Kerner Plus 25: A Call For Action, which outlined steps the media industry should take to improve racial diversity.

During her prolific career in television and journalism, Estes has been recognized numerous times. Atlanta’s Mayor Andrew Young proclaimed “Sidmel Estes-Sumpter Day” on November 18, 1988 after she was named Media Woman of the Year by the Atlanta Chapter of the National Association of Media Women. She was featured in Ebony’s 100 Most Influential Black Americans in 1993, and in More Magazine’s book 50 Over 50. Estes was honored with the Silver Circle Award from the Television Academy and has won several Emmy Awards. She received Northwestern University’s Alumni Service Award after being elected as president of the Northwestern Black Alumni Association in 2004.

Estes married B. Garnett Sumpter in 1983, and they had two children, Joshua and Sidney.

Sidmel Estes was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on February 17, 2014.

Sidmel Estes passed away on October 6, 2015.

Accession Number

A2014.065

Sex

Female

Interview Date

2/17/2014

Last Name

Estes-Sumpter

Maker Category
Marital Status

Divorced

Middle Name

Karen

Schools

M. Agnes Jones Elementary

Northside High School

Northwestern University

Frank L. Stanton Elementary School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Sidmel

Birth City, State, Country

Marysville

HM ID

EST02

Favorite Season

Spring

State

California

Favorite Vacation Destination

New Orleans, Louisiana; Miami, Florida; Beaufort, South Carolina

Favorite Quote

Everybody Needs A Breakthrough

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Birth Date

11/27/1954

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Atlanta

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Honey Baked Ham

Death Date

10/6/2015

Short Description

Media consultant and television producer Sidmel Estes (1954 - 2015 ) was the founder and CEO of BreakThrough Inc. and the first woman president of the National Association of Black Journalists. She worked as an executive producer at WAGA-TV, where she created Good Day Atlanta.

Employment

BreakThrough, Inc.

WAGA-TV (Television station: Atlanta,Ga.)

KUAM-TV

Chicago Daily News

Chicago Defender

Favorite Color

Purple

Timing Pairs
0,0:2472,63:4322,171:7504,263:8096,272:10094,331:13202,397:18900,507:24560,525:25120,535:26800,568:28200,594:35200,773:35620,780:47830,955:51637,1034:52123,1041:71198,1305:74206,1343:74582,1348:75522,1364:81350,1470:82572,1493:83324,1505:89305,1533:90835,1566:98995,1707:99420,1713:99845,1735:111584,1878:112128,1889:119054,1969:123464,2055:128868,2104:155647,2604:169159,2755:170761,2774:171473,2784:176036,2856:193107,3150:194186,3169:198253,3228:198585,3233:204618,3342:204942,3347:205509,3356:216670,3538$0,0:3655,40:4985,57:5745,66:10210,128:12585,170:15435,210:20090,302:23450,317:24890,349:25210,354:25610,360:26010,366:26890,379:27290,385:27850,394:31918,438:32450,446:36174,510:36478,515:40681,562:42175,587:46491,683:46823,688:49894,766:50724,777:51139,783:51637,790:53214,837:55206,875:55953,887:56368,893:57032,902:57613,910:58360,921:62842,1001:63257,1007:74434,1107:75666,1120:76226,1125:79987,1171:80532,1177:92668,1286:93124,1291:94834,1308:96202,1320:96772,1326:98368,1343:98824,1348:107149,1388:108227,1405:108920,1415:109921,1430:113732,1534:117956,1630:118436,1636:118820,1641:120548,1676:120932,1681:134190,1793:134890,1808:136780,1842:137200,1849:137550,1855:138670,1875:139020,1881:140210,1899:140770,1910:141120,1916:142100,1935:149765,2023:151140,2033:165786,2250:166220,2258:171410,2352:173020,2359:174220,2374:179300,2429:179840,2436:180740,2446:181100,2451:183170,2473:185310,2484:185884,2492:188918,2563:189738,2577:190476,2588:196516,2642:196804,2647:209444,2885:209888,2892:210184,2897:236375,3210:237007,3219:237876,3232:238271,3238:238587,3243:239061,3252:239456,3258:240483,3274:241510,3291:241905,3297:242221,3302:243090,3311:243564,3318:243880,3323:244512,3332:245065,3340:245460,3346:259574,3498:264782,3619:266042,3637:267470,3659:271760,3670:272360,3676:287305,3822:287660,3828:288015,3834:291472,3859:293344,3898:293890,3911:295762,3953:298336,3998:299194,4010:300286,4026:305545,4062:306070,4070:309140,4167:310500,4190:312180,4216:313540,4237:317140,4375:317620,4381:321140,4534:321860,4544:323700,4576:335460,4707:339970,4780
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Sidmel Estes' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Sidmel Estes lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Sidmel Estes describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Sidmel Estes remembers her maternal grandfather

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Sidmel Estes talks about the Collier Heights neighborhood of Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Sidmel Estes describes her mother's education

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Sidmel Estes remembers her first experience of racial discrimination

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Sidmel Estes describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Sidmel Estes lists her siblings, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Sidmel Estes describes her likeness to her father

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Sidmel Estes lists her siblings, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Sidmel Estes talks about her siblings' professions

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Sidmel Estes describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Sidmel Estes talks about her early education

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Sidmel Estes remembers the advice of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Sidmel Estes talks about the community organized busing in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Sidmel Estes recalls her decision to become a journalist

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Sidmel Estes describes the community on Auburn Avenue in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Sidmel Estes remembers the assassination of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Sidmel Estes recalls her decision to attend Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Sidmel Estes remembers the student activism at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Sidmel Estes talks about her internship at the Chicago Defender

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Sidmel Estes remembers prominent black journalists from the start of her career

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Sidmel Estes recalls her experiences as an intern at the Chicago Defender

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Sidmel Estes remembers her internship at the Chicago Daily News

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Sidmel Estes describes her experiences at the Medill School of Journalism in Evanston, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Sidmel Estes remembers becoming a television reporter in Guam

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Sidmel Estes describes her experiences at KUAM-TV in Guam

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Sidmel Estes remembers joining WAGA-TV in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Sidmel Estes talks about the Atlanta Missing and Murdered Children cases, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Sidmel Estes talks about the Atlanta Missing and Murdered Children cases, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Sidmel Estes talks about the changes in Atlanta, Georgia during the 1980s

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Sidmel Estes describes her reaction to the Janet Cooke scandal

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Sidmel Estes remembers meeting her former husband

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Sidmel Estes talks about her involvement in the National Association of Black Journalists

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Sidmel Estes talks about her civic engagement in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Sidmel Estes recalls the major events of the late 1980s in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Sidmel Estes talks about the FOX takeover of WAGA-TV

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Sidmel Estes remembers developing the 'Good Day Atlanta' morning news show

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Sidmel Estes remembers her election as president of the National Association of Black Journalists

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Sidmel Estes describes her tenure as president of the National Association of Black Journalists

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Sidmel Estes talks about FOX's management of WAGA-TV in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Sidmel Estes talks about Paula Walker Madison

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Sidmel Estes remembers founding BreakThrough Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Sidmel Estes describes her book projects

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Sidmel Estes talks about the future of journalism

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Sidmel Estes describes the services offered at BreakThrough, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Sidmel Estes talks about her teaching activities

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Sidmel Estes describes the documentary 'Kerner Plus 40: Change or Challenge'

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Sidmel Estes describes her hopes and concerns for African American journalists

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Sidmel Estes remembers her proposal to buy Ebony and Jet

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Sidmel Estes talks about the UNITY: Journalists of Color organization

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Sidmel Estes describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Sidmel Estes reflects upon her life

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Sidmel Estes reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Sidmel Estes talks about her family

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Sidmel Estes describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Sidmel Estes narrates her photographs, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Sidmel Estes narrates her photographs, pt. 2

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$5

DAStory

4$1

DATitle
Sidmel Estes remembers the advice of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Sidmel Estes describes her tenure as president of the National Association of Black Journalists
Transcript
Now, you had an incident when y- when you were in, I guess the third grade [at M. Agnes Jones Elementary School, Atlanta, Georgia], when you were eight?$$Um-hm.$$You took ballet--$$Um-hm.$$--with Yoki King [Yolanda King], you were telling us.$$Right.$$There's an historic moment that you experienced here. Tell us what happened.$$Well, like I said, Yoki and I were both sort of the little chunky girls in ballet, because they like you to be (gesture) this thin, being a ballerina. But to Atlanta Ballet's credit, they were trying to reach out to the community. So, they would send their top teachers. And I will never forget, a woman named Madame Hildegarde [Hildegarde Bennett Tornow] would always come to Spelman College [Atlanta, Georgia] to teach. And so, we were taking ballet. Like I said, we did 'The Nutcracker' [Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky] every Christmas. But these little skinny girls decided to make fun of me, and they pulled a chair out from up under me. And fortunately, we were practicing in the gym, so it was a wooden floor, not a concrete floor. So, I wasn't seriously hurt, but my feelings were hurt more. So, Yoki and I after class were outside waiting on our ride. And here drives up Dr. King [Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.] in a, I will never forget it, a black, big black car. And when he--I sat in the back seat, and I was just crying, crying. He said, "Child, what's wrong with you?" And I told him what had happened. And to this day, I will never forget. He said, "Child, if that's the worst thing that's going to ever happen to you, you are a blessed child." And I never forgot that. And I had--my tears went away then, because I just sat there and I would think about it: that wasn't really that bad, especially some of the things that I have faced later on in life. But he was being prophetic to me then, at eight years old, that I was going to go through stuff in life, and I had to get used to it.$$Hm, okay. So, what kind of car did he have? Do you remember?$$It was a Buick. I remember the big, black Buick.$$Now, this is 1962, I guess, right, when you were eight?$$Yeah, something like '61 [1961], '62 [1962].$$Did he have a new car, or it was an old, older car?$$It was sort of used, it wasn't brand new. It wasn't fancy. It wasn't huge. You know, it was a regular old car.$$Okay, okay. And do you remember the color? I'm just, I'm just thinking--$$Black.$$Black, okay. I'm thinking it was black in my head, but I don't--$$Um-hm, um-hm. Yeah, black on black. I will never forget that (laughter).$$Well, that's something. So, that's, that is--now he's picking her up himself from--$$Yeah, and that was the only time I ever remember him picking her up. And very rarely did he make our recitals. Because we're now talking, you know, the height of the Civil Rights Movement. So, he was never there.$$Yeah, things really got--$$Yeah, '62 [1962], '63 [1963] (simultaneous).$$--(simultaneous) involved. Yeah, '63 [1963], Birmingham [Alabama], '64 [1964] was, you know, leading into Selma [Selma to Montgomery March] and all that.$$He was never home, never home.$$Yeah, the March on Washington was the next year.$$Right, right.$$So, he was very busy. And, did your parents [Emellen Mitchell Estes and Sidney Estes] know him, I mean, know Dr. King?$$They knew him cursorily, they were not close to him. But they trusted him enough to pick up their daughter and get me home. And then we did, you know, vice versa. So, I guess it's a mutual trust society going on there.$Well, tell us. What was your agenda as president of the National Association of Black Journalists, what--in 1991? What--where were you going to take the organization?$$Well, people tease me. The night I was inaugurated and they announced that I had won and tears were just streaming down my face, I stood up and I told the industry, I said, "You have never dealt with a black woman from the South before." And I meant that, you know, because sometimes they would take advantage of NABJ, a lot of these big news organizations. So, my agenda--$$In what way? What do you mean?$$Well, people who were supposed to get promoted weren't getting promoted.$$Okay.$$Our numbers were not very high at the time (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) Not organizationally, but as individual black people working in the--$$Right, in the newsroom.$$The members of NABJ.$$Now, remember I had from two to three thousand members across the country. It started out at two thousand. By the time I finished, it was up to three thousand. But one thing I did do, we had what we call the Pierre summit. And it was at The Pierre hotel in New York City [New York, New York]. And it was me and every president of journalists of color organizations. There was four of us. And I'm the only woman. But we sat down with the CEOs of every major media company and told them what we had--from Knight Ridder, to the president of the Newspaper Association of America [News Media Alliance], to you know, the Tribune Company [Tribune Media Company], to the Gannett Company [Gannett Company, Inc.], to The New York Times, Washington Post [The Washington Post]. These guys came to that meeting. And for two very long days, and very difficult days, we sat down and we told them why we have a problem in the industry--how the stories aren't being told properly--because your people don't know how to go into these communities. So, that was a major accomplishment. I also think that we did have a significant number of people who entered the business. I even have people now who run up and tell me, kind of embarrasses me, and say, "I remember you when I was in college, and you came to speak. And you inspired me so much." I was like, "Thank you." And now, they're in--they're working journalists, or they're on the air, and doing things like this. So, that was number one, was jobs. Number two was justice in terms of telling the story like it is. And number three was fair representation of the community, because that was not being shown. Merv Aubespin [Mervin Aubespin] used to say that, "Unless people see themselves in the newspaper, they can't use it." And most newspapers, you don't see yourself, you don't see your neighbors, you don't see people of achievement out there. So, people aren't going to buy the papers. And they wonder why there's a problem. So, and we were very, very successful. People were scared, as they put it, of Sidmel [HistoryMaker Sidmel Estes].$$Okay, okay. So, did you get, you know, compliance generally from--I mean were they, did things change any?$$Yeah, it changed. And it--and we did have--even though it was a different administration--we did have the power of the law. You know, the fairness doctrine was still very strong. Equal opportunity and equal hiring was still very strong. People were actually talking about racial issues in the community. And so, that's what I think made the big difference from then, and as--instead of right now.$$Okay. So, anything else from your tenure? Did--as president?$$Well, we created the Ethel Payne scholarship [Ethel Payne Fellowship], which is a scholarship where journalists can go to Africa and spend time there and follow stories from there. And that was a big accomplishment. We su- supported and strengthened the Ida B. Wells Award, which is still being given out to- today. We also put the organization--not only in terms of the number of members, but the--our financial position was tremendous. We were giving out scholarship money right and left. I remember we did one at The Kennedy Center [The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington, D.C.], where we gave out scholarships. So, the fact that--and we started both broadcast short courses during my administration--one at FAMU [Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, Tallahassee, Florida] and the other one at North Carolina A and T [North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, Greensboro, North Carolina]. And those two programs just celebrated their twentieth anniversary. I'm very proud of that.$$Okay, okay. So, you were president from '91 [1991] until--$$Ninety-three [1993].$$Okay.$$And then I was the immediate past president. I was on their board longer than (laughter) than I ever knew.

Malvyn Johnson

Journalist and civil rights activist Malvyn “Mal” Johnson was born July 4, 1924, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Johnson and her four siblings, Alice, Artie, Harvey and Norma, were primarily raised by their mother, Johnnie Reeves Taft, because their father left the family when Malvyn was still young; her mother would later remarry. Johnson attended Temple University, where she earned her B.A. degree while working to pay her own way through school as a riveter in the naval yards, among other jobs.

After graduation, Johnson began working for Veterans Affairs before moving on to become the program director for the local YWCA. Johnson soon married her husband, Frank Benjamin Johnson, whom she had known since she was twelve years old; the couple moved to California until the Korean War separated them, and Johnson was forced to return to her hometown. Because of her husband's service in the Air Force, Johnson and her husband traveled extensively beginning in the mid-1950s, including periods in Redding, England, Maine, and Wyoming. While traveling, Johnson began to teach.

Johnson returned to the United States to attend Springfield University in Massachusetts, where she received her M.A. degree in intergroup relations and community dynamics. Johnson’s husband tragically died at the Westover Air Force Base during the Vietnam War, and Johnson continued teaching. Prior to moving back to Philadelphia, Johnson got a job at the Philadelphia Inquirer as the assistant to the editor; at this time, she also became heavily involved in the Civil Rights Movement.

Johnson eventually left the Philadelphia Inquirer to work with the North City Congress, a Civil Rights organization in Philadelphia, where she worked for two years alongside such luminaries as C. Delores Tucker; she also served as a co-chair of the local NAACP chapter with Tucker. In 1964, Johnson became director of community affairs for WKBS-TV, and worked as the "Cash for Trash" girl. Johnson soon became a news anchor and wrote as a columnist for the Philadelphia Tribune.

In 1969, Johnson was offered a job at Cox Broadcasting Corporation in Washington, D.C. after Barbara Walters and Jim Vance, both close colleagues of Johnson, encouraged her to take the position; she stayed with this organization for twenty-seven years. Johnson was the first female reporter employed by Cox and became the second African American female White House correspondent. Johnson covered five different United States Presidents, as well as Capitol Hill and the State Department. In 1980, Johnson became the Senior Washington Correspondent and the National Director of Community Affairs. Johnson also served as a representative of the United Nations International Association of Women in Radio and Television. Johnson also helped to found the National Association of Black Journalists, and the National Broadcast Association for Community Affairs. In 2000, Johnson left Cox to create her own media consulting firm, Medialinx International.

Malvyn “Mal” Johnson passed away on November 7, 2007, at the age of eighty-five.

Accession Number

A2005.219

Sex

Female

Interview Date

9/20/2005 |and| 1/31/2006

Last Name

Johnson

Maker Category
Schools

John Hancock Demonstration Elementary School

Philadelphia Military Academy

Temple University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Malvyn

Birth City, State, Country

Philadelphia

HM ID

JOH23

Favorite Season

Fall, Spring

State

Pennsylvania

Favorite Vacation Destination

London, England, Solomons Island

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

7/4/1924

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Fish

Death Date

11/7/2007

Short Description

Media consultant and television and radio correspondent Malvyn Johnson (1924 - 2007 ) was the first female reporter for Cox Radio and Television News Bureau in Washington, D.C. and the second African American female White House correspondent. In 2000, Johnson founded Medialinx International, a media consulting firm.

Employment

Young Women's Christian Association

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

RAF Greenham Common

Philadelphia Inquirer

WKBS-TV Philadelphia

Cox Communications, Inc.

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
240,0:1760,13:2080,18:4080,68:4800,81:5680,99:6640,117:6960,122:8080,153:13600,283:18720,373:30928,481:31288,487:31864,499:34240,547:34744,556:35896,579:37552,610:37912,616:38344,623:39136,638:42160,702:50951,769:51899,786:53321,811:54348,836:56481,863:56876,869:57350,881:58693,909:59009,914:62880,977:63196,982:68192,1015:68480,1020:69416,1040:69704,1045:70928,1068:71504,1077:72008,1086:72584,1096:73448,1141:74816,1160:75176,1166:85616,1343:86336,1356:86912,1365:87416,1374:96984,1421:97374,1427:98076,1438:101430,1508:101820,1515:113130,1780:113832,1791:122930,1857:123270,1863:123610,1869:132450,2058:132722,2063:133266,2074:144530,2187:144974,2195:146158,2215:146898,2227:148008,2241:148304,2246:148970,2256:149266,2261:151856,2298:152374,2307:160992,2433:162642,2464:164094,2493:165150,2516:165414,2521:165876,2529:167394,2557:169902,2608:175020,2613:175364,2625:182330,2804:184910,2851:187146,2889:195479,3025:196172,3035:208410,3204:213000,3271:213360,3276:213990,3285:214890,3299:215250,3304:215880,3318:218670,3370:227640,3520:228008,3525:229296,3537:232976,3579:233528,3589:235460,3626:239416,3696:240060,3704:249776,3773:250352,3783:251432,3808:251720,3813:252296,3823:252728,3830:253232,3843:254312,3862:255176,3879:257048,3924:257552,3932:259928,3989:260504,3998:271505,4146:275640,4164:277538,4194:277903,4200:278779,4214:288050,4381:288342,4386:288707,4400:290021,4424:290386,4430:297236,4480:299018,4521:299282,4526:299546,4531:299810,4537:300140,4544:300404,4549:306410,4679:306806,4685:312782,4715:313470,4727:318090,4782$0,0:1858,14:3793,21:4706,38:7196,69:9188,98:9852,108:11180,126:12757,148:13089,153:13670,162:15662,193:15994,198:17654,216:19065,237:19397,242:19729,247:20642,261:21306,271:22717,289:23298,319:29829,347:31143,374:34501,422:35085,432:37348,476:39100,508:39611,515:41582,549:47860,648:49320,673:49831,681:57850,746:58420,753:58895,759:59275,764:60890,780:64595,816:72480,905:78981,945:79702,953:80629,959:82792,992:86191,1028:86706,1038:87324,1045:87736,1050:91286,1062:91656,1074:91952,1079:92544,1088:93210,1099:93802,1109:95504,1128:99204,1174:99722,1183:103200,1251:103496,1256:103792,1261:111638,1335:112340,1345:116702,1395:119144,1428:119440,1433:123510,1518:124398,1534:125212,1548:125804,1561:128616,1617:132390,1698:132834,1705:135572,1842:142149,1876:146692,1947:147308,1956:147847,1965:148463,1975:151543,2025:152082,2032:158240,2069:159740,2085:160265,2093:160940,2103:164315,2154:166490,2207:172115,2300:173090,2315:173615,2324:174215,2334:182870,2408:183710,2421:188570,2504
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Malvyn Johnson's interview, session 1

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Malvyn Johnson lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Malvyn Johnson describes her mother's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Malvyn Johnson describes her mother's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Malvyn Johnson lists her siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Malvyn Johnson describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Malvyn Johnson describes her early homes in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Malvyn Johnson describes her childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Malvyn Johnson describes her stepfather's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Malvyn Johnson recalls her diverse neighborhood and schools

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Malvyn Johnson describes her mother's education and profession

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Malvyn Johnson recalls her experiences with racial prejudice in elementary school

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Malvyn Johnson describes the Philadelphia High School for Girls in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Malvyn Johnson recalls working while attending Temple University

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Malvyn Johnson remembers her experiences at Temple University

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Malvyn Johnson describes how she met her husband

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Malvyn Johnson talks about her husband's service in the U.S. Army Air Force

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Malvyn Johnson recalls her experiences as a housekeeper, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Malvyn Johnson recalls her experiences as a housekeeper, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Malvyn Johnson describes Royal Air Force Greenham Common in Reading, England

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Malvyn Johnson remembers her husband's death

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Malvyn Johnson recalls teaching herself to drive

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Malvyn Johnson describes her position at the Philadelphia Inquirer

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Malvyn Johnson recalls the Civil Rights Movement in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Malvyn Johnson describes the start of her television broadcasting career

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Malvyn Johnson describes her experiences with racial discrimination at WKBS-TV

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Malvyn Johnson remembers her friendship with Pearl Buck

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Malvyn Johnson recalls becoming a White House correspondent

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Malvyn Johnson describes her involvement with the American Women in Radio and Television

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Malvyn Johnson remembers interviewing Senator Richard B. Russell, Jr.

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Malvyn Johnson recalls her trip to Russia with President Richard Milhous Nixon

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Malvyn Johnson remembers fellow journalist Ethel Payne

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Malvyn Johnson recalls her arrest in Johannesburg, South Africa

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Malvyn Johnson describes the Fourth World Conference on Women

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Slating of Malvyn Johnson's interview, session 2

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Malvyn Johnson describes her position with Cox Broadcasting Corporation

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Malvyn Johnson recalls her interviews with politicians

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Malvyn Johnson talks about Cox Broadcasting Corporation

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Malvyn Johnson talks about the members of the U.S. Congress

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Malvyn Johnson describes the founding of the National Association of Black Journalists

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Malvyn Johnson remembers her social gatherings at the Watergate Hotel

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Malvyn Johnson remembers her mentors, Helen Thomas and Sarah McClendon

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Malvyn Johnson remembers reporter Sarah McClendon

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Malvyn Johnson describes her involvement with the American Women in Radio and Television

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Malvyn Johnson remembers President Richard Milhous Nixon's administration

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Malvyn Johnson recalls the United Airlines Flight 553 crash in 1972

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Malvyn Johnson corrects information regarding Sam Ervin and Sam Rayburn

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Malvyn Johnson recalls her coverage of the presidential campaign in the 1970s

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Malvyn Johnson describes her experiences with President James Earl "Jimmy" Carter, Jr.'s administration

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Malvyn Johnson recalls her first meeting with Nancy Reagan

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Malvyn Johnson describes her involvement with the National Women's Conference

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Malvyn Johnson describes her work at the Fourth World Conference on Women, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Malvyn Johnson describes her work at the Fourth World Conference on Women, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Malvyn Johnson describes her involvement with women's rights organizations

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Malvyn Johnson describes government involvement in the 1990s, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Malvyn Johnson describes her government involvement in the 1990s, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Malvyn Johnson describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Malvyn Johnson describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Malvyn Johnson narrates her photographs, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Malvyn Johnson narrates her photographs, pt. 2

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Malvyn Johnson narrates her photographs, pt. 3

DASession

1$2

DATape

4$7

DAStory

3$2

DATitle
Malvyn Johnson recalls becoming a White House correspondent
Malvyn Johnson describes her involvement with women's rights organizations
Transcript
There came a time when [HistoryMaker] Jim Vance, who was the anchor with the NBC affiliate here in Washington, D.C., left Philadelphia [Pennsylvania] to come to Washington?$$Well he was working as the anchor at WKBS [WKBS-TV, Burlington, New Jersey] by then. And he got a--obviously somebody had, had saw him on TV and they invited him to go to work there. Well Jim didn't really want to leave his family, his mother, with whom he was living. So he came in my office to talk to me about this. And I said to him, "You know, I don't count any fools among my friends, you must take this job." So he did. And then three months later I got an offer and I called him up and said, "What do you think?" And he said, "I don't count any fools among my friends (laughter)." So we both ended up in Washington.$$And tell us about the offer that you received?$$I was--the, the first person that hired me turned out to be a good friend. He was the man who was, who had originally been on the soap operas and he turned out to be a good friend to me and he said that I should join the American Women in Radio and Television [Alliance for Women in Media], an organization I had never heard of. And he paid my, my membership for it and I joined it and got totally involved in it and ended up being the president of that chapter in Philadelphia and then ended up being on the national board of directors. And one weekend we were to have the board meeting in Washington. So I traveled down to Washington to the board meeting and when I arrived, there sat this only man on the board. I didn't know the board had a man. It turned out to be the president and CEO of Cox Broadcasting [Cox Broadcasting Corporation; Cox Communications, Inc.] headquartered in Atlanta [Georgia]. And we talked and discussed things and finally he invited me to lunch. And this dummy said, "Well I have these other ladies I'm going to lunch with." He said, "Well I'll take them too." So we all went to lunch and I sat near him and he said to me, you ought to come to Atlanta sometime and I very politely said that I had been there one or two times, but I didn't know Atlanta at all and that maybe I would sometime. Well the next day back in Philadelphia, in my office that Monday, I get this telephone call from him and he said he'd like me to come and visit. So I said, "Well maybe I will." And he said, "Let me send you a ticket and if you really decide not to go then you can just send the ticket back." So when I got the ticket I went into the office of the same general manager and told him and he says, "Let me tell you who this man is." And so he said that he not only taught Truman [President Harry S. Truman] to speak, he was the man who put together the fireside chats for Roosevelt [President Franklin Delano Roosevelt]. And he set all of that up and then he became Mr. Democrat [sic.] because he was running the democratic conventions [Democratic National Convention] and everything (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) His name was?$$J. Leonard Reinsch. And, and everybody knew him in the broadcasting industry and that I should go 'cause he wants to hire you. So I made the arrangements and went, and that was, was my story.$$Okay, and that year was 19-?$$Sixty-nine [1969].$$And they hired you at Cox?$$No, they tried to hire me and I said that I didn't particularly want to move to Atlanta, didn't know a thing about Atlanta anyway, except that I knew Martin Luther King [Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.] and that was only one or two trips. And so I went back to, to Philadelphia and they kept after me for a couple of weeks and finally they asked me what salary would I take. Well I haven't the faintest idea. So I called up Barbara Walters and asked her what I ought to do. And she said, "You ask for twice the amount you're--two and a half times the amount that you are making now and you accept two times that much. And don't--and make 'em put it in writing before you accept." And so I did that and they sent me a telegram with it in write.$$Now let's--and so you were hired?$$I was hired, but then I said I didn't want to move to Atlanta and they said, "Don't worry, we have an office in Washington." So I guess there comes another story because I went--they had setup the appointment and I went to Washington and met the bureau chief who looked at me as if I were crazy and didn't even consider it. So I came back home and called Atlanta and said those people don't wanna be bothered with me in, in, in Washington. And he said I want you to go back next week. When I went back next week, everybody was falling on their knees to get me (laughter). And that's how it started. And they trained me to be a White House correspondent.$$And the date we are looking at, do you remember?$$Yes, March the 3rd, 1969.$You have been active before and after that time working on different women's issues, putting on a number of international and national conferences, both here and abroad and so forth. Could you just briefly outline a couple of them as to what they were?$$Well I became an activist after my husband [Frank Johnson (ph.)] died. As a matter of fact I became a feminist after my husband died and got myself totally involved in trying to raise the condition of women throughout the world, particularly through the United States at first and then I worked toward international projects as well. And I've been involved in a number of them and have gone to every one of the, of the women's conferences that have been held through the years. And they were mostly every five years. And this last one was in 2000 and we did not have one in 2005. But in any case, women have not reached equal status in various areas, like for instance in, in pay equity, in various other issues that, that concern women. Women are not admitted in all-men's clubs and things like that. Women still don't have complete control of their own bodies in terms of abortions or pro-choice, things like that. So there is still lots to do and there are a lot of people that do it. What--we have some great concern is about those in my era know what is was to go through the struggles that we went through, but we have not trained our children about it and they don't know from whence they come. We need to give them more history of the struggle. They think that it was all there all the time, and it wasn't all there all the time. So those are some of the things that, that concern us in the, in the women's movement.$$And you are still active with the American Women in Radio and Television [Alliance for Women in Media] (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) I'm still very much active with International Association of Women in Radio and Television [IAWRT] headquartered in India, and with American Women in Radio and Television and it's, of course, right here in the United States. So--and with the IAWRT, I do travel a lot to various countries around the world.$$Okay. And you are still doing a program with the UN [United Nations] and women?$$I'm still very much involved at the UN. I am the United Nations representative for International Association of Women in Radio and Television. And I still attend their meetings and participate in that and sometimes do workshops on media for them. And I am on their media committee as a matter of fact.