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Rachel Swarns

Newspaper reporter/author Rachel L. Swarns was born in 1967 in Queens, New York. Her father, Joseph H. Swarns, was a real estate agent; her mother, Lucille Swarns, a deputy superintendent for public schools. After graduating from Stuyvesant High School in 1985, Swarns attended Howard University in Washington, D.C., and received her B.A. degree in Spanish and African and Caribbean Studies. She went on to receive her M.A. degree in international relations from the University of Kent in Canterbury, England.

Swarns was hired as a newspaper reporter for the St. Petersburg Times from 1989 to 1991, where she covered criminal courts, and then as a police reporter at the The Miami Herald from 1991 to 1995. At The Miami Herald, she covered federal courts, the Los Angeles Riots and immigration, traveling to Haiti and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. She was also part of the Pulitzer-prize winning team that covered the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew. In 1995, Swarns joined The New York Times, where she wrote about the welfare reform policies of former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, the historic visit of former Pope John Paul II to Cuba, and health care and homelessness in Russia. In 1999, Swarns became the Times’ first African American Johannesburg bureau chief. From 1999 to 2003, she covered eleven countries in Southern Africa, and reported on the challenges of racial reconciliation in South Africa, civil strife in Zimbabwe, and the civil war in Angola. Swarns joined The New York Times’ Washington bureau in 2003, where she reported on domestic policy, national politics, and immigration. She wrote about the Presidential elections of 2004 and 2008, and Michelle Obama’s first year in the White House. In 2013, Swarns became a columnist for The New York Times, writing a weekly column entitled, “The Working Life,” which focused on work, the workplace and the evolving New York City economy.

In 2012, Swarns authored American Tapestry: The Story of the Black, White and Multiracial Ancestors of Michelle Obama, a history of First Lady Michelle Obama’s ancestry. Also, a series she wrote on the emergence of a professional black elite class in South Africa was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. Swarns was awarded a visiting fellowship at the Institute for Policy Research and Catholic Studies at The Catholic University of America. She has also served as a Woodrow Wilson Center Public Policy Scholar.

Swarns lives in Washington, D.C. with her husband and two children.

Rachel L. Swarns was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on January 15, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.038

Sex

Female

Interview Date

1/15/2014

Last Name

Swarns

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Lucille

Occupation
Schools

P.S. 16 John J Driscoll School

I.S. 61 William A Morris School

Stuyvesant High School

University of Kent

Howard University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Rachel

Birth City, State, Country

New York

HM ID

SWA02

Favorite Season

Spring

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

Anywhere Near Water

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

7/10/1967

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Seafood, Tropical Fruit

Short Description

Newspaper reporter Rachel Swarns (1967 - ) was the author of American Tapestry: The Story of the Black, White and Multiracial Ancestors of Michelle Obama. She also served as a reporter and columnist for The New York Times for twenty years.

Employment

St. Petersburg Times

Miami Herald

New York Times

Favorite Color

Green and Rose

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Rachel Swarns' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Rachel Swarns lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Rachel Swarns describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Rachel Swarns recalls her mother's immigration to the United States of America

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Rachel Swarns describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Rachel Swarns recalls how her parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Rachel Swarns describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Rachel Swarns describes the St. George neighborhood of Staten Island, New York

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Rachel Swarns lists her siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Rachel Swarns describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Rachel Swarns remembers her street in Staten Island, New York

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Rachel Swarns describes her childhood temperament

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Rachel Swarns recalls her early education at P.S. 16, John J. Driscoll School in Staten Island, New York

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Rachel Swarns describes her home life

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Rachel Swarns describes her relationship with her parents

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Rachel Swarns recalls the development of her racial consciousness

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Rachel Swarns talks about her racial identity

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Rachel Swarns talks about her Caribbean ancestry

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Rachel Swarns recalls her mother's professional pursuits

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Rachel Swarns remembers interning at New Youth Connections in New York City

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Rachel Swarns remembers her student internship at New Youth Connections

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Rachel Swarns recalls the sociopolitical climate of the 1980s

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Rachel Swarns describes her decision to attend Howard University in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Rachel Swarns recalls attending Howard University

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Rachel Swarns remembers her mentors at Howard University

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Rachel Swarns reflects upon her experiences at Howard University

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Rachel Swarns talks about her college journalism internships

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Rachel Swarns recalls her first journalism position at the St. Petersburg Times

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Rachel Swarns remembers joining the Miami Herald

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Rachel Swarns describes how she developed her reporting style

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Rachel Swarns describes the racial demographics of the newsroom at the Miami Herald

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Rachel Swarns remembers receiving a fellowship from the Rotary Foundation

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Rachel Swarns recalls being hired at The New York Times

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Rachel Swarns talks about joining The New York Times

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Rachel Swarns remembers marrying her husband, Henri Cauvin

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Rachel Swarns recalls her experiences at The New York Times

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Rachel Swarns remembers her mentors at The New York Times

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Rachel Swarns talks about her appointment to bureau chief in South Africa

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Rachel Swarns describes her experiences living abroad in South Africa

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Rachel Swarns describes her news coverage of Angola

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Rachel Swarns recalls her sources as bureau chief in South Africa

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Rachel Swarns describes her challenges at The New York Times, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Rachel Swarns describes her challenges at The New York Times, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Rachel Swarns recalls returning from her travels abroad

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Rachel Swarns remembers the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Rachel Swarns talks about internal conflicts at The New York Times

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Rachel Swarns recalls the plagiarism scandal with Jayson Blair

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Rachel Swarns describes her role at the Washington, D.C. bureau of The New York Times

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Rachel Swarns talks about balancing her career with motherhood

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Rachel Swarns remembers her assignments at The New York Times in 2008

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Rachel Swarns describes her coverage of First Lady Michelle Obama

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Rachel Swarns remembers her article about First Lady Michelle Obama's genealogy

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Rachel Swarns recalls her process for writing her book, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Rachel Swarns recalls her process for writing her book, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Rachel Swarns describes her research for her book

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Rachel Swarns remembers the reception to her book

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Rachel Swarns recalls her position as a columnist for The New York Times

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Rachel Swarns describes her column at the New York Times

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Rachel Swarns reflects upon her career

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Rachel Swarns reflects upon her life

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Rachel Swarns talks about the changes in the field of journalism

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Rachel Swarns reflects upon the role of journalism in modern society

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Rachel Swarns describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Rachel Swarns describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Rachel Swarns reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Rachel Swarns reflects upon her generation's legacy

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$6

DAStory

10$4

DATitle
Rachel Swarns describes how she developed her reporting style
Rachel Swarns remembers her article about First Lady Michelle Obama's genealogy
Transcript
So did you in that, in the process, what are you learning about reporting and who is mentoring you, and, and is it--are there a lot of women, you know, we're coming to a point there are a lot of women in the newsroom.$$Yeah, there were a good number of women in the newsroom. And there were a couple of people at the Herald [Miami Herald] who were helpful. Sydney Freedberg [Sydney P. Freedberg] who probably by now has three Pulitzers [Pulitzer Prize], had two I think maybe then. And she sat near me. And you know she was a very accomplished person; I was a--I, I was hired as a police reporter. And quite frankly I was out of my league initially when I got there. I had, I had very good clips as they say, my articles were very good because I was a really strong writer. And also I tended to look at you know, at how things worked and, and looking behind things, not just what was seen. You know just the news of the day. So my clips were very strong in that way. But I was not the strongest hustler in terms of you know, you know I, I just wasn't.$$Getting behind, getting, getting behind?$$Well just--I think I was--I had a, I had a more leisurely way (laughter). Even though you know, I, I was a good deadline writer. Like I said, I was writing two and three stories a day. But I, I sometimes saw stories as--back then as, as a whole in and of themselves. I did not kind of follow where they led and I didn't think about the next one. This one leads to this and what follows that. I, I just did not--I wrote my story, there, okay. I'm gonna write another story. So she was, she was really helpful. One of the most important lessons I learned as a journalist I learned from her. I had gotten a tip from someone, and I even forget how the tip came, that a white police officer had raped a young black woman. And I was new, I didn't know anybody, I didn't know how I could figure it out. Florida has very good public record laws. So I requested and got the documents; but they were all redacted and you know I couldn't figure out that--I, I found out the name of the officer, but I think that's what I knew, I knew the name of the officer. And I knew that he was on leave, but everything was redacted about it. Even, you know, he was on leave but you know, even why he was on leave. And I went to my editor and I said to him, "You know what? I got this tip; I need some time, you know to try and see if I can get the story." He was like, "Are you kidding? You know, are the--you are the new police reporter, you're not gonna take two weeks to, you know, dive into something that we don't even know what's going to come of it. No way." So I remember going back to my desk feeling so discouraged and Sydney must have overheard me, or maybe I had mentioned it to her. And she asked me what happened. I said, "Well you know, oh well." She said, "Did he tell you what to do after work?" I said, "No." She said, "Did he tell you what to do on the weekends?" I said, "Well if I'm not working, no." She said, "You can do as much or as little as you want about this story." And it was the most empowering thing that anyone ever told me. It was about kind of being able to set your own agenda within the parameters of what--so during the day I wrote about shootings and whatever. And then on the weekends I, I figured out where this was, this incident supposedly occurred. I went--I, I handed out my card. She said, "Have you done everything?" I was like, "No." She was like, "Do everything." And finally one day I had the case number. I called the police department [Miami Police Department], the records unit and I said, "I've got case number blah, blah, blah, blah, and I'm just looking for the, the address of the incident." And the person looked it up and laughed. I remember he was a man, he laughed. He said, "Who are you?" And you can't lie about who you are. I said, "I'm with the Miami Herald," and he gave me the information. And I went, I found the woman and it was a banner head--you know, story across the front page. And it was really--it was just really empowering because it told me A, that you know my instincts, I shouldn't, you know underestimate my instincts. And that there's always a way, whether your editor believes in you or not, there's a way.$What I understood when I was just preparing for this, you had, you had said that you had wanted--you did the article ['In First Lady's Roots, a Complex Path from Slavery,' Rachel L. Swarns and Jodi Kantor] and you know, you, you actually hired a genealogist [Megan Smolenyak].$$The Times [The New York Times], The Times--we asked The Times. And actually it wasn't for me. We--one of my colleagues right before the inauguration was doing an article about the president [HistoryMaker President Barack Obama] and his rainbow family and decided well we don't know much about Michelle [Michelle Obama]. So we asked a genealogist to, you know, do some research. And you know we didn't give her enough time and so she didn't come up with anything you know, substantive for that story. But you know the genealogist kept working and working and working. And then she came back to us and said in September of that first year they were in the White House and said, "You won't believe, you know, what I've come up with."$$So you know what's interesting--'cause that's how genealogists are, they get--$$They get hooked. I know.$$It doesn't matter what you say or not.$$Right, right.$$And so was she a person--I just, just--was it a, was it a person who had covered the black community before, or knew?$$She, she was a genealogist and she was very familiar with, you know, the complexities and challenges of, of African American genealogy. And so she knew I think even more than we did when we asked her to look, that this was not gonna be a kind of quick and easy kind of thing.$$So what, what--how does the book ['American Tapestry: The Story of the Black, White and Multiracial Ancestors of Michelle Obama,' Rachel L. Swarns] materialize? Because you've said that you first wrote an article, right? And then that sort of--$$Led to--$$And then a publisher--$$Contacted me, right.$$HarperCollins [HarperCollins Publishers LLC] contacted you. So can you tell the story from that point?$$Right, so the article that ran in October of 2009, the first year the Obamas was in--were in the White House. That article was about the first lady's great-great-great-grandmother whose name was Melvinia [Melvinia Shields], and she was a slave girl valued at $475. And her great-great-great-grandfather who was a white man [Charles Marion Shields] whose identity was a mystery. And you know this was news to the first lady herself. And a day after the article appeared, I got an email from an editor at HarperCollins saying, "That's really cool, what about a book about her whole family tree?" I was like, oh I, you know I had really--in fact I, I really did not think seriously about it. I told my husband [Henri Cauvin] I didn't think there was any way that we could, could make it work. You know you have to take an unpaid leave and you know, I, I'd never written a book before. I had no idea what, you know what would such a book--what would such a book say? What would it be? And--but you know doing that research for the article, it was the first time that I had actually spent time doing historical research trying to find out more about Melvinia and Melvinia's son [Dolphus Shields] and, and the family as they moved from the South, north. And it was compelling and remains compelling to me in ways that I never expected. And my husband said, "You know I think you have to do it." And so I did and it was really amazing. I think if I had come across this work--well you know I don't know. The, the foreign stuff was such a pull, I don't know. But if I had come across this passion earlier in life, if I might have changed; I might have, yeah I don't know, gotten a Ph.D. in history or something. It's so compelling (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) Well you know--

Lynn Norment

Ebony Magazine Senior Staff Editor Lynn Aurelia Norment was born in Bolivar, Tennessee. Norment was born the third child in a family of nine to Alex Norment and Esther Morrow Norment. Her father was the owner of a local appliance sales and repair shop called Norment's Radio and T.V., and her mother worked as a licensed practical nurse at Western State Hospital. During her elementary school years, Norment attended the all black segregated school in Bolivar known as Bolivar Industrial Elementary. Norment went on to the vocational school where she was a member of the Beta Club and the school's newspaper staff. In 1969, the racial integration of Tennessee schools offered Bolivar's African American community the opportunity to transfer to the predominantly white Bolivar High School. Norment was amongst those who helped to integrate the high school. She graduated from Bolivar High School in 1970.

Later, in the fall of 1970, Norment attended Memphis State University where she received a full academic scholarship. Norment graduated magna cum laude in 1973 with her B.A. degree in journalism and then worked as an intern for the Memphis based newspaper, The Commercial Appeal. From 1973 to 1977, Norment was a general assignment reporter, religion editor and investigative reporter. In 1977, she went off to Chicago to pursue work as a freelance writer for Ebony Magazine. Ebony agreed to hire Norment and assigned her to write an update story on R&B singer Al Green. Norment followed Al Green for two days, without the use of a recorder or a notepad, to complete the story.

In 1991, Memphis State University honored Norment by recognizing her as one of its "Outstanding Journalism Alumni." A member of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ), Norment was chairperson for NABJ's 1997 Convention in Chicago which was attended by President William J. Clinton. In 2000, Norment was chosen as NABJ's chairperson for the association's 25th Anniversary. She now serves as NABJ's vice president and is on several of its committees. In addition, Norment is a board member of a Chicago based rehabilitation agency, Habilitative Systems, Inc.

Norment lives in Chicago, Illinois and serves as a member on the Editorial Board of Ebony Magazine. She writes and edits various columns for Ebony Magazine including "Sisterspeak," "Ebony Advisor" and "Money Talks."

Norment was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on February 6, 2008.

Accession Number

A2008.012

Sex

Female

Interview Date

2/6/2008 |and| 1/20/2012

Last Name

Norment

Maker Category
Occupation
Schools

University of Memphis

Bolivar Industrial Elementary

Bolivar Central High School

Bolivar Elementary School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Lynn

Birth City, State, Country

Bolivar

HM ID

NOR04

Favorite Season

Fall, Spring

State

Tennessee

Favorite Vacation Destination

Jamaica

Favorite Quote

Do Your Best.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

2/14/1952

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Pasta, Shrimp, Salad

Short Description

Magazine editor Lynn Norment (1952 - ) was the senior staff editor for Ebony Magazine. She wrote and edited various columns for the magazine including "Sisterspeak," "Ebony Advisor" and "Money Talks." Norment also served as the National Association of Black Journalists' vice president and on several of its committees.

Employment

The Commercial Appeal

Ebony Magazine

Carol H. Williams Advertising

Favorite Color

Golden Yellow

DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Lynn Norment's interview, session 1

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Lynn Norment lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Lynn Norment talks about her mother's education and profession

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Lynn Norment describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Lynn Norment talks about her mother's childhood in Whiteville, Tennessee

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Lynn Norment describes her paternal aunts and uncles

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Lynn Norment remembers her paternal grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Lynn Norment describes her father's upbringing in Whiteville, Tennessee

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Lynn Norment describes her earliest childhood memories

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Lynn Norment lists her siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Lynn Norment describes her childhood homes

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Lynn Norment recalls her father's occupations

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Lynn Norment talks about the prominence of her father's family

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Lynn Norment describes the sounds and smells of her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Lynn Norment remembers cooking with her sisters

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Lynn Norment talks about her family's Christmas traditions

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Lynn Norment describes her favorite memories of her mother

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Lynn Norment remembers her mother's passing

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Lynn Norment recalls her early love of reading

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Lynn Norment reflects upon the impact of her mother's untimely death

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Lynn Norment recalls attending Bolivar Industrial School in Bolivar, Tennessee

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Lynn Norment describes race relations in Bolivar, Tennessee

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Lynn Norment recalls winning an essay contest as a young girl

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Lynn Norment recalls her trip to Cape Canaveral, Florida

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Lynn Norment talks about school desegregation in Bolivar, Tennessee

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Lynn Norment recalls attending Bolivar Central High School in Bolivar, Tennessee

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Lynn Norment remembers the Civil Rights Movement in Bolivar, Tennessee

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Lynn Norment describes the black-owned businesses in Bolivar, Tennessee

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Lynn Norment remembers befriending a white girl

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Lynn Norment describes her family's complexion

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Lynn Norment remembers Greater Springfield Missionary Baptist Church in Bolivar, Tennessee

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Lynn Norment recalls competing in the Miss Bronze West Tennessee pageant

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Lynn Norment remembers the popular culture of her teenage years

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Lynn Norment recalls her decision to attend Memphis State University

Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Lynn Norment remembers her stepmother

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Lynn Norment remembers her father's strict rules

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Lynn Norment describes herself as a student at Memphis State University

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Lynn Norment remembers her friends at Memphis State University

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Lynn Norment describes Greek life at Memphis State University

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Lynn Norment recalls the racial demographics of Memphis State University

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Lynn Norment talks about her journalistic aspirations

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Lynn Norment describes her interest in creative writing

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Lynn Norment remembers following Memphis State University's basketball team

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Lynn Norment recalls writing for the student newspaper at Memphis State University

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Lynn Norment remembers applying for an internship at The Commercial Appeal

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Lynn Norment recalls her first day at The Commercial Appeal

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Lynn Norment remembers Memphis State University President Cecil C. Humphreys

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Lynn Norment recalls investigating housing discrimination in Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Lynn Norment remembers publishing her investigation of housing discrimination

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Lynn Norment describes The Commercial Appeal and other newspapers in Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Lynn Norment remembers Memphis, Tennessee's community leaders

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Lynn Norment recalls covering religion for The Commercial Appeal

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Lynn Norment talks about the history and renovation of Beale Street in Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Lynn Norment remembers childhood trips to St. Louis, Missouri

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Lynn Norment recalls being asked to interview Al Green for Ebony

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Lynn Norment remembers interviewing Al Green

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Lynn Norment recalls her job offer from Ebony magazine

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Slating of Lynn Norment's interview, session 2

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Lynn Norment remembers visiting the Ebony magazine offices

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Lynn Norment describes Al Green's grits incident

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Lynn Norment recalls her interview with Al Green

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Lynn Norment remembers moving to Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Lynn Norment talks about Vernon Jarett and the National Association of Black Journalists

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Lynn Norment recalls her mentors at Ebony magazine

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Lynn Norment remembers the closing of Black World

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Lynn Norment remembers Mayor Richard J. Daley's death

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Lynn Norment talks about working for John H. Johnson at Ebony magazine

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Lynn Norment remembers Johnson Publishing Company's discontinued publications

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Lynn Norment recalls her first articles with Ebony magazine

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Lynn Norment describes how she generated new story ideas

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Lynn Norment recalls her transition to celebrity stories

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Lynn Norment remembers her celebrity interviews

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Lynn Norment recalls her interview with Wesley Snipes

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Lynn Norment remembers working with Anita Baker, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Lynn Norment remembers working with Anita Baker, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Lynn Norment lists the celebrities she interviewed for Ebony magazine

Tape: 7 Story: 10 - Lynn Norment talks about writing relationship articles for Ebony

Tape: 7 Story: 11 - Lynn Norment describes Ebony's approach to celebrity stories

Tape: 7 Story: 12 - Lynn Norment talks about the styling process for photo shoots

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Lynn Norment recalls interviewing Tina Turner following her split from Ike Turner

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Lynn Norment talks about traveling abroad to interview Tina Turner

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Lynn Norment describes her writing process

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Lynn Norment talks about writing an effective headline

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Lynn Norment remembers working with Queen Latifah

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Lynn Norment describes the elements of a good cover shoot

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Lynn Norment lists photographers she worked with at Ebony

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Lynn Norment describes her relationship with Spike Lee

Tape: 8 Story: 9 - Lynn Norment talks about Ebony's practice of showing celebrity homes

Tape: 8 Story: 10 - Lynn Norment remembers interviewing Wynton Marsalis

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Lynn Norment recalls meeting Will Smith and Denzel Washington

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Lynn Norment remembers interviewing Beyonce

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Lynn Norment describes her ideal interview

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Lynn Norment remembers her interview with Michael Jordan and his mother, Deloris Jordan

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Lynn Norment recalls interviewing Denzel Washington on the set of 'Mo' Better Blues'

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Lynn Norment talks about Denzel Washington's family life

Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Lynn Norment recalls John H. Johnson's comments on Denzel Washington

Tape: 9 Story: 8 - Lynn Norment talks about her attempts to write about interracial relationships

Tape: 9 Story: 9 - Lynn Norment describes Lerone Bennett's role at Ebony

Tape: 10 Story: 1 - Lynn Norment remembers Chicago Mayor Harold Washington's election

Tape: 10 Story: 2 - Lynn Norment describes Chicago Mayor Harold Washington

Tape: 10 Story: 3 - Lynn Norment recalls interviewing President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama

Tape: 10 Story: 4 - Lynn Norment talks about the criticisms against President Barack Obama

Tape: 10 Story: 5 - Lynn Norment describes her work with national and local NABJ associations

Tape: 10 Story: 6 - Lynn Norment lists her awards and recognitions

Tape: 10 Story: 7 - Lynn Norment talks about the Chicago Defender

Tape: 10 Story: 8 - Lynn Norment remembers writing about African American businesses

Tape: 10 Story: 9 - Lynn Norment talks about the state of African American publications

Tape: 11 Story: 1 - Lynn Norment recalls her interactions with Will Smith

Tape: 11 Story: 2 - Lynn Norment remembers visiting Lenny Kravitz's home in the Bahamas

Tape: 11 Story: 3 - Lynn Norment describes her interview with Prince

Tape: 11 Story: 4 - Lynn Norment shares her advice to aspiring journalists

Tape: 11 Story: 5 - Lynn Norment talks about the impact of online publications

Tape: 11 Story: 6 - Lynn Norment describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 11 Story: 7 - Lynn Norment talks about her post-retirement activities

Tape: 11 Story: 8 - Lynn Norment reflects upon her life

Tape: 11 Story: 9 - Lynn Norment reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 11 Story: 10 - Lynn Norment describes her family

Tape: 11 Story: 11 - Lynn Norment talks about her volunteer work

Tape: 11 Story: 12 - Lynn Norment describes how she would like to be remembered

Carole Simpson

Award winning journalist Carole Estelle Simpson was born on December 7, 1940, in Chicago, Illinois. Simpson became involved in drama in elementary school and high school, training her at a young age to articulate and project her voice for television and radio. In 1958, Simpson graduated from high school and attended the University of Illinois. After attending the University of Illinois for two years, Simpson transferred to the University of Michigan where she graduated in 1962 with her B.A. degree in journalism; she was the only black journalism major in her graduating class. While pursuing her B.A. degree, Simpson received her first media experience by working at a community newspaper during her summer breaks.

After graduating from college, Simpson was hired as a journalism instructor and publicist at the Tuskegee Institute in Tuskegee, Alabama; she held this position for two years before becoming a graduate student at the University of Iowa, where she chose broadcast media over print journalism. In 1965, Simpson returned to Chicago to become the first woman to broadcast news in the city’s history when she was hired at WCFL Radio. In 1968, Simpson changed stations and began working for Chicago’s WBBM Radio as a news reporter and anchor. While working for Chicago’s WBBM, Simpson covered the Civil Rights Movement and the Chicago Seven conspiracy trial. She also served as a commentator for the public affairs series Our People until 1970. After working for WBBM, Simpson became Chicago’s first black female television reporter, while working for the NBC affiliate, WMAQ-TV. While working as a journalist in Chicago, Simpson also taught journalism courses at Northwestern University.

In 1974, Simpson was hired as a Washington, D.C. correspondent for the NBC Nightly News. In 1982, Simpson joined ABC News as a correspondent and covered then-Vice President George H.W. Bush on his domestic and foreign trips. She also went on to cover his 1988 presidential campaign. In 1986, Simpson reported live from the Philippine Islands on the fall of the country’s president, Ferdinand Marcos. In 1988, she was hired as a Sunday news anchor for ABC’s World News Tonight. In 1992, Simpson was the first woman and minority to ever moderate a presidential debate held at the University of Richmond between George H.W. Bush, Ross Perot and then Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton; the debate was also the first to be held in the town hall meeting format. For ABC’s Nightline, Simpson covered the release from prison of South African civil rights leader Nelson Mandela after twenty-seven years for his anti-apartheid activities; while covering the story, she was beaten by a South African police officer. Throughout the 1990s, Simpson reported on several breaking news stories including the controversial Clarence Thomas-Anita Hill hearings, the Oklahoma City bombing, and the Senate impeachment trial of President Bill Clinton.

Simpson ended her career as a weekend ABC anchor in 2003, but had a contract with the network until 2005. Simpson became the ambassador for the network, traveling throughout the country and speaking in schools. Simpson’s new role consisted of visiting public schools to help students make a sense of the changing media landscape; she launched the program at her old high school in Chicago. Simpson has established six scholarships for women and minorities majoring in journalism at the post-secondary level. In 2007, Simpson was hired as Leader in Residence at Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts.

Accession Number

A2007.249

Sex

Female

Interview Date

9/9/2007

Last Name

Simpson

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Schools

Austin O. Sexton Elementary School

James Wadsworth Elementary School

Hyde Park Academy High School

University of Illinois at Chicago

University of Michigan

University of Iowa

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Carole

Birth City, State, Country

Chicago

HM ID

SIM08

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

Montego Bay, Jamaica

Favorite Quote

Let Go And Let God.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Massachusetts

Birth Date

12/7/1940

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Boston

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Beans (Red), Rice

Short Description

Television news anchor Carole Simpson (1940 - ) was the first African American woman to become a Chicago television reporter, working for NBC affiliate, WMAQ-TV. She went on to become a Washington, D.C. correspondent for the NBC Nightly News, then joined ABC News as a correspondent eventually becoming Sunday anchor of ABC's World News Tonight.

Employment

WCFL Radio

WBBM Radio

WTTW TV

WMAQ-TV

NBC Nightly News

ABC World News Tonight

Emerson College

Favorite Color

Purple

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Carole Simpson's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Carole Simpson lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Carole Simpson describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Carole Simpson describes her maternal grandfather

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Carole Simpson describes her mother

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Carole Simpson describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Carole Simpson describes her parents' occupations

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Carole Simpson describes her parents' personalities

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Carole Simpson describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Carole Simpson describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Carole Simpson remembers the decline of Chicago's Woodlawn neighborhood

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Carole Simpson lists her favorite books

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Carole Simpson describes her older sister

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Carole Simpson describes her sister's singing talent

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Carole Simpson remembers her sixth grade teacher

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Carole Simpson remembers Chicago's newspapers

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Carole Simpson remembers the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Carole Simpson remembers Hyde Park High School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Carole Simpson remembers her grandfather's personality

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Carole Simpson recalls her aspiration to become a journalist

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Carole Simpson recalls attending the University of Illinois at Chicago and University of Michigan

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Carole Simpson recalls her internship at Congressman Gus Savage's newspaper

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Carole Simpson recalls working at the Chicago Public Library

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Carole Simpson describes her experiences in Tuskegee, Alabama

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Carole Simpson recalls learning about color discrimination among African Americans

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Carole Simpson recalls her experiences of racial discrimination in Alabama, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Carole Simpson recalls her experiences of racial discrimination in Alabama, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Carole Simpson remembers civil right protests in the South

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Carole Simpson recalls the assassination of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Carole Simpson recalls her graduate studies at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Carole Simpson talks about her speaking voice

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Carole Simpson remembers joining WCFL Radio in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Carole Simpson recalls her experiences of harassment at WCFL Radio, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Carole Simpson recalls her experiences of harassment at WCFL Radio, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Carole Simpson talks about gender discrimination in journalism

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Carole Simpson recalls encountering racial discrimination during her career, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Carole Simpson recalls encountering racial discrimination during her career, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Carole Simpson recalls working at WBBM Radio in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Carole Simpson talks about her husband, James E. Marshall

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Carole Simpson remembers hosting 'Our People' on WTTW-TV in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Carole Simpson recalls the growing number of black television reporters

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Carole Simpson remembers working at WMAQ-TV in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Carole Simpson recalls the founding of the National Association of Black Journalists

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Carole Simpson talks about her news reporting style

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Carole Simpson recalls her early career in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Carole Simpson recalls overcoming obstacles at NBC News in Washington, D.C., pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Carole Simpson recalls overcoming obstacles at NBC News in Washington, D.C., pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Carole Simpson recalls co-anchoring 'ABC Nightly News'

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Carole Simpson remembers Max Robinson and Roone Arledge

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Carole Simpson recalls the challenges she faced at ABC in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Carole Simpson remembers advocating for equal pay at ABC, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Carole Simpson remembers advocating for equal pay at ABC, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Carole Simpson remembers Max Robinson

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Carole Simpson recalls advocating for diversity at ABC

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Carole Simpson describes the history of news network ownership

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Carole Simpson talks about freedom of speech

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Carole Simpson talks about her memorable news stories, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Carole Simpson talks about her memorable news stories, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Carole Simpson talks about her memorable news stories, pt. 3

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Carole Simpson remembers reporting on Nelson Mandela's release from prison

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Carole Simpson recalls moderating the second presidential debate in 1992

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Carole Simpson reflects upon her career

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Carole Simpson reflects upon her speaking style

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Carole Simpson recalls establishing scholarships for journalists

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

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Carole Simpson reflects upon her life

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Carole Simpson reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Carole Simpson talks about her family

Tape: 7 Story: 10 - Carole Simpson describes how she would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$6

DAStory

11$2

DATitle
Carole Simpson recalls her aspiration to become a journalist
Carole Simpson remembers advocating for equal pay at ABC, pt. 1
Transcript
You were part of, I think we were talking before we started, that you were part of the elite students at Hyde Park [Hyde Park High School; Hyde Park Academy High School, Chicago, Illinois], the smarter students, right?$$(Nods head).$$And so, did you--when you graduated, did you graduate with honors or anything?$$No honors, but I was in the Honor Society.$$Okay. The National Honor Society?$$Yes.$$Okay.$$And I, now you're getting to the important part of my life, and that is trying to become a journalist. I wanted to go to Northwestern University [Evanston, Illinois], which had the Medill School of Journalism [Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications]. And my parents [Doretha Wilbon Simpson and Lytle Simpson] and I had this big fight, because my mother wanted me to get a teaching degree. She was so afraid that I would not be able to take care of myself. You know, if a man left me, God forbid. It was important in her mind that I be able to work and have a job and be able to take care of myself, and teaching was certainly the thing that there was going to continue to be a need for. And she was like, "I don't know about this journalism. I think it's crazy. I mean that's like you wanting to be an actress or something. You're not going to make any money doing that. You can't do that. I mean, you get a teaching degree and then you try this journalism thing. But I want to make sure that you have a teaching certificate." And I was like, "Why should I waste my time? I don't want to teach. I'm not going to be a teacher. I really want to be a journalist." I mean we went back and forth, and back and forth. And finally, I guess I wore them down (laughter). I was stubborn as she was, but I wore her down. And she said, "Okay, if that's what you want to do." So I'm thinking I'm going to Northwestern. I live in Chicago [Illinois], and I've got good grades and all of these activities I was involved in, and I was on the high school newspaper. So, I went up to visit and I had a meeting with an admissions counselor. And he goes, "Why would you want to be a journalist?" And I said, "Because I like to write, I like to report, and that's really what I want to do with my life. I want to tell the stories of people. Communication, I mean it's so important." I was into my free press thing, and everything. And he said, "I'm sorry to tell you this, young lady, but you're not going to get a job in journalism. You ought to go to Chicago Teachers College [Chicago State University, Chicago, Illinois] and become a nice English teacher." I couldn't believe that he said that, which is what my mother wanted me to do. And I was like, "But why can't I be a journalist? I don't want to be a teacher." And he said, "Well, all you're going to be able to work for is the Chicago Defender, or Jet magazine, or Ebony." I said, "No, I want to work for the Tribune [Chicago Tribune], I want to work for the Sun-Times [Chicago Sun-Times]." And he was going, "It's not going to happen." And he said, "You've got three strikes against you. You're a Negro, you're a woman, and you're inexperienced." And I said, "But you're going to give me the experience. I'm going to come to Northwestern (laughter). You're going to teach me how to be good." And he was saying, "You know, you have a nice record, and I think you really should consider being a teacher." So, sure enough, I got the rejection letter a couple of months later, saying, "We regret to inform you that you will not be entering our class of 19--" whatever, '59 [1959] or something. And it was just so hurtful to me, and I cried and cried and cried, and thought about what my mother said. And I was just so disappointed. But then I got mad.$So we decided that we, after several weeks of meeting, that we were going to confront management because--and we did a content analysis of all the shows, 'Nightline,' 'This Week with David Brinkley,' the 'World News Tonight' ['ABC World News Tonight], the overnight news. And my husband [James E. Marshall] did all of the documentation. We did all of the work of checking all of the rundowns and seeing when women appeared, when minorities appeared. And we got together unbelievable graphs and pie charts, and things that my husband made. As an engineer, he was good at that. And we could check out how many minorities were on, and how many--what shows had nobody. And we did it for three months. We did three months' worth of programs, and brought all of this documentation together. And I was chosen to be the spokesperson. They thought, "Well, she's black. They're not going to yell at her that much." (Laughter) And I was one of the senior people there. I was older than most of the younger correspondents, and I wasn't afraid to speak out about this. Again, you get tired of it. It's like I'm sick of hearing this. Why are we still fighting about this stuff in 1985? This is ridiculous. So, I became the spokesperson. And we chose as our opportunity to do this at a meeting, a luncheon that Roone [Roone Arledge] was having for Barbara Walters, who was receiving a big award in New York [New York]. And he thought it would be nice to have all of the women correspondents be there. So they came from all over the country, and the women in L.A. [Los Angeles, California], they didn't know what Washington [D.C.] had cooked up. So we had to get together with them quickly and said we're going to take this opportunity to--since all of top management is going to be here--to bring up this issue of institutional discrimination, that we do not have any women in any decision making roles at all. So, the luncheon was held. Barbara had to run off to do a piece for '20/20,' so the men were left there. And I'm waiting, I am a nervous wreck. It's like here are all these guys here, all of these white guys. I've got my sisters behind me (laughter), and I was the only African American. I was still the only African American correspondent there. And I was like, how am I--where am I going--when am I going to pick a chance to--how am I going to bring this up? (Laughter) How am I going to do it? And so when Barbara had to leave, I stood up and I said, "Well, Barbara, before you go, we just want to raise our glass to you and tell you what an inspiration you've been to all of us, and to thank you for the inroads you've made in making our jobs possible," and so on. And so she said, "Thank you," and we toasted our glasses. And I said, "While I have the floor--." And then I said, "I'd like you gentlemen to look at these documents." They didn't know what the heck was going on. And I had a speech which I memorized, so I could give it extemporaneously. So, I knew it. You know how you write it out and then you memorize it, and then you just talk it. So, I told them that, "We were in a situation, and there's no better chance where we'd get you all together than this, to tell you that we don't have any women doing this. We've done a content analysis of the show." That meeting went on. I gave my presentation and, you know, I raised the specter of legal action, just raised the specter, that some of this stuff, you know, some people might consider illegal to pay equity questions, things like that. And so then the other women joined in and started telling anecdotes of things, "That had happened to me--I covered this story, and then the story was assigned to another man. I'd been out there all day covering this and then you give it to so and so to put on the air. What's the deal? What is going on here?" And for the next two and a half hours we talked, and talked, and talked, and talked.

Sarah-Ann Shaw

Boston’s first African American television reporter, Sarah-Ann Shaw was born, Sarah-Ann King, in Boston, Massachusetts, to Annie Bell Bomar King and Norris King, Jr. Growing up in Roxbury, Shaw’s father, who was active in the Roxbury Democratic Club, took her to lectures at Jordan Hall, the Ford Hall Forum, and Tremont Temple; there, young Shaw met Paul Robeson. Shaw’s mother worked along side the selfless Melnea Cass. Shaw attended William P. Boardman Elementary School and Henry Lee Higginson Elementary School, was a Girl Scout, and was active at St. Mark’s Social Center. A student at Girls Latin School, Shaw was involved with the NAACP Youth Movement; graduating in 1952, Shaw enrolled at Boston University, but left school in 1955 to get married.

Increasingly involved in community activities, Shaw worked with St. Mark’s Social Center and as a member of the Boston Action Group (BAG). Shaw joined other activists like Otto P. and Muriel S. Snowden in 1957; national Student Movement head, Bill Strickland then asked her to head the Boston Northern Student Movement where she coordinated student led voter education, high school tutoring, and economic housing education with the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), BAG, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), and the Unitarians. In 1968, Shaw became involved with Ray Richardson’s Say Brother public affairs show on WBEZ-TV; she would go on to appear on the program more than twenty times. In 1969, Shaw was hired by WBZ-TV 4 as Boston’s first African American reporter; she remained a news reporter at WBZ TV 4 for more than thirty years. As a civil rights organizer and human services advocate, Shaw demonstrated a rare ability to unite Boston residents and tackle big picture issues. At WBZ, Shaw anchored another black oriented public affairs program, Mzizi Roots.

Shaw, who helped define minority affairs programming and news content, received numerous journalistic awards for her work, including an award from the Boston Radio-Television News Directors Association, the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Association of Black Journalists in 1998, and the Yankee Quill Award from the New England Society of Newspaper Editors. Shaw also volunteered for Boston Partners in Education; served as a board member of Boston Neighborhood Network; and served as the President for both the Boston Coalition of Black Women, and the League of Women for Community Service.

Accession Number

A2007.067

Sex

Female

Interview Date

2/13/2007 |and| 9/10/2007

Last Name

Shaw

Maker Category
Middle Name

Ann

Schools

William P. Boardman Elementary School

Henry Lee Higginson Elementary School

Boston Latin Academy

Higginson-Lewis K-8 School

Boston University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Sarah

Birth City, State, Country

Boston

HM ID

SHA05

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Massachusetts

Favorite Vacation Destination

Bermuda

Favorite Quote

I'm Here By Being Careful

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Massachusetts

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Boston

Country

United States

Favorite Food

String Beans

Short Description

Civil rights activist and television reporter Sarah-Ann Shaw ( - ) was the first African American television reporter in Boston.

Employment

Boston Action Group

Boston Northern Student Movement

'Say Brother'

WBZ-TV

Favorite Color

Red

Timing Pairs
0,0:4108,68:7347,122:8058,132:9717,165:10270,173:10586,178:14010,185:15018,194:15774,201:18092,218:18477,224:23626,275:27385,317:27740,323:28095,329:28734,341:30438,374:31503,394:33633,426:39242,534:41230,575:48538,673:49050,682:49434,689:50330,706:50650,712:51610,740:54682,877:55834,905:56218,912:56538,918:58074,957:59802,983:60186,990:60570,1002:60826,1007:61210,1015:61786,1025:66350,1031:74514,1129:75404,1141:76027,1150:78910,1158:79338,1163:79873,1169:80408,1175:83404,1230:86800,1251:88144,1266:89200,1281:95600,1323:96020,1329:97595,1344:98015,1349:101620,1367:101995,1373:102520,1382:103045,1390:111098,1470:111971,1480:112359,1485:113911,1506:114687,1517:115366,1525:116930,1531:117660,1544:118025,1550:119852,1563:122008,1599:122596,1605:124360,1627:124752,1632:128502,1658:129038,1667:129574,1677:129909,1683:140970,1891:141636,1901:142080,1908:142376,1913:142746,1920:153790,1974:155550,1999$0,0:27448,264:28375,280:38880,352:40053,374:47780,445:48428,456:49076,466:52892,513:55268,572:63484,691:66408,749:66680,754:71168,845:71508,851:75820,883:76112,888:76404,893:76696,898:77572,916:96016,1181:96421,1187:106453,1223:111214,1310:113836,1361:114457,1371:125076,1524:125964,1544:146768,1821:152507,1859:152990,1867:190662,2454:202246,2601:202656,2607:208478,2760:208970,2769:209872,2781:217460,2891
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Sarah-Ann Shaw's interview, session 1

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Sarah-Ann Shaw lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Sarah-Ann Shaw describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Sarah-Ann Shaw remembers her maternal aunt's farm in Inman, South Carolina

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Sarah-Ann Shaw talks about her mother's education

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Sarah-Ann Shaw describes her mother's move to Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Sarah-Ann Shaw describes her father's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Sarah-Ann Shaw describes her father's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Sarah-Ann Shaw talks about her parents' move to Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Sarah-Ann Shaw describes her father's career

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Sarah-Ann Shaw describes her parents' personalities and social activities

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Sarah-Ann Shaw remembers her father's community involvement

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Sarah-Ann Shaw describes the leaders of her community

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Sarah-Ann Shaw describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Sarah-Ann Shaw describes the racial history of Boston's Roxbury neighborhood

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Sarah-Ann Shaw describes her community in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Sarah-Ann Shaw describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Sarah-Ann Shaw recalls her early organizational participation

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Sarah-Ann Shaw describes her schooling in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Sarah-Ann Shaw remembers her early interests

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Sarah-Ann Shaw recalls her high school teachers

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Sarah-Ann Shaw describes her experiences at the Girls' Latin School in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Sarah-Ann Shaw recalls her aspirations upon graduating from high school

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Sarah-Ann Shaw describes the radio programs of her youth

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Sarah-Ann Shaw remembers attending dances as a teenager

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Sarah-Ann Shaw recalls attending Camp Atwater in North Brookfield, Massachusetts

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Sarah-Ann Shaw talks about Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Sarah-Ann Shaw describes her community activism

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Sarah-Ann Shaw describes the impact of urban renewal in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Sarah-Ann Shaw recalls the leaders of Boston's Roxbury community

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Sarah-Ann Shaw describes her role in the Northern Student Movement

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Sarah-Ann Shaw describes the Agency Row in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Sarah-Ann Shaw talks about the Northern Student Movement

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Sarah-Ann Shaw recalls the achievements of the Northern Student Movement

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Sarah-Ann Shaw describes the shortcomings of the Northern Student Movement

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Sarah-Ann Shaw talks about the racial demographics of Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Sarah-Ann Shaw describes the creation of the 'Say Brother' television program

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Sarah-Ann Shaw remembers Melnea Cass

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Sarah-Ann Shaw talks about 'Say Brother,' pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Sarah-Ann Shaw talks about 'Say Brother,' pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Sarah-Ann Shaw remembers hosting 'Mzizi Roots'

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Slating of Sarah-Ann Shaw's interview, session 2

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Sarah-Ann Shaw recalls becoming a reporter at WBZ-TV in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Sarah-Ann Shaw recalls her experiences as Boston's first black woman reporter

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Sarah-Ann Shaw remembers the desegregation of the Boston Public Schools

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Sarah-Ann Shaw describes her approach to reporting on the black community

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Sarah-Ann Shaw talks about unbiased media coverage

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Sarah-Ann Shaw remembers Melvin King's mayoral campaign

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Sarah-Ann Shaw talks about the Charles Stuart case

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Sarah-Ann Shaw talks about discrimination in the Boston Police Department

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Sarah-Ann Shaw describes the government of the City of Boston

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Sarah-Ann Shaw recalls her experiences at the majority white WBZ-TV station

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Sarah-Ann Shaw describes her commitment to unbiased reporting

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Sarah-Ann Shaw talks about her racial identity

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Sarah-Ann Shaw remembers the protests at Boston City Hall Plaza

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Sarah-Ann Shaw recalls the topics on 'Mzizi Roots'

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Sarah-Ann Shaw describes her guests on 'Mzizi Roots'

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Sarah-Ann Shaw talks about the decline of public access television

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Sarah-Ann Shaw remembers mentoring young black journalists

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Sarah-Ann Shaw describes her advice to young black journalists

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Sarah-Ann Shaw describes the National Association of Black Journalists, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Sarah-Ann Shaw describes the National Association of Black Journalists, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Sarah-Ann Shaw talks about her retirement

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Sarah-Ann Shaw describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Sarah-Ann Shaw reflects upon her life

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Sarah-Ann Shaw reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Sarah-Ann Shaw talks about her family

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Sarah-Ann Shaw describes how she would like to be remembered

DASession

2$2

DATape

5$6

DAStory

5$6

DATitle
Sarah-Ann Shaw describes her approach to reporting on the black community
Sarah-Ann Shaw describes her guests on 'Mzizi Roots'
Transcript
Then as time went on I started doing after school (unclear) schools desegregation calmed down so I started to do a lot of different kinds of stories. I tried to do stories that showed positive events happening in the black community and not just--for a two-fold purpose. I thought it was important particularly for young black kids to see themselves not on television for fighting, for doing drugs, et cetera. But for doing something positive, for them to have a positive image of themselves and I also thought it was important for people who lived outside the city--white people who didn't live in Boston [Massachusetts] who lived in the suburbs to know that there were positive things happening in the black community. That there were people who lived in Roxbury [Boston, Massachusetts], in Dorchester [Boston, Massachusetts], Mattapan [Boston, Massachusetts] who went to work every day, who went to church every week, who raised families, who were as concerned about--who were buying houses, who were just as concerned about achieving the American dream as these people who lived in the suburbs. What I tried to do was to present the kinds of stories that would allow people to see that there was more than one side to the black community. In those days you could do a lot more. I hardly ever--I find the news now very, very lacking. Very seldom do you see those kinds of stories about the black community. It's mostly someone got shot, someone got arrested, something else happened. You don't really see stories about kids who are doing something in school. You don't see kids who are being entrepreneurial. I'm sure that the same way kids do lemonade stands to raise money for good causes in the suburbs that there are kids in the inner city doing the same thing but you don't really see it. But that's what I did, I was at BZ [WBZ-TV, Boston, Massachusetts] for thirty-one years and during that time I tried the best I could to be even handed and fair and that to me was important.$What do you think was your most significant show on ['Mzizi Roots']--?$$I don't know because we covered such a wide variety. I remember I had [HistoryMaker] Harry Belafonte on talking about Africa and the situation in Africa and then I had the South African tour band but then I also had people like Jimmy Slyde who is a preeminent tap dancer who was well known around the world as a tap dancer. So I think that I tried to do--I tried to do a variety of different things that illustrated who black people were, what they had accomplished and what they could do. I'd do history shows--black history shows, I would do shows about black people in Boston [Massachusetts] who had accomplished things. I can't even say what I would consider to be the most significant show because to me all of them were significant because they all had their own story they told, they all had a point that they were making so I don't think I can say one above the other. But they were all interesting, I mean as I said. I tried to participate when Jimmy Slyde the tap dancer was on he said, "Let me show you some steps," and there I was trying to (laughter) tap dance with Jimmy Slyde. Or people would come in--I tried to participate. I wish I had some of those tapes now because there were a lot of interesting people. If people were well-known who were coming to town for something else, we would get them on the show. We would get them to be on the show if they were in town at Harvard [Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts] lecturing, we'd get them to come on the show. If they were in town playing someplace, we'd get them at Storyville [Boston, Massachusetts] or some of the other clubs; we'd get them to come on the show. So there was a lot of--Joe Williams was on the show who sang with Count Basie. So there were many, many different music, politics, cooking shows, you name it we tried to do it.$$It seems like Boston is the kind of place that has a, in terms of black history, there's all kinds of people have had some kind of connection with Boston. Everybody from Malcolm X lived here; Dr. King [Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.] lived here at one time. I don't think there's any other city where (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Malcolm's nephew was on the show talking about Malcolm.$$Du Bois [W.E.B. Du Bois] you know you can go down the line, everybody was here at some point.$$The African Meeting House [Boston, Massachusetts]--the people who built African Meeting House those people. David Walker, the appealed David Walker, you know there's a lot of black history in Boston. Black people lived on Beacon Hill [Boston, Massachusetts], they owned Beacon Hill practically--not that they owned it but this is where they lived and then it wasn't a fashionable place to live but that's where they lived until they moved to South End [Boston, Massachusetts], and then out.

Monroe Anderson

Journalist Monroe Anderson III was born on April 6, 1947, in Gary, Indiana. Growing up and attending public schools in Gary, Anderson developed a keen interest in writing at an early age. After graduation from high school in Gary, Indiana, Anderson attended Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana, and received his B.A. degree in journalism and English literature. After completing his B.A. degree, Anderson worked as a reporter at the National Observer, as assistant editor of Ebony magazine, and as a correspondent for Newsweek magazine prior to joining the Chicago Tribune. In the late 1980s, Anderson worked as the press secretary for democratic Mayor Eugene Sawyer.

Later in his career, Anderson taught feature writing at Columbia College Chicago, and for thirteen years he was director of station services and community affairs at WBBM-TV (CBS2). During this time at CBS television station in Chicago, he became host and executive producer of the public affairs television show, Common Ground. Anderson is one of the co-authors of the nonfiction book Brothers, which was published by William Morrow & Company in 1988. During Anderson’s thirty-five-year career as an award-winning journalist, Anderson became a contributing author to Restoration 1989: Chicago elects a new Daley, a book published by Lyceum in 1991 detailing the 1989 Chicago mayoral election.

In 2003, Chicago publisher Hermene Hartman named Anderson as editor of N’DIGO, a black community newspaper, and in 2003, Anderson became the editor of SaVoy magazine. Anderson also serves as a board member to the Gilda’s Club, a cancer support center.

Anderson lives in Chicago, Illinois.

Accession Number

A2006.144

Sex

Male

Interview Date

11/16/2006 |and| 11/21/2006

Last Name

Anderson

Maker Category
Occupation
Schools

Pulaski Elementary School

Lincoln Achievement Center

Theodore Roosevelt College and Career Academy

Indiana University

Search Occupation Category
Speakers Bureau

Yes

First Name

Monroe

Birth City, State, Country

Gary

HM ID

AND03

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Indiana

Favorite Vacation Destination

Jamaica

Favorite Quote

Living Well Is The Best Revenge.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

4/6/1947

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Chicken

Short Description

Journalist and editor Monroe Anderson (1947 - ) was the press secretary for Chicago mayor Eugene Sawyer. He was also the editor for N'Digo and SaVoy magazines.

Employment

Newsweek

Ebony Magazine

Chicago Tribune

WBBM-TV

N'DIGO

Savoy magazine

Chicago Sun-Times

Favorite Color

None

Timing Pairs
0,0:640,34:3600,106:14735,178:15209,185:17263,232:17658,238:19238,281:25953,422:26822,452:50578,784:50866,789:56814,827:69495,927:73915,995:74425,1002:106291,1434:107263,1451:109936,1502:110503,1510:114634,1577:122535,1673:123385,1687:131545,1819:132480,1838:137270,1855:137837,1864:143426,1990:144803,2021:151752,2091:152298,2099:153546,2123:153936,2129:154482,2137:165756,2278:180248,2514:180644,2524:183420,2545:187245,2602:205234,2845:214078,2933:214782,2982:215230,2990:236990,3289:237314,3294:237881,3302:252050,3537:253240,3572:255060,3610:256880,3653:263808,3766:268296,3857:268648,3862:269088,3868:270320,3895:270848,3902:275512,3986:280910,4030:281691,4048:287158,4192:290282,4255:290637,4261:292980,4308:301237,4394:313260,4617$0,0:4050,77:6642,108:6966,113:16020,211:20532,271:30110,378:38066,492:38612,500:55210,628:57420,664:60395,692:65905,753:66580,792:99750,1248:105892,1363:106188,1368:130158,1583:148990,1926:153930,2026:155374,2050:155754,2058:164060,2127:165200,2159:187391,2493:187975,2503:190895,2569:198955,2633:199247,2638:201145,2681:210560,2803:210920,2809:214808,2873:216104,2898:230328,3113:230736,3120:234544,3200:287360,4027:287710,4037:292252,4065:336810,4801
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Monroe Anderson's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Monroe Anderson lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Monroe Anderson describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Monroe Anderson describes his maternal grandparents' relationship

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Monroe Anderson remembers his maternal grandmother and great-grandmother

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Monroe Anderson recalls his early work experiences

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Monroe Anderson describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Monroe Anderson talks about how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Monroe Anderson describes his parents' return to Gary, Indiana

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Monroe Anderson remembers his home in Gary, Indiana

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Monroe Anderson describes the history of Gary, Indiana

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Monroe Anderson talks about his father's profession

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Monroe Anderson remembers his relationship with his father

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Monroe Anderson talks about his relationship with his mother

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Monroe Anderson describes his community in Gary, Indiana

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Monroe Anderson talks about the notable residents of Gary, Indiana

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Monroe Anderson remembers his brother

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Monroe Anderson recalls being injured in a scalding accident

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Monroe Anderson describes his early educational experiences

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Monroe Anderson remembers his fifth grade teacher

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Monroe Anderson recalls the influence of his English teacher

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Monroe Anderson remembers his early interest in journalism

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Monroe Anderson describes his theater experiences at Theodore Roosevelt High School in Gary, Indiana

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Monroe Anderson remembers his math teachers at Theodore Roosevelt High School

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Monroe Anderson recalls a lesson from his English teacher

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Monroe Anderson recalls joining the football and basketball teams at Theodore Roosevelt High School

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Monroe Anderson talks about his early religious experiences

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Monroe Anderson describes his childhood personality

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Monroe Anderson recalls his experiences of bullying

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Monroe Anderson remembers his summer job at the U.S. Steel Corporation's Gary Works in Gary, Indiana

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Monroe Anderson recalls being fired from the U.S. Steel Corporation's Gary Works

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Monroe Anderson recalls obtaining a position at the Republic Steel Company in Gary, Indiana

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Monroe Anderson recalls his first impressions of Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Monroe Anderson recalls his first impressions of Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Monroe Anderson talks about being harassed at Indiana University

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Monroe Anderson describes his professors at Indiana University

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Monroe Anderson recalls his social and academic challenges at Indiana University

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Monroe Anderson remembers his first car

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Monroe Anderson recalls switching his major to English

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Monroe Anderson talks about his interest in the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Monroe Anderson remembers the student movement at Indiana University

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Monroe Anderson talks about the start of his journalism career

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Monroe Anderson recalls covering the anti-war protests in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Monroe Anderson remembers being assaulted by the police during the anti-war protests in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Monroe Anderson reflects upon his summer internship at Newsweek

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Monroe Anderson describes his activities after his internship at Newsweek

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Monroe Anderson recalls his interest in the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Monroe Anderson talks about his social life

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Monroe Anderson recalls a student protest at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Monroe Anderson remembers applying for journalist positions

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Monroe Anderson recalls working for The National Observer

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Monroe Anderson remembers interviewing the cast of 'Hair'

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Monroe Anderson remembers his celebrity interviews

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Monroe Anderson recalls joining the staff of Ebony magazine

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Monroe Anderson remembers meeting Billy Dee Williams

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Monroe Anderson describes his experiences at Ebony magazine

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Monroe Anderson recalls his challenges at Ebony magazine

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Monroe Anderson remembers John H. Johnson's leadership

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Monroe Anderson recalls his first investigative article for the Chicago Tribune

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Monroe Anderson remembers the National Black Political Convention in Gary, Indiana

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Monroe Anderson describes his early experiences at the Chicago Tribune, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Monroe Anderson describes his early experiences at the Chicago Tribune, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Monroe Anderson recalls his news coverage of Operation PUSH

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Monroe Anderson talks about his investigation of automotive repair shops

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Monroe Anderson recalls his investigation of cafeteria food in the Chicago Public Schools

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Monroe Anderson talks about his transition to columnist at the Chicago Tribune

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Monroe Anderson recalls investigating the black tax in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Monroe Anderson remembers his investigation of Noah Robinson, Jr.

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Monroe Anderson talks about the mayors of Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Monroe Anderson recalls the opposition to Chicago Mayor Jane Byrne

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Monroe Anderson remembers the boycott of ChicagoFest

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Monroe Anderson describes Harold Washington's mayoral campaign

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Monroe Anderson recalls the news coverage of Chicago's mayoral election in 1983

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Monroe Anderson describes his experiences covering Chicago City Hall

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Monroe Anderson describes his disputes with editor James D. Squires at the Chicago Tribune

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Monroe Anderson recalls his decision to leave the Chicago Tribune

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Monroe Anderson recalls returning to Newsweek as a Midwest correspondent

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Monroe Anderson describes his experiences as a Newsweek correspondent

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Monroe Anderson remembers writing 'Brothers' with Sylvester Monroe

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Monroe Anderson remembers Chicago Mayor Harold Washington, pt. 1

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Monroe Anderson remembers Chicago Mayor Harold Washington, pt. 2

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Monroe Anderson recalls Mayor Harold Washington's press secretaries

Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Monroe Anderson recalls becoming the press secretary for Chicago Mayor Eugene Sawyer, pt. 1

Tape: 9 Story: 8 - Monroe Anderson remembers the election of Chicago Mayor Eugene Sawyer

Tape: 9 Story: 9 - Monroe Anderson recalls becoming Chicago Mayor Eugene Sawyer's press secretary, pt. 2

Tape: 10 Story: 1 - Monroe Anderson recalls his experiences as the press secretary to Chicago Mayor Eugene Sawyer

Tape: 10 Story: 2 - Monroe Anderson remembers travelling with Chicago Mayor Eugene Sawyer

Tape: 10 Story: 3 - Monroe Anderson describes his experiences of political corruption in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 10 Story: 4 - Monroe Anderson remembers Chicago Mayor Eugene Sawyer

Tape: 10 Story: 5 - Monroe Anderson describes his challenges as press secretary to Chicago Mayor Eugene Sawyer

Tape: 10 Story: 6 - Monroe Anderson recalls Chicago Mayor Eugene Sawyer's reelection campaign, pt. 1

Tape: 10 Story: 7 - Monroe Anderson recalls Chicago Mayor Eugene Sawyer's reelection campaign, pt. 2

Tape: 10 Story: 8 - Monroe Anderson remembers working for WBBM-TV in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 10 Story: 9 - Monroe Anderson recalls hosting the 'Common Ground' television program

Tape: 11 Story: 1 - Monroe Anderson remembers his celebrity interviews on 'Common Ground'

Tape: 11 Story: 2 - Monroe Anderson recalls joining the board of the National Association of Black Journalists

Tape: 11 Story: 3 - Monroe Anderson talks about writing his novel

Tape: 11 Story: 4 - Monroe Anderson recalls his attempts to publish his novel

Tape: 11 Story: 5 - Monroe Anderson describes his chapter in 'Renaissance 1989: Chicago Elects a New Daley'

Tape: 11 Story: 6 - Monroe Anderson recalls becoming the editor of N'DIGO magazine

Tape: 11 Story: 7 - Monroe Anderson talks about becoming the editor of Savoy magazine

Tape: 11 Story: 8 - Monroe Anderson describes his column in the Chicago Sun-Times

Tape: 11 Story: 9 - Monroe Anderson remembers his friend, Leanita McClain

Tape: 11 Story: 10 - Monroe Anderson talks about the difference between a columnist and a television host

Tape: 12 Story: 1 - Monroe Anderson talks about grieving the death of his friend, Leanita McClain

Tape: 12 Story: 2 - Monroe Anderson reflects upon his life, pt. 1

Tape: 12 Story: 3 - Monroe Anderson describes his plans for the future

Tape: 12 Story: 4 - Monroe Anderson reflects upon his life, pt. 2

Tape: 12 Story: 5 - Monroe Anderson reflects upon his legacy and how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 12 Story: 6 - Monroe Anderson narrates his photographs, pt. 1

Tape: 12 Story: 7 - Monroe Anderson narrates his photographs, pt. 2

DASession

1$2

DATape

5$7

DAStory

2$5

DATitle
Monroe Anderson remembers being assaulted by the police during the anti-war protests in Chicago, Illinois
Monroe Anderson talks about his investigation of automotive repair shops
Transcript
Well, there are signs, there were signs in the park [Lincoln Park, Chicago, Illinois] that had been there said, "Park closes at eleven p.m." Now, if you are a middle-aged white person walking through the Chicago [Illinois] park at three o'clock in the morning, hanging out in the park, the only thing a policeman is gonna say to you is, "Are you crazy," but they're not gonna arrest you or mess with you or anything like that. But, because they were young kids and protestors, eleven o'clock comes and the police were masked, full riot gear, helmets, face mask, they've removed their badges that I- identified them with the excuse being that the protestors may rip them off and use them as a weapon by them. But in the process of removing the badges, they are now a faceless mob. They announced and, and, and we're sort of back where we can hear, but we're not there. They announce that the park is closed eleven o'clock. That they have to disperse. In, in, in, in, in the, in the, in the street lighting you see a bottle fly from where the protestors are towards the police. Now--$$Oh god (simultaneous).$$--(simultaneous) I later learned that it's an agent provocateur, but at that time it looked like the demonstrators had attacked the police. So, they immediately start wading in and beating the living daylights out of people, shooting tear gas, and we're on the corner of LaSalle [Drive] and Clark [Street] and I decide this middle-aged reporter and I worked--white, Irish reporter while working with, John Culhane who was thirty-five at the time which I thought quite old for some strange reason (laughter), but anyway we, we started going against the crowd because these people are headed southbound away from the park down Clark Street and some of them are bleeding, bloody where they're beaten by the cops. So, we head into the crowd.$$With the cameras and everything?$$No, with our notepads, but we had our riot helmets on--$$Right.$$--and our press credentials hanging around our neck. We don't get very far. We get as far as, I'm having a mental block, but there's a Baptist church on Clark Street, black Baptist church, we get that far, it's about a half block off of LaSalle, god I'm, I'm blanking and I know the name of the church, but anyway, we get that far and it occurs to us the cops have just beaten the living daylights out of anybody who doesn't have a blue uniform on. I mean they were just whacking people. So we run into the church yard, you know to get out the way, and of course in American mythology a church is a sanctuary. It wasn't for us that day. Cops come to the fence and say, "Come out of there MFs."$$Come out of there what?$$MFs. (Unclear) is it okay for me to say the word. I, I will say what they said, but I'm trying to not say it, but I think you get the idea.$$Yeah.$$Yeah and as we come through the gate they beat us with their nightsticks. I have the dubious honor or being one of the first journalists beaten by the Chicago police.$$How incredible.$$So, they beat us, they--yeah. You know and I had grown up in, in the quasi ghetto, not the hard ghetto, but a block, block away from public housing projects [in Gary, Indiana] and never felt the sting of a policemen's nightstick until then. And so they're beating us and what they're doing is they're hitting us on the back and shoulders and in the kidneys and on the knees, yeah they're trying to hurt us, and you know and they hit us in the head, but the helmets protected us.$$Blocked that.$$Yeah. No, but, but for people who, anybody who is playing football you still get your, when you take a blow to the head you still get your bell rung. There is just no, I mean you know--$$Yeah, yeah.$$--it rattles your brain and what have you. So, we come out of there and then what I see is they've formed, the police have formed a gauntlet down Clark Street and they're beating people from one cop to the next cop to the next 'til they get past LaSalle street where it stops. And you know up until that time I'd always thought of myself as a humanitarian, but as I'm taking these blows, as they're beating me from one to--I'm trying--$$Oh my god.$$--to find another body to take one of those licks for me.$$Gee.$$I mean since, well as I later discovered 'cause again I didn't know anything about nightsticks, they're wood, but with lead on the inside--$$Oh my god.$$--so it's incredible. So, they beat us all the way down to LaSalle, you know it was a half a block. It was not a really huge distance, because we didn't make it in that far. But they beat us down to the corner and then we're done.$Let's see my break at the Tribune [Chicago Tribune] because I was just doing obituaries and I was doing not very great stories, but my break came in '76 [1976] when I got assigned to do invest- an investigative report with Bill Gaines [William Gaines] who was a Pulitzer Prize winning investigative reporter there, and Bill and I did this auto repair investigation, which I may have mentioned.$$Yes briefly.$$Yeah okay, but yeah right exactly because, yeah okay so, but I'll go, I'll go into greater detail. What we did was we had company, Tribune pool cars, it was Chevrolet Novas and we had, we had arranged to have the cars broken, different parts of the cars broken, by this auto repair instructor, this automob- automotive instructor at Waubonsee College [Waubonsee Community College], which was way out in, I, I forget the place now, but it's way out in the suburbs, a forty-five minute drive out. So, what we'd do is we'd go out there and either he would, he would, he would, he would either unplug or cut a hole in the vacuum hose so our brakes didn't work well. I'm sorry, so when our, our, our--$$Exhaust.$$Yeah trans- transmission didn't work right because it wasn't getting the right flow, fluid and so the car would jerk along like that. He would do something to the master cylinder so our, our brakes weren't working well, but I mean these were very specific defects that, that we knew how much they should cost to be repaired according to the Chilton repair book and their fees. And so over a three month period of time we took these cars out to fifty-two repair shops, dealerships, et cetera, places that fix cars. We got ripped off half the time. I mean we had one, an Amoco [BP Amoco Corporation; BP Corporation North America Inc.] where they, they rebuilt the transmission at one we went to the on the North Side [Chicago, Illinois]. Then we took it to one on the South Side [Chicago, Illinois] and which we had to drive, I had to drive the car through mud because it had been painted and looked so spanking new. My cover story I told the guy a friend of mine that sold me the car a week before and that I was having problem with, with it, it was, it was jerking along. So, he, he tells me we need the transmission rebuilt, so same transmission had been rebuilt by one, this one, one Amoco and then it's getting (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Just weeks later.$$Yes, it's getting redone again. But, we had all these experiences and then we ran, ran the series, which was incredibly popular. I mean it had an incredible because a lot of people have cars. Gene Siskel who was just at that time just a film critic at the Tribune. He was pretty much starting off. But he told me he didn't even drive and he had joined the series. But, but, but, okay as a result of this Mayor Daley called for these investigations. He changed the law, the consumer law in the city where now today in Chicago [Illinois] if you take your car in for repair they have to tell you how much they think, they have to give you an estimate on how much they think it's gonna cost and if that estimate, the actual cost is gonna be 10, 10 percent more than whatever they estimated, they have to call you and tell you that and so not to say that you still can't be ripped off, but--$$Yeah, but what a remarkable accomplishment.$$Exactly, yeah exactly and this, this is how as I mentioned we, we were on 'The Phil Donahue Show' because we had these incredible headlines with our investigation for five days in a row just with one, one series of things that had happened and, and Phil Donahue's people had seen, seen the newspapers 'cause he was here in Chicago at the time. His show was done out of Chicago, and so he had us on. It was Bill Gaines, myself, and, and Cecil Armstrong, the, the automotive professor. It was just the three of us on for the entire show, and of course that's when I told you my father [Monroe Anderson, Jr.] was really excited, but I mean all my, all my family, I mean everybody watched. And after the show was done, that was the first time I got recognized from TV because I was, afterwards I was walking down Michigan Avenue and some people had seen the show recognized me and came up to talk to me, you know I was like--that's when I first started thinking of the power of TV.$$Yeah.$$Now because before that I, I, I never thought that I could be on TV.$$Right, the media and the images.$$Yes exactly. Okay but I did three, we won, we, we won some awards, reporting awards for that, so I became an award winning investigative reporter.$$Was that your first award as, as an investigative reporter, you have of course numerous awards.$$Yeah, yeah and most of them were from (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Was that the actually the first?$$Yeah that was my first.

George White

Pulitzer Prize winning journalist George Gregory White was born on December 3, 1953, in Detroit, Michigan, to Edna and George Bernard White. White was an accomplished student, and his teachers observed his journalistic skills at an early age. He received a scholarship to attend Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan, where he graduated with honors with his B.S. degree in journalism and history in 1975. He eventually obtained his M.A. degree in African history in 1981, also from Michigan State University.

White’s first job was at the Minneapolis Tribune from 1975 to 1979. After obtaining his M.A. degree, White worked as a regional correspondent with the Detroit Bureau of U.S. News & World Report from 1982 to 1984. In 1984, White began working for the Detroit Free Press as a reporter and columnist. In 1988, White applied and began working as a reporter and special projects editor at the Los Angeles Times, where he would remain until 1999.

While working for the Los Angeles Times, White’s profile rose considerably in the wake of the 1992 Los Angeles riots. White received a Pulitzer Prize alongside the rest of the L.A. Times team for their coverage. White was honored with an “Outstanding Dedication” citation from the Los Angeles Press Club. In 1994, White was again the recipient of a Pulitzer for his reporting on the Northridge, California Earthquake of that year. In 1995, White also profiled sweatshop slavery in El Monte, California.

From 1992 to 1994, White served as chairman of the Unity Media Access Project, a media education program in Southern California that was cosponsored by the Black Journalists Association of Southern California, the California Chicano News Media Association and the Los Angeles Chapter of the Asian American Journalists Association. In 1993, White received a Unity Award from the Black Journalists Association for his work in the field of community outreach. White has served on the diversity committee and the international news committee of American Society of Newspaper Editors, and was co-chair of the Committee on Diversity at the Los Angeles Times from 1992 to 1994. White is assistant director of UCLA’s Center for Communications and Community. He is also the editor of Context, a journal on media and communities, as well as C3 Online, which reports on communications and community development.

Accession Number

A2006.054

Sex

Male

Interview Date

3/28/2006 |and| 4/1/2006

Last Name

White

Maker Category
Occupation
Schools

Schulze Elementary School

Samuel C. Mumford High School

Michigan State University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

George

Birth City, State, Country

Detroit

HM ID

WHI08

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Michigan

Favorite Vacation Destination

Brazil

Favorite Quote

If First You Don't Succeed, Try, Try Again.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

12/3/1953

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Los Angeles

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Salmon

Short Description

Newspaper reporter George White (1953 - ) was honored twice with the Pulitzer Prize while working as a journalist for the L.A. Times. White is also assistant director of UCLA’s Center for Communications and Community.

Employment

New York Times

Washington Post

Minneapolis Tribune

U.S. News and World Report Magazine

Los Angeles Times

Center for Communications and Community

Ford Foundation

Favorite Color

Green

Timing Pairs
0,0:228,5:1976,42:3952,90:6308,199:7448,218:15124,347:15808,361:16568,372:16872,377:17328,384:17632,389:18088,396:19152,483:30705,619:41695,882:43120,902:43495,908:46246,918:46676,924:56734,1060:57094,1066:58030,1082:58534,1092:58894,1098:61460,1113:62310,1126:63330,1139:64265,1153:65115,1164:65795,1174:72488,1266:81884,1360:85496,1421:85916,1433:89696,1521:96886,1617:105324,1687:106455,1701:123148,1915:124078,1962:132851,2054:136946,2135:138493,2165:141620,2175:142131,2184:142788,2196:149869,2365:150453,2375:159110,2403:163040,2435:164462,2475:164778,2480:166516,2514:167859,2553:179720,2639:186646,2743:195246,2881:195942,2901:197682,2962:211092,3212:211340,3217:211588,3222:225182,3521:225510,3608:230266,3689:236744,3816:247920,3890$0,0:1650,59:1970,64:2930,79:8770,232:9090,237:9650,245:13730,340:14050,345:23250,541:32630,620:32954,625:34169,668:34817,680:35384,689:35789,695:40325,805:46886,869:47276,875:54764,1024:55388,1045:66562,1202:71464,1275:73356,1310:74130,1320:77070,1333:77570,1339:87332,1484:87780,1493:91178,1533:91598,1603:104959,1806:107660,1851:108353,1861:111202,1941:113127,1971:123464,2144:124220,2152:125084,2161:125948,2171:127082,2185:127474,2190:127964,2196:131198,2242:132766,2265:134824,2303:144044,2420:145880,2470:146152,2475:147240,2504:148464,2542:151252,2585:153496,2651:154584,2691:154992,2705:162739,2832:167212,2939:167567,2946:167851,2951:171899,3020:173003,3059:174107,3080:175556,3131:177626,3180:181628,3270:183008,3296:183698,3317:184802,3347:190466,3394:192908,3440:193278,3446:199086,3504:201924,3545:205141,3582:212400,3722
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of George White's interview, session 1

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - George White lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - George White talks about his parents, Edna Finney White and George White

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - George White describes his father's childhood on his family's farm

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - George White describes his paternal grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - George White describes his immediate family

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - George White describes his father's education

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - George White describes his family's occupations

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - George White describes World War II's impact on Detroit's economy

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - George White lists the Detroit neighborhoods where he grew up

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - George White describes his childhood neighborhood in Detroit, Michigan

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - George White recalls his family's perception of politics in the 1960s

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - George White remembers President John Fitzgerald Kennedy's assassination

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - George White remembers Detroit's Beaubien Junior High School

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - George White recalls briefly attending Cass Technical High School

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - George White recalls his interest in writing

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - George White recalls notable alumni of Samuel C. Mumford High School

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - George White recalls demanding African American studies in high school

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - George White recalls his musical interests at Samuel C. Mumford High School

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - George White explains his decision to attend Michigan State University

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - George White remembers meeting Robert Green at Michigan State University

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - George White recalls writing for Michigan State University's State News

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - George White explains why he majored in journalism and African studies

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - George White remembers becoming editor of the Grapevine Journal

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - George White describes campus life at Michigan State University

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - George White remembers his internship at The New York Times

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - George White recalls interning at The New York Times and The Washington Post

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - George White recalls joining the staff of the Minneapolis Tribune

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - George White describes his assignments at the Minneapolis Tribune

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - George White recalls covering a rebellion on the Red Lake Reservation, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - George White recalls covering a rebellion at the Red Lake Reservation, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - George White recalls earning his master's degree at Michigan State University

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - George White remembers working for U.S. News and World Report

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - George White recalls being hired by the Detroit Free Press

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - George White describes his job at the Detroit Free Press

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - George White remembers joining the Los Angeles Times

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - George White describes working for the Los Angeles Times

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - George White describes the racial demographics of the Los Angeles Times staff

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - George White recalls topics he covered for the Los Angeles Times, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - George White recalls writing on international trade for the Los Angeles Times

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - George White remembers the Los Angeles Times' coverage of the riots of 1992

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - George White remembers meeting Vernon Jarrett

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - George White remembers forming a diversity committee at the Los Angeles Times

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - George White recalls the creation of the UNITY Media Access Project

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - George White recalls being assigned to cover the retail beat

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - George White remembers covering the Carole Little murders

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - George White describes the details of the Carole Little murders

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - George White recalls how his Carole Little story led to further success

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Slating for George White's interview, session 2

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - George White remembers his marriage

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - George White recalls receiving a lead on a slave ring in the apparel industry

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - George White remembers the raid on a slave ring in El Monte, California

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - George White explains the details of the El Monte slave ring

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - George White recalls public responses to the El Monte slave ring

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - George White reflects upon his accomplishments at the Los Angeles Times

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - George White recalls considering becoming a self-employed media consultant

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - George White recalls leaving the Los Angeles Times

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - George White describes his work at the University of Southern California

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - George White describes the University of California's Center for Communications and Community

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - George White recalls being hired by the Center for Communications and Community

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - George White describes his work with the Center for Communications and Community

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - George White recalls organizing a forum on Los Angeles gang violence, pt. 1

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - George White recalls organizing a forum on Los Angeles gang violence, pt. 2

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - George White recalls his audit of racial discrimination in media coverage

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - George White remembers the creating a new media outlet in Hartford, Connecticut

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - George White explains the impact of the Internet upon community based media

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - George White describes a featured article on the Center for Communications and Community

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - George White reflects upon his career

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$6

DAStory

2$3

DATitle
George White remembers meeting Robert Green at Michigan State University
George White recalls the creation of the UNITY Media Access Project
Transcript
As a consequence, I was actually admitted through something they called the developmental program at Michigan State [Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan]. And this was largely used to bring in people of color. And it's ironic, because I ended up graduating--I know I'm leaping forward here a little bit, but I don't want to forget this. End up graduating with honors from Honors College [Michigan State University Honors College, East Lansing, Michigan], which is a special college at Michigan State, you know, for students that excel. So--$$Now, did Dr. Robert Green [HistoryMaker Robert Green] have anything to do with that?$$Well, he had a lot to do with a lot of my life during my undergraduate years at Michigan State. Let me tell you how I met Bob Green. And this relates to these Mumford [Samuel C. Mumford High School, Detroit, Michigan] alums who I was introduced to by my music teacher. These guys were all heavily involved in student politics, particularly black student politics. And as a freshman, they arranged for me to be named director of the Office of Black Affairs [OBA], which was an organization that received university funding. They provided, put the--the OBA put together special programs for black students. We had a budget and offices in the Student Services Building. And being precocious, I didn't run from that opportunity. I said, "Sure, I'll be director." And we were on the third floor of the Student Services Building at Michigan State, the same floor that the State News is located, which is the daily student newspaper. And I guess it might have been my first term, or it might have been my second. But one of the students came into the Office of Black Affairs and said, "Come quick, Dr. Green--" they were speaking of Dr. Robert Green, "--is raising hell at the State News office." So, I walked down the hall to find out what was going on. Now the State News was, and still is today, one of the best student newspapers in the country, it's got this great tradition.$$Okay.$$At that time they had won, I think at least four Pacemaker Awards, which is the award for the best college newspaper in the country. They had never had a freshman on the staff. You don't work for the State News if you're a freshman. If you're lucky, you can get a job--if you're lucky you can get a job there if you're a junior or senior, you know. I walked down the hall, and Dr. Green is standing in the middle of the room, and he's talking to the top editors of the paper. And he's saying "Where are the black staff members?" There were none. And the editor--I came in and the editor was responding about it, and he was saying, "Well, we haven't had any blacks apply." And I'll never forget Walter [ph.], one of these Mumford alums, who got me involved in this. And Gerald Ethan [ph.] was the other guy. But immediately Walter said, "Well, here's George [HistoryMaker George White], he's applied." I hadn't applied for anything, but I had enough sense to keep my mouth shut. (Laughter) I was shocked, number one, at what was going on. And then suddenly I was like, you know, Walter's saying, "Here's George, he applied." And the editor responded, "Well, come back tomorrow, and we'll get your paperwork filled out, and we'll get you on the staff," (laughter).$$Just like that?$$Just like that. Just like that, I became (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Now, what was Walter's full name?$$It was, what was Walter's name? I'm going to have to really think and get that to you, because I think he's probably doing something important somewhere today. They were all, this whole clique of Mumford guys were pre-law students. I mean, they all wanted to go to--Michigan State didn't have a law school, they were just--but they were getting prepared to go to law school.$$Okay.$$And I'll think of, hopefully think of Walter's name later.$Concurrently, the Ford Foundation [New York, New York] was also looking at the riots [Los Angeles riots], and looking at how the media seemed to be caught totally off guard, knowing that the coverage of communities of color in this very diverse area and region was very poor, wanted to do something about it, and they were willing to spend some money. And the program, one of the program directors at the time put her head together with our friend, Gayle Pollard, Gayle Pollard-Terry, and they did some brainstorming along with a few other folks, and developed something called the UNITY Media Access Project. I mean, that wasn't what it was called. Initially, the idea was to create a media education or a media outreach program that would get journalists out into the community and get the community more informed about how the news media works. This was all the three major journalism organizations of color--the local chapter of the NABJ, that's the National Association of Black Journalists, the local of the Asian American Journalists Association [AAJA], and the California Chicano News Media Association [CCNMA], which is actually the largest journalism association of color, one year older than NABJ.$$Okay.$$But confined here to California, obviously. They got together and decided it would be a coalition effort. And three people from each of those journalism associations sat on the board, and decided to call it the Unity Media Access Project, and they would be the board of directors. And the story of my life it seems, they said, "Let's let George [HistoryMaker George White] chair this" (laughter). And I was drafted. And even though I was not involved, you know, early on in, you know, in the advising and development--I was too busy with the diversity committee, you know, and my reporting.$$Right.$$And, but there were some conflicts among some members of the group, and they thought I was the only one that could resolve it and keep everybody walking together and moving forward.$$Okay.$$So, I agreed to do it. And again, it was voluntary, we didn't get paid for it. We did have a paid staff; we had a budget of a hundred thousand dollars a year. And in over three years we did thirty--ten a year--thirty media education projects and programs.$$Okay.$$We did these in the summer. These were five-hour programs. Typically, we'd start off with a person from the field of public relations, talking about how to a press release, how to do a news conference, and how the news process works in TV versus newspapers versus radio, et cetera. Then we'd have a person who'd been in the news, not a newsmaker, not someone who's always in the news, but someone who had just recently happened to get in the news--$$Right.$$--and talk about his or her experience dealing with the news media; someone who doesn't have professionals working for them in other words to deal with the news media.$$Right.$$And then we would have a free lunch. And that would bring out some of the journalists who weren't part of the program, just for the free lunch. Not just for that, but the hope was to get other journalists to come out, not those on the program. Because the whole idea was to, one of the ideas was to help them expand their source base, to develop sources. But we did each program in different parts of Southern California, reaching out, you know, making sure we touched every ethnic community. At the free lunch we would have, you know, TV anchorpersons or executive editors, or publishers, high profile folks to give a speech. Then we'd close the program with a journalist roundtable, where we had typically three or four journalists talk about the dos and don'ts of dealing with the news media.

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.

Sylvester Monroe

Journalist and best selling author Sylvester Monroe was born August 5, 1951 in Leland, Mississippi. Raised by his mother, Hattie Mae Monroe Kelley, in Chicago’s housing projects, Monroe attended John B. Drake and Douglas Elementary Schools. At Phillips High School, Monroe and two friends were introduced by a teacher to the United States Office of Economic Opportunity’s “A Better Chance” program, which led to his enrollment and graduation from the elite college preparatory, St. George's School in 1969. After graduation, Monroe applied and was accepted into Harvard University. During the summers, Monroe interned at Foote, Cone and Belding and Newsweek magazine. Monroe graduated from Harvard University, cum laude with a B.A. in social studies in 1973.

Starting as a full time correspondent in Newsweek’s Boston bureau, Monroe covered the Kenneth Edelin abortion trial and school desegregation in South Boston. He served as Newsweek’sChicago correspondent and from 1976 to 1978, as Deputy Bureau Chief from 1978 to1983 and as Boston Bureau Chief from 1983 to 1985, when he joined Newsweek’s Washington bureau. Monroe won several awards for his reporting on such stories as “Why Johnny Can’t Write”, “American Innovation”, and the three part series “Why Public Schools are Flunking”. Monroe covered Harold Washington’s successful Chicago mayoral campaign in 1983 and Reverend Jesse L. Jackson’s bid for the U.S. presidency in 1984. In 1987, Newsweek featured a cover story about Monroe’s return to Chicago’s housing projects to follow up on eleven of his childhood friends. The story, “Brothers” co-authored with Newsweek senior editor, Peter Goldman, developed into a best selling book, Brothers: Black and Poor—A True Story of Courage and Survival. Monroe joined TIME Magazine in 1989 as a Los Angeles-based correspondent. There, he worked as a principal reporter for post riot coverage of the Rodney King trial, as well as on the 1993 cover story, “Is L.A. Going to Hell?” and a 1994 feature about Minister Louis Farrakhan. Monroe became deputy managing editor of the San Jose Mercury News in 2001, but later that year joined the Atlanta Journal – Constitution as Sunday editor for the National /Foreign Desk. In 2006, Monroe joined the staff of Ebony Magazine as Senior Editor, where he was political editor and covered Barack Obama's presidential campaign. Since leaving Ebony in 2009, he has worked as a freelance editor and writer for several publications including The Root.com and The Defendersonline.com. Most recently, Monroe has been a contract editor and writer on the Corporate Citizenship Team at Oracle Corp. and Oracle Education Foundation.

A former vice president of the National Association of Black Journalists, Monroe served on the board of St. Georges Preparatory School and is a frequently sought after as a public speaker.

Monroe, who still considers Chicago home, has a son, Jason and lives in Atlanta.

Accession Number

A2005.204

Sex

Male

Interview Date

8/25/2005 |and| 11/30/2012

Last Name

Monroe

Maker Category
Schools

St. Georges School

John B. Drake Elementary School

John J. Pershing West Middle School

Harvard University

Wendell Phillips Academy High School

Douglas Elementary School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Sylvester

Birth City, State, Country

Leland

HM ID

MON05

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Mississippi

Favorite Vacation Destination

Brazil

Favorite Quote

Some People See Things That Are And Ask Why? I Dream Things That Never Were And Ask Why Not?

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

8/5/1951

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Steak (T-Bone)

Short Description

Author, newspaper editor, and magazine correspondent Sylvester Monroe (1951 - ) has served as a correspondent and Bureau Chief in Newsweek’s Boston bureau, and Los Angeles correspondent for TIME magazine. He later joined the Atlanta Journal – Constitution as Sunday editor for the National/Foreign Desk.

Employment

Newsweek Magazine

Time Magazine

San Jose Mercury-news

Atlanta Journal Constitution and Cox Enterprises, Inc.

Ebony Magazine

Marketplace

The Tavis Smiley Show

Favorite Color

Black

Timing Pairs
170,0:962,12:1402,18:5024,55:6176,78:6464,83:11908,141:12648,152:12944,159:13610,177:13906,182:14646,194:14942,199:15386,298:16126,311:21528,446:25006,572:25598,581:26190,596:26782,608:27152,614:28336,640:29076,653:29372,658:31000,690:40116,757:44133,797:44369,802:45077,819:53966,995:54426,1001:56686,1019:56990,1024:57674,1034:58054,1041:60562,1091:61018,1098:61550,1107:62462,1124:63450,1149:64438,1173:64742,1178:65274,1187:65578,1192:66110,1201:68314,1242:69302,1265:69834,1275:74920,1293:75244,1301:75784,1352:84123,1445:86537,1497:86821,1502:90158,1578:90442,1587:90939,1595:99360,1732:100560,1753:101085,1763:103185,1818:103785,1828:106335,1900:106860,1913:117522,2022:118471,2081:119201,2094:121172,2236:121902,2247:122559,2259:124165,2309:124457,2314:130732,2374:131064,2379:131396,2386:132558,2432:133139,2440:133554,2447:134467,2459:134882,2465:135380,2472:135878,2479:140184,2517:140529,2523:144609,2585:145120,2593:150798,2750:157521,2873:162360,2927:166000,3007:168590,3075:177846,3195:178776,3221:182062,3320:182310,3325:187414,3418:188900,3438$0,0:1014,40:2028,59:4134,147:9828,264:10140,269:11310,287:12870,311:13728,325:14742,339:17628,404:18174,414:32250,595:32718,602:33498,611:34200,621:34668,634:36930,727:37398,736:41064,804:42234,828:45861,835:57950,1112:58258,1117:63022,1148:70320,1301:77044,1415:78520,1434:78930,1440:84818,1463:88314,1544:89758,1580:90366,1589:91582,1608:94470,1686:99826,1758:101776,1806:102946,1822:104584,1860:104974,1870:106456,1955:125298,2264:128946,2356:131530,2449:133126,2491:133430,2496:135938,2534:144424,2628:147388,2705:147996,2714:148756,2728:149440,2739:157707,2892:158377,2903:158846,2911:162397,3002:163134,3016:163402,3021:170090,3136
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Sylvester Monroe's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Sylvester Monroe lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Sylvester Monroe describes his maternal family history, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Sylvester Monroe describes his maternal family history, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Sylvester Monroe describes his maternal grandfather

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Sylvester Monroe describes his mother's life in Leland, Mississippi

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Sylvester Monroe describes his father

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Sylvester Monroe talks about his father's return to Mississippi after the Korean War

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Sylvester Monroe talks about his mother's family moving to Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Sylvester Monroe describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Sylvester Monroe describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Sylvester Monroe describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Sylvester Monroe describes the familial love he received as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Sylvester Monroe remembers his childhood in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Sylvester Monroe details his elementary school education in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Sylvester Monroe describes his elementary and middle school teachers

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Sylvester Monroe talks about the impact of religion in his childhood

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Sylvester Monroe talks about his love of music

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Sylvester Monroe describes his high school years

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Sylvester Monroe describes his interest in reading

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Sylvester Monroe remembers his experience in A Better Chance summer program

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Sylvester Monroe recalls his acceptance to St. George's School in Middletown, Rhode Island

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Sylvester Monroe describes the presence of the Black P. Stone Nation in his youth

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Sylvester Monroe describes his time at Wendell Phillips High School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Sylvester Monroe remembers arriving at St. George's School in Middletown, Rhode Island

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Sylvester Monroe describes his first night at St. George's School in Middletown, Rhode Island

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Sylvester Monroe remembers being homesick at St. George's School in Middletown, Rhode Island

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Sylvester Monroe describes adjusting to St. George's School in Middletown, Rhode Island

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Sylvester Monroe talks about integration at St. George's School in Middletown, Rhode Island

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Sylvester Monroe describes his decision to attend Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Sylvester Monroe describes the contrast between his school and home environment

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Sylvester Monroe describes his summer jobs in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Sylvester Monroe describes the lives of his friends after A Better Chance program, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Sylvester Monroe describes the lives of his friends after A Better Chance program, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Sylvester Monroe talks about his internship with Newsweek during the 1968 Democratic National Convention

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Sylvester Monroe describes his freshman year at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Sylvester Monroe describes the cultural isolation he felt at Newsweek and Time

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Sylvester Monroe talks about the rise of the black middle class

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Sylvester Monroe describes the revolutionary mindset of the 1970s

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Sylvester Monroe remembers black intellectuals at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Sylvester Monroe talks about interracial relationships in academia

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Sylvester Monroe remembers anxiety around his racial identity at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Sylvester Monroe describes his writing about black students at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Sylvester Monroe talks about African American organizations at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Sylvester Monroe describes his major at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Sylvester Monroe describes his social studies major at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Sylvester Monroe describes his college roommate's struggles, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Sylvester Monroe describes his college roommate's struggles, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Sylvester Monroe describes influential professors at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Sylvester Monroe describes his summer internships at Foote, Cone and Belding and Newsweek in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Sylvester Monroe remembers covering HistoryMaker Kenneth Carlton Edelin's trial for Newsweek

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Sylvester Monroe remembers reporting on school desegregation for Newsweek's Boston bureau

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Slating of Sylvester Monroe's interview, session 2

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Sylvester Monroe describes Newsweek's stance on race during the 1970s and 1980s

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Sylvester Monroe describes his journalistic mission

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Sylvester Monroe recalls important news stories from 1973

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Sylvester Monroe describes his mentors at Newsweek's Chicago bureau

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Sylvester Monroe remembers his childhood impression of Chicago politics

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Sylvester Monroe talks about reporting on the Robert Taylor Homes in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Sylvester Monroe talks about Harold Washington's election as mayor of Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 8 Story: 9 - Sylvester Monroe remembers covering HistoryMaker Reverend Jesse L. Jackson's 1984 presidential campaign

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Sylvester Monroe talks about HistoryMaker Reverend Jesse L. Jackson's 1984 presidential campaign

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Sylvester Monroe describes the controversy around HistoryMaker Reverend Jesse L. Jackson's 1984 campaign, pt. 1

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Sylvester Monroe describes the controversy around HistoryMaker Reverend Jesse L. Jackson's 1984 campaign, pt. 2

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Sylvester Monroe shares his thoughts about HistoryMaker Reverend Jesse L. Jackson's alleged anti-Semitic remarks

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Sylvester Monroe describes the legacy of HistoryMaker Reverend Jesse L. Jackson

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Sylvester Monroe describes Newsweek's reluctance to spotlight stories about African Americans

Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Sylvester Monroe describes returning to the Robert Taylor Homes as a Newsweek reporter

Tape: 10 Story: 1 - Sylvester Monroe describes the origin and publication of his article 'Brothers'

Tape: 10 Story: 2 - Sylvester Monroe describes the creation of his book, 'Brothers: Black and Poor - A True Story of Courage'

Tape: 10 Story: 3 - Sylvester Monroe talks about the onset of the crack epidemic in the 1980s

Tape: 10 Story: 4 - Sylvester Monroe describes the impact of the crack epidemic in the late 1980s

Tape: 10 Story: 5 - Sylvester Monroe describes changes in news media during the 1990s

Tape: 10 Story: 6 - Sylvester Monroe talks about the stories he covered for Time magazine

Tape: 10 Story: 7 - Sylvester Monroe remembers writing about the Million Man March for Emerge magazine

Tape: 11 Story: 1 - Sylvester Monroe remembers interviewing Nelson Mandela after his release from prison

Tape: 11 Story: 2 - Sylvester Monroe describes his Emerge story on Nelson Mandela's release from prison

Tape: 11 Story: 3 - Sylvester Monroe describes landing an interview with HistoryMaker Minister Louis Farrakhan

Tape: 11 Story: 4 - Sylvester Monroe describes his Time cover story on HistoryMaker Minister Louis Farrakhan

Tape: 11 Story: 5 - Sylvester Monroe talks about his role as a reporter

Tape: 11 Story: 6 - Sylvester Monroe describes his jobs following his departure from Time magazine in 2000

Tape: 11 Story: 7 - Sylvester Monroe describes his time as Sunday national editor of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and as senior editor for Ebony

Tape: 12 Story: 1 - Sylvester Monroe remembers his time as senior editor at Ebony magazine in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 12 Story: 2 - Sylvester Monroe remembers the election of HistoryMaker President Barack Obama

Tape: 12 Story: 3 - Sylvester Monroe talks about writing 'The Africa You Don't Know' for Ebony

Tape: 12 Story: 4 - Sylvester Monroe describes his concerns for the African American community

Tape: 12 Story: 5 - Sylvester Monroe reflects upon his life

Tape: 12 Story: 6 - Sylvester Monroe reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 12 Story: 7 - Sylvester Monroe describes his family

Tape: 12 Story: 8 - Sylvester Monroe describes how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$2

DATape

3$8

DAStory

3$5

DATitle
Sylvester Monroe describes his interest in reading
Sylvester Monroe describes his mentors at Newsweek's Chicago bureau
Transcript
There I met Leroy Lovelace who was my freshman English teacher; this is a guy from Cincinnati [Ohio], very strict teacher. A guy who taught literature with a passion I mean we were freshmen in high school [at Wendell Phillips High School; Wendell Phillips Academy High School, Chicago, Illinois], this guy was teaching us 'The Rubaiyat' of Omar Khayyam. And we thought Mr. Lovelace, what's a Rubaiyat (laughter) he said, "Don't worry about it, just read it," (laughter). "Look it up in the dictionary." 'The Charge of the Light Brigade' [Alfred Lord Tennyson] and his favorite book of all, a book that I still love to this day which he taught us as high school freshmen which was 'Moby Dick' [Herman Melville]. And you know I've rea- I, I would said I have ready 'Moby Dick' certainly not as many times as he has, because he taught it perennially. But I have maybe read 'Moby Dick' seven or eight times, cover to cover.$$Now that's a deep book, I mean (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) And every time I read it, I find something that I didn't see before, and he, I mean, but it was, it wasn't just the book; it was his passion for it. And his passion for the written word that be, that began to grow on me. And so I meet, I mean so we started doing. Let me back up a little bit more. Back in elementary school, at [John B.] Drake [Elementary] School [Chicago, Illinois], there was a librarian, a little lady named Mrs. McCuen [ph.] who spoke through her nose and she was, I mean if there ever there was a character or stereotype of a librarian, it was her. I mean she wore her glasses down on her nose like this and she spoke through her nose like that and she talked about the joy of reading. And but she got us to, and what she did was she made it a game for us. And so a group of my friends, I told you these two guys that I met Steve Steward [ph.] and Ray Stingley [ph.]. We used to race through books and the books that we read which were taught, taught to us, given to us by Mrs. McCuen in the library, were these lil', biographies. And they would be, we would read 'Thomas Jefferson, Boy Statesman' [sic. 'Tom Jefferson, A Boy in Colonial Days (Third President of the United States),' Helen Albee Monsell], 'George Washington Carver, Boy Scientist' [Augusta Stevenson] and a lot of these were written by a guy [sic. woman] named Augusta Stevenson. But they were a series [Childhood of Famous Americans] of, of stories about, biographies about famous people when they were boys. And we devoured these books, just running through, and then she turned us on to the Newbery Award [John Newbery Medal] books, 'The Matchlock Gun' [Walter D. Edmonds] when I was a boy some of them are, 'Captain of the Ice' [Charles Spain Verral] any number of them that I could remember. But we would race through these books to see who could read more, more of them in a week. And we weren't just, I mean we weren't we were really reading these books; we knew these books inside out. 'Cause she gave us this, she instilled that in us, so the reading part and the writing part as so as I'm reading and I turned I find out I could write a little bit. Mr. Lovelace by this time, we are in his class and we get in this, this is an Honors English class. And so what's helped us to get into this Honors English class is this preparation we've had at Douglas [Elementary School, Chicago, Illinois] and Drake before us, before we got there.$[HistoryMaker] Kenneth [Carlton] Edelin case?$$Um-hm, yeah that was (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Energy crisis--$$Crisis--$$Watergate.$$Those, those were all you know really big stories. And one of the things for me, for a kid you know I said, I'm twenty-one just turned twenty-two years old, I'm, I'm the youngest full correspondent that Newsweek has ever hired. And they hired me straight out of school, I learned on the job, luckily I always said that I was taught, I had two summer internships before I took the job. I, at Newsweek in Chicago [Illinois], in the Chicago bureau in the summer after my sophomore year and the summer after my junior year [at Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts]. And after I, after my senior year, I, I got hired as a full-time correspondent. In those summers I was taught by these, some of them rough old I mentioned ex-Chicago Daily News, Chicago's American [Chicago American] 'cause, that that was the newspaper back then. There were two, the Trib; there was the [Chicago] Tribune, Chicago American, Chicago Daily News, Chicago Sun-Times. And Chicago was then known as this great news town, still is to some extent, but not you know in the way it had been. And these guys had now worked for Newsweek. Don Holt who had worked for the Chicago, Chicago Daily News, Frank Maier, who had worked for the Chicago Daily News, Bernice Buresh who had worked for the Milwaukee Sentinel these were my, these sort of people who trained me. I never went to journalism school, I never had a writing course, I learned on the job, and I remember being terrified by some of these guys. They come in and they'd say, I had two kinds of editors, first was the guys that I was terrified of. I'd come in and I write my story, and in those days they call you into the office and they have you stand by the desk. And they have your copy and read it and say, "What is this?" I say, "That's my lede," they said, "Damn, this isn't a lede." You know and there be some expletive in it, and, "This isn't a lede. Get out of here, bring me a lede." And so I go and, and I fix it and get it right, and then there were the guys like Frank Maier I remember who was one of my mentors. He was the best, he was one of the most, he was a longtime legendary Chicago bureau chief, wrote a cover story for Newsweek called on, on the first Mayor [Richard J.] Daley called ['Chicago's Daley:] How to Run a City.' Award, I mean just a beautiful piece of journalism, but very understated guy, and this guy when he would edit my copy, he would say, "So [HistoryMaker] Sylvester [Monroe], you know I read your story here, it's not, not bad, it's got some good stuff in it. But you know remember when you were telling me about this story before you went to go do it, how excited you were?" And I said, "Yeah." He said, "Why didn't you write it like that?" And that was the difference between this guys, these guys that I was terrified of and these guys that I wanted to do better to show them you know that I could do better. That their faith in me was not misplaced, and that's the way I learned to be a journalist.

Paul Delaney

Distinguished veteran print journalist and activist Paul Delaney was born in Montgomery, Alabama, on January 13, 1933. Delaney attended Ohio State University where he received his B.A. degree in journalism. Paul Delaney’s writing and leadership as a proponent of civil and humanitarian rights has led to his distinction and recognition as a journalist, humanitarian, scholar and activist.

Delaney’s career began at the Atlanta Daily World amidst the Civil Rights Movement. While at the Atlanta Daily World, Delaney covered some of the most important figures and events of the Civil Rights Movement. From Atlanta, Delaney went to work for the Dayton Daily News in Dayton, Ohio, and the Washington Star in Washington, D.C. Delaney next joined the New York Times Washington, D.C. bureau, where he covered urban affairs, politics, and civil rights. Delaney served in the Chicago Bureau of the New York Times as bureau chief in Madrid, Spain, an editor on the national news desk, and senior editor for newsroom administration. Paul Delaney spent twenty-three years with the New York Times as an editor and correspondent where he rose to national prominence as an African American journalist. Delaney became recognized for being one of the most prominent journalists of African American heritage in the world. Delaney served from 1992 to 1996 as the first African American chair of the University of Alabama’s journalism department, editor of the editorial page of Our World News from 1996 to 1998, and wrote editorials for the Baltimore Sun from 1999 to 2000.

Delaney was one of the founders of the National Association of Black Journalists and a member of the Overseas Press Club; the Society of Silurians; the Society of Professional Journalists; and the board for National Public Radio. Delaney was also on the selection committee for the Media Fellows in Health Program at the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Delaney went on to direct the Initiative on Racial Mythology of the Gene Media Forum sponsored by Syracuse University.

Accession Number

A2005.186

Sex

Male

Interview Date

8/5/2005

Last Name

Delaney

Maker Category
Schools

Loveless Academic Magnet Prog High School

Alabama State University

The Ohio State University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Paul

Birth City, State, Country

Montgomery

HM ID

DEL03

Favorite Season

Winter

State

Alabama

Favorite Vacation Destination

Casa Del Sol

Favorite Quote

Be Cool.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

1/13/1933

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Fish (Red Snapper)

Short Description

Journalism professor and newspaper correspondent Paul Delaney (1933 - ) has had a long and prestigious career as a print journalist that spanned the Civil Rights Movement, and continued well into the 21st century.

Employment

Atlanta Daily World

Dayton Daily News

Washington Star

New York Times

University of Alabama

Baltimore Sun

Our World News

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:2972,68:3819,82:26940,326:37854,543:53829,791:66924,965:80789,1090:81500,1137:85055,1268:85687,1277:100810,1490:104980,1541$0,0:11626,200:18898,268:19542,277:20738,291:23314,343:42326,611:42766,617:48486,732:49630,744:51302,757:66910,963:67270,968:79198,1056:88500,1137
DAStories

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

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

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Paul Delaney talks about his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Paul Delaney talks about his father

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Paul Delaney talks about his paternal grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Paul Delaney lists his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Paul Delaney describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Paul Delaney describes his family life and community in Montgomery, Alabama

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Paul Delaney describes the sights, sounds and smells of his neighborhood in Montgomery, Alabama

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Paul Delaney describes his childhood personality and lists his favorite teachers from elementary and high school

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Paul Delaney talks about his childhood aspirations to travel and write

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Paul Delaney describes his activities during high school

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Paul Delaney talks about his college experience and being stationed in Bordeaux, France while serving in the U.S. Army

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Paul Delaney recalls trying to rattle student complacency when he was an editor of The Ohio State University's paper, The Lantern in the mid-1950s

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Paul Delaney recalls race relations at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio during the mid-1950s

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Paul Delaney talks about trying to find a job in journalism after graduating from college and being hired by the Atlanta Daily World in 1959

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Paul Delaney recalls moving to Atlanta, Georgia in 1960 and the reaction of the city's leaders to the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Paul Delaney talks about his early reporting for the Atlanta Daily World and lists figures from the Civil Rights Movement he met in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Paul Delaney reflects upon Atlanta Daily World editor C.A. Scott's opposition to the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Paul Delaney talks about being a probation officer and being hired by the Dayton Daily News in 1963

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Paul Delaney talks about working as a reporter for the Dayton Daily News in Dayton, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Paul Delaney talks about covering Washington, D.C.'s government, following its reorganization in 1967, for the Washington Star

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Paul Delaney talks about starting the Atlanta Inquirer and the opposition to Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Paul Delaney recalls the national trends he covered as an urban affairs correspondent for the New York Times during the early 1970s

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Paul Delaney recalls his reporting for the New York Times Chicago Bureau from 1974 through 1977, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Paul Delaney reflects upon the media coverage of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Paul Delaney recalls his reporting for the New York Times Chicago Bureau from 1974 through 1977, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Paul Delaney talks about becoming an editor of The New York Times in 1977

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Paul Delaney reflects upon the resistance to U.S. foreign policy in Arab countries in the 1980s

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Paul Delaney reflects upon the changes in Spain after the end of Francisco Franco's dictatorship

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Paul Delaney talks about the pressure living overseas puts on a journalist's family life

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Paul Delaney talks about his family

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Paul Delaney recalls living in Madrid, Spain when he was the New York Times bureau chief in Madrid, Spain

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Paul Delaney talks about addressing the lack of diversity in the New York Times newsroom

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Paul Delaney remembers the formation of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) in 1975

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Paul Delaney talks about being the chair of the journalism department at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Paul Delaney details his career since 1996

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Paul Delaney reflects upon representations of hip hop by the media and the progress of African American professionals in the media

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Paul Delaney reflects upon the role of media in American society

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Paul Delaney remembers his mentors at the Atlanta Daily World, Dayton Daily News and New York Times

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Paul Delaney reflects upon the next generation of journalists

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Paul Delaney reflects upon his life, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Paul Delaney shares advice for people interested in a career in journalism

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Paul Delaney reflects upon his life, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Paul Delaney describes his concerns for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Paul Delaney reflects upon memorable life lessons

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Paul Delaney talks about the employment crisis for young African American men

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Paul Delaney describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Paul Delaney explains why he believes history is important

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Paul Delaney reflects upon his legacy

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$4

DAStory

6$4

DATitle
Paul Delaney reflects upon Atlanta Daily World editor C.A. Scott's opposition to the Civil Rights Movement
Paul Delaney remembers the formation of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) in 1975
Transcript
How long did you stay with the Atlanta Daily World?$$I was with the World for two years before I was fired.$$Fired for what?$$I used to argue with C.A. Scott [Cornelius Adolphus Scott] everyday about our coverage of the [Civil Rights] Movement. He was--the World was against the movement, and would editorialize and skew the coverage, and I used to fight through every day. And eventually I was fired. And I knew I was going to be fired, but eventually I was fired.$$Structurally, who else was making decisions at the Atlanta Daily World at that time?$$C.A. Scott made--he was the editor, publisher.$$Okay.$$So the buck stopped with him. And he was thoroughly against the movement.$$And do you recall his explanation to you for being against the movement?$$Well, he, you know, I think he reflected the attitude of a whole lot of the older blacks in town, the older black (unclear). One, they didn't want Atlanta [Georgia] to become a Birmingham [Alabama]; two, there were students who were leading this movement, and these students were a threat these guys, their leadership. And they were losing control and they didn't want to do that. So they were against the movement. And they felt they would lose economically if things--if Atlanta got a bad image in the national press. And so, they truly did not want these things to happen, did not want the demonstrations in Atlanta. And they knew that if the movement continued, there would be that kind of stuff in Atlanta, which would challenge their leadership. And eventually it did.$So by the time you are making this transition from being really staying the senior editor, but just moving back, 1992, what were you doing after that?$$Well, let me back up. One other thing--another thing, on that very topic on changing the color of the newsroom, in order to facilitate to help that change, a group of us formed the National Association of Black Journalists [NABJ] in 1975, mostly from big papers. We got together after years of trying to get together to do something about the fact that there were few blacks in the newsroom, we didn't get promoted, we didn't get certain jobs like covering major events, like covering the White House [Washington, D.C.], covering [U.S.] Congress. And so, we formed NABJ to put pressure on companies to help do that. And so, by time I got to the newsroom--got in to newsroom administration, we were doing this. We had our team of people trying to do that, to change the newsroom. Thought I'd left out that fact that we formed the NABJ for that exact purpose. And by 1992 when I left the [New York] Times or '93 [1993], we were still far behind in trying to colorize the newsroom.

Francis Ward

Usher Francis Ward was born in Atlanta, Georgia on August 11, 1935. After graduating from Booker T. Washington High School in 1953, Ward attended Morehouse College, earning his B.A. in English in 1958. From there, he attended Syracuse University, earning his master’s in journalism in 1961.

While attending Morehouse, Ward took a job at the Atlanta Daily World as a janitor, and after his graduation, he spent several months working as a proofreader and wrote a few articles. In 1964, Ward met Bob Johnson, and was hired by Jet magazine. In 1967, he was promoted to Ebony, and the following year he made the move to the Chicago Sun-Times. There, he covered the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., and the aftermath, as well as writing a tribute to Gwendolyn Brooks. In 1970, Ward became the Chicago correspondent for the L.A. Times, where he remained until 1978. That year, he joined the staff of the Miami Herald, and in 1980, he joined WHUT-TV at Howard University. In 1984, Ward joined the mayor’s press corps in Chicago as an assistant press secretary, and he remained there until 1989, working through the administrations of Harold Washington and Eugene Sawyer. After a brief teaching stint at the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, he was hired by the Newhouse School of Journalism at his alma mater of Syracuse University in 1990. He remains there today.

Ward has always felt that journalism is a public service, and he has often spoken out on media responsibility. He and his wife, actress Val Gray Ward, live in New York.

Accession Number

A2004.166

Sex

Male

Interview Date

9/17/2004

Last Name

Ward

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Schools

Booker T. Washington High School

E. R. Carter Elementary School

Morehouse College

Syracuse University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Francis

Birth City, State, Country

Atlanta

HM ID

WAR06

Favorite Season

None

State

Georgia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Anywhere Warm

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

8/11/1935

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Syracuse

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Black-Eyed Peas, Macaroni

Short Description

Journalism professor and newspaper correspondent Francis Ward (1935 - ) is a professor of journalism at Syracuse University, and held positions with Jet magazine, the Chicago Sun-Times, the L.A. Times and the Miami Herald. He also joined the press corps for former Chicago Mayor Harold Washington.

Employment

Atlanta Daily World

Jet Magazine

Ebony Magazine

Chicago Sun-Times

L.A. Times

Miami Herald

WHUT TV

City of Chicago

Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University

S.I. Newhouse School of Journalism at Syracuse University

Favorite Color

None

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Francis Ward's interview, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Slating of Francis Ward's interview, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Francis Ward lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Francis Ward talks about his mother and father's backgrounds

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Francis Ward shares a story about his father and an escaped hog

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Francis Ward talks about the origin of his name

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Francis Ward talks about his parents' educational background and values

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Francis Ward describes the churches his parents attended in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Francis Ward describes his childhood neighborhood in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Francis Ward describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Francis Ward describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Francis Ward remembers learning about politics at the 1948 Democratic National Convention

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Francis Ward describes the values his parents taught him

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Francis Ward recalls his early career aspirations

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Francis Ward describes what kind of student he was in school

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Francis Ward describes his interest in sports growing up

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Francis Ward talks about his baseball coach at Booker T. Washington High School in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Francis Ward describes transferring from Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Missouri to Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Francis Ward talks about his influential teachers at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Francis Ward describes an incident with the House Un-American Activities Committee during the McCarthy era

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Francis Ward remembers the aftermath of the Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka decision in 1954

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Francis Ward talks about Benjamin Mays, president of Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Francis Ward talks about the reputation of Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Francis Ward talks about Morehouse College alumni groups

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Francis Ward describes working at the Atlanta Daily World

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Francis Ward recalls working as a proofreader at the Atlanta Daily World during a Scott family feud

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Francis Ward talks about attending the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University in Syracuse, New York

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Francis Ward describes what he learned at S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University in Syracuse, New York

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Francis Ward remembers attending a Syracuse Nationals game

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Francis Ward talks about moving to New York, New York in the early 1960s

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Francis Ward describes working at Jet magazine in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Francis Ward describes his experience covering a story in Natchez, Mississippi in 1965

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Francis Ward talks about the conflict in Natchez, Mississippi

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Francis Ward describes meeting his wife, HistoryMaker Val Gray Ward

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Francis Ward talks about the Atlanta Black Crackers Negro League baseball team

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Francis Ward remembers watching Jackie Robinson play baseball in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Francis Ward describes covering the 1967 fight between Muhammad Ali and HistoryMaker Ernie Terrell for Jet magazine

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Francis Ward describes the types of stories he worked on for Ebony magazine

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Francis Ward remembers a meeting about covering radical political figures at Ebony magazine

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Francis Ward talks about the white media's portrayal of Civil Rights leaders

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Francis Ward describes why Negro Digest's name was changed to Black World in 1970

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Francis Ward remembers the background of the Chicago, Illinois riots of 1965 and 1966

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Francis Ward describes the 1968 riot in Chicago, Illinois following Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s death

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Francis Ward describes the founding of Kuumba Theatre in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Francis Ward describes the plays performed by the Kuumba Theatre

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Francis Ward critiques blaxploitation films from the 1970s

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Francis Ward explains the issues that were addressed in the Kuumba News

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Francis Ward talks about the controversy over funding for the Kuumba Theatre

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Francis Ward describes the founding of First World: An International Journal of Black Thought

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Francis Ward considers HistoryMaker John H. Johnson's reasoning for discontinuing Black World

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Francis Ward reflects upon an article he wrote in First World: An International Journal of Black Thought

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Francis Ward talks about joining the Los Angeles Times as a reporter

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Francis Ward describes his work and activities between 1975 and 1984

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Francis Ward recalls working in the press office of Chicago, Illinois Mayor Harold Washington

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Francis Ward talks about working for HistoryMaker Eugene Sawyer's interim mayoral administration

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Francis Ward recalls how he began working at S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University in Syracuse, New York

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Francis Ward explains his philosophy for teaching journalism

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Francis Ward critiques the worship of celebrities

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Francis Ward describes his concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Francis Ward talks about his family

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Francis Ward considers his greatest regret

Tape: 6 Story: 11 - Francis Ward reflects upon Harold Washington's accomplishments as mayor of Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 6 Story: 12 - Francis Ward talks about Harold Washington's association with Clarence McClain

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Francis Ward shares his thoughts about Harold Washington, former mayor of Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Francis Ward critiques Harold Washington's mayoral tenure

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Francis Ward reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Francis Ward gives advice to aspiring journalists

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Francis Ward describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Francis Ward narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

1$6

DAStory

12$4

DATitle
Francis Ward remembers learning about politics at the 1948 Democratic National Convention
Francis Ward talks about working for HistoryMaker Eugene Sawyer's interim mayoral administration
Transcript
I do remember in 1948, at the Democratic National Convention [Philadelphia, Pennsylvania], there was a big rhubarb, a big controversy that, that occurred there. And I remember seeing this on television and knowing that about it and I was only thirteen years old, but I kind of understood what the whole controversy was about, based in large part on the conversations my father [Jefferson Ward] had had. This was a controversy where some of the liberal Democrats from the North introduced a very mild civil rights plank into the Democratic Party platform and, of course, at that time, a major part of the Democratic Party were the white segregationist politicians who came from the South; well, the segregationists didn't like this civil rights plank. By today's standards, this civil rights plank would be almost nothing, but back then, it was a big thing. So this--a number of the southern delegations to the Democratic Convention walked out and I remember very prominently, the person who--well, who eventually became the leader of the southern Democrats and who became their presidential candidate was the late Strom Thurmond, James Strom Thurmond, who at that time, was the governor of South Carolina and who was a Democrat and who ran for president in 1948 on the Dixiecrat ticket. Well, I remember following that and I had a, I think, a very good understanding of it for a thirteen year old. But my understanding of the background to all of this and the civil rights fight within the Democratic Party came from the conversations I had with my father.$Death of [Mayor] Harold Washington and the emergence of [HistoryMaker] Eugene Sawyer sort of split the Harold Washington coalition into different parts. There was some people who had supported Harold who supported Eugene Sawyer, there were other people who had supported Harold who were bitterly opposed to Eugene Sawyer because they thought that he was a tool of the white aldermen who had also become--had been bitterly opposed to Harold Washington all the time that Harold had been mayor. He had served one full term and had been reelected in April 1987 for a second four year term. And it was about five months into the second four-year term that he collapsed and died. Well, I had sort of a personal quandary about that. I wasn't certain whether what I had heard about Eugene Sawyer was true or not. So I kind of wondered whether I should remain here or whether I should seek another job, so I talked it over with [HistoryMaker] Val [Gray Ward] and then I talked it over with Lu Palmer [HistoryMaker Lutrelle "Lu" F. Palmer, II], my old friend from early days in Chicago [Illinois], when he was with the Chicago Daily News later on with his own newspaper, called the Black Express. And Lu said that he didn't have good advice to offer, he said that I just had to sort of reach the decision that I thought was best, and my wife said the same thing. And I thought it over, and my decision was that I thought I would at least give this a try. That I thought that Eugene Sawyer should be given a chance. I didn't think that he was a Uncle Tom or I didn't think that that he was a tool of the white, of the white aldermen. You know, I wasn't certain that that wasn't true, but I thought he should be given the benefit of the doubt. And in retrospect, I think that that was the right decision to make. I worked for Sawyer from December 1987 up until the time of the special election in February 1989 when he was defeated by Richard M. Daley. And during the time I was there, I didn't--I never got the impression that he was a tool of the, of the white enemies of the Harold Washington, because almost everything that Sawyer did as its own program was a continuation of the Harold Washington program, and Sawyer retained all of the staff members, all of the department heads and all of the staff members, you know, who wanted to remain. Some of them decided, you know, that they would leave, but most of them continued. He retained all of the staff members and he continued, essentially, the same Harold Washington program, so that convinced me that he, in fact, you know, was not a tool of the white aldermen and I tended to disagree with those who were vocal in their criticism. One of the vocal critics of Eugene Sawyer was my good friend at the time [HistoryMaker] Vernon Jarrett. He and I happened to disagree about that and Vernon and I never had much--we had some brief conversations about that. But he had one view of Sawyer. He was still suspicious of Eugene's Sawyer motives, but I never did. When I left city government in May of 1989, I was convinced that I had made the right decision to stay on, you know, and worked in the Sawyer administration, but at that time I was ready to leave. I didn't want to continue in city government. I don't think I would have continued government in city government if Harold Washington had been elected to a third term. I think I would be ready to, to leave city government. And I was happy to leave, you know, when I did. The incoming administration, the first press secretary that Richard Daley retained was a black woman by the name of [HistoryMaker] Avis LaVelle who had been a news reporter for WGN News [WGN, Chicago, Illinois] and she and I knew each other. And she and I had a brief conversation, you know, I think after she had, maybe, the first or second day, you know, she took over as press secretary. And, I think, she told me in so many words that I was not one of those who would be retained by the new administration. And I told her that was fine, no hard feelings. I was ready to leave city government anyways, so we left on good terms.