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Darryl W. Dennard

Broadcast journalist Darryl W. Dennard was born on September 18, 1957 in Harlem, New York to Eleanor Adamson and Glenn W. Dennard. He graduated from De Witt Clinton High School. Dennard was a member of Fordham University’s Upward Bound program and participated in its Bridge program by taking classes at Fordham University. He then went on to attend the State University of New York College at Buffalo and graduated with his B.A. degree in broadcasting in 1981. While at Buffalo State, he was a member of the Black Liberation Front student organization, where he was an executive board member, founding the college’s Minority Resource Center.

In 1980, Dennard was hired as a production assistant at the NBC affiliate WGRZ-TV in Buffalo, New York. He was promoted to a news reporter in 1983, and worked at WGRZ-TV until 1987. Dennard then became co-host of the “Ebony-Jet Showcase” from 1987 to 1991, and was hired as associate editor of Ebony Man magazine. He then served as co-host of the “Black Enterprise Report” and as host and producer of the “Minority Business Report.” Dennard also worked as an anchor of “Good Day Chicago” in the 1990s, and has hosted many other programs, including “Know Your Heritage.” He has worked on WVAZ-FM's “Steve Harvey Show,” WCGI-FM's “Morning Riot,” WGCI-AM's “John Hannah Morning Show,” and WVAZ’s “Tom Joyner Morning Show.” In addition, he has interviewed many celebrities and notable figures, including President Barack Obama, Michael Jackson and Oprah Winfrey.

Dennard served as Vice President of First Trace Communications, a strategic, cause related public relations firm, and Founder and CEO of Double D Productions, Inc., a full service audio/video production company, which produced the 1999 documentary “Heading West: A History of African Americans on Chicago's West Side,” and the more recent documentary, “Culture of Calm: A Calming Presence,” which chronicles the Chicago Public School’s mentoring efforts directed towards “At Risk” youth in the wake of the Derion Albert beating death.

Dennard’s professional affiliations include the National Association of Market Developers, the Black Public Relations Society, the 100 Black Men of Chicago, the Young Brothers for Christ Youth Ministry at Apostolic Church of God, and the Radio and Television Broadcasting and Theatre Departments at Kennedy King College.

Most important to him are his wife Darlene, and their two children, Autumn, a graduate of Howard University and Darryl Jr, a fine arts graduate at The Cooper Union in New York City. Dennard also has a son-in-law, Brian, and two grandchildren, Ari and Milo.

Darryl Dennard was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on January 23, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.020

Sex

Male

Archival Photo 1
Interview Date

1/23/2014

Last Name

Dennard

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

W.

Schools
DeWitt Clinton High School
State University of New York at Buffalo
Ps 59 The Community School Of Technology
Search Occupation Category
Archival Photo 2
First Name

Darryl

Birth City, State, Country

Harlem

HM ID

DEN02

Favorite Season

Fall

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

Caribbean

Favorite Quote

Now Faith Is The Substance Of Things Hoped For And Evidence Of Things Not Seen.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Interview Description
Birth Date

9/18/1957

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Chicken

Short Description

Broadcast journalist Darryl W. Dennard (1957 - ) , founder of Double D Productions, Inc., has hosted and anchored nationally recognized television and radio programs, including “Ebony-Jet Showcase,” “Black Enterprise Report,” “Minority Business Report,” “Good Day Chicago,” the “Steve Harvey Show,” “Morning Riot,” and the “John Hannah Morning Show."

Employment
WGRZ TV
Ebony-Jet Showcase
Ebony Man Magazine
Black Enterprise Magazine
Minority Business Report
Good Day Chicago
Know Your Heritage
WVAZ-FM
WCGI Radio
First Trace Communications
Double D Productions, Inc.
Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/136984">Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Darryl Dennard's interview</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/136985">Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Darryl Dennard lists his favorites</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/136986">Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Darryl Dennard describes his maternal family background, pt. 1</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/136987">Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Darryl Dennard describes his maternal family background, pt. 2</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/136988">Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Darryl Dennard describes spending nights at family members' homes in the South Bronx</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/136989">Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Darryl Dennard talks about his mother</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/136990">Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Darryl Dennard describes his mother's personality</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/136991">Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Darryl Dennard talks about working at Pioneer Supermarket as a stock boy</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/136992">Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Darryl Dennard talks about his paternal family background</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/136993">Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Darryl Dennard describes his father and paternal grandmother</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/136994">Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Darryl Dennard talks about the first and second waves of The Great Migration</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/136995">Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Darryl Dennard describes his father's creative interests and jazz collection</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/136996">Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Darryl Dennard talks about how his parents met</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/136997">Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Darryl Dennard describes his likeness to his parents</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/136998">Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Darryl Dennard talks about his younger sisters</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/136999">Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Darryl Dennard describes his extended family</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/137000">Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Darryl Dennard describes growing up in New York City</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/137001">Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Darryl Dennard describes his childhood interests and involvement with Upward Bound and College Bound</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/137002">Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Darryl Dennard talks about his experience in Upward Bound and College Bound</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/137003">Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Darryl Dennard reflects on the critical time to motivate young black boys to do well in school</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/137004">Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Darryl Dennard talks about his childhood jobs and hustles</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/137005">Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Darryl Dennard describes his New York City public school education</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/137006">Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Darryl Dennard recalls being exposed to Broadway and opera with the Upward Bound and College Bound programs</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/137007">Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Darryl Dennard describes running track in high school</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/137008">Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Darryl Dennard describes taking an English class at Fordham University in the Bronx, New York while in high school</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/137009">Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Darryl Dennard describes his experience at State University of New York College at Buffalo</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/137010">Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Darryl Dennard describes his transition to college at State University of New York College at Buffalo in Buffalo, New York</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/137011">Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Darryl Dennard talks about black news commentators Max Robinson, Bob Teague and Gil Noble</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/137012">Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Darryl Dennard talks about his summers while growing up</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/137013">Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Darryl Dennard describes why he chose to attend a college outside of New York City</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/137014">Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Darryl Dennard describes the communications program at Buffalo State and his focus learning the broadcast speech standards</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/137015">Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Darryl Dennard remembers his first day at the State University of New York College at Buffalo, pt. 1</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/137016">Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Darryl Dennard remembers his first day at the State University of New York College at Buffalo, pt. 2</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/137017">Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Darryl Dennard talks about Buffalo State's Black Student Union, named Black Liberation Front</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/137018">Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Darryl Dennard describes his college mentors and working for the U.S. Customs Service</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/137019">Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Darryl Dennard describes falling in love and adopting a religion, pt. 1</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/137020">Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Darryl Dennard describes falling in love and adopting a religion, pt. 2</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/137021">Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Darryl Dennard describes falling in love and adopting a religion, pt. 3</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/137022">Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Darryl Dennard describes his internship at WGRZ in Buffalo, New York</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/137023">Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Darryl Dennard describes memories from his time at WGRZ</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/137024">Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Darryl Dennard describes his offer to host the 'Ebony/Jet Showcase'</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/137025">Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Darryl Dennard describes being interviewed by HistoryMaker John H. Johnson</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/137026">Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Darryl Dennard talks about African Americans in broadcasting</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/137027">Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Darryl Dennard talks about the changes in black broadcasting</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/137028">Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Darryl Dennard reflects on the lack of blacks in the media industry compared to the 1970s and 1980s</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/137029">Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Darryl Dennard talks about partiality in journalism</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/137030">Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Darryl Dennard talks about his time working for the 'Ebony/Jet Showcase'</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/137031">Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Darryl Dennard describes interviewing Michael Jackson</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/137032">Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Darryl Dennard talks about interviewing Oprah Winfrey</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/137033">Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Darryl Dennard remembers interviewing Sammy Davis at Johnson Publishing Company headquarters</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/137034">Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Darryl Dennard talks about the 'Ebony/Jet Showcase' and his interviewing style</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/137035">Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Darryl Dennard describes his journalistic philosophy</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/137036">Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Darryl Dennard describes his interview style</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/137037">Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Darryl Dennard talks about working with Deborah Crable</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/137038">Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Darryl Dennard talks about his family's adjustment to living in Chicago, Illinois</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/137039">Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Darryl Dennard talks about positions he held between 1991 and 1993</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/137040">Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Darryl Dennard talks about 'Minority Business Report'</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/137041">Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Darryl Dennard talks about the significance of black manufacturing companies versus vendors</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/137042">Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Darryl Dennard talks about 'Minority Business Report' and the significance in diverse business ownership</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/137043">Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Darryl Dennard talks about his work with Kennedy-King College in Chicago, Illinois</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/137044">Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Darryl Dennard talks about his production company, Double D Productions</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/137045">Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Darryl Dennard talks about his film, 'Heading West'</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/137046">Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Darryl Dennard talks about black migration to Chicago, Illinois and his film, 'Heading West'</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/137047">Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Darryl Dennard talks about various programs he has hosted and produced</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/137048">Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Darryl Dennard talks about his current projects and mentorship</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/137049">Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Darryl Dennard talks about youth violence</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/137050">Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Darryl Dennard talks about etiquette and polite society</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/134262">Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Darryl Dennard talks about the current state of video production</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/134263">Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Darryl Dennard describes his disinterest in using social media</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/134264">Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Darryl Dennard talks about the media organizations he's involved in and HistoryMakers Pluria Marshall, Sr. and Jr.</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/134265">Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Darryl Dennard talks about his wife, daughter, and grandchildren</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/134266">Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Darryl Dennard talks about his relationship with his in-laws</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/134267">Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Darryl Dennard talks about his son</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/134268">Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Darryl Dennard considers what he might have done differently</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/134269">Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Darryl Dennard considers his legacy</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/134270">Tape: 8 Story: 9 - Darryl Dennard describes how he would like to be remembered</a>

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$5

DAStory

2$2

DATitle
Darryl Dennard describes his father's creative interests and jazz collection
Darryl Dennard describes being interviewed by HistoryMaker John H. Johnson
Transcript
Okay, now, now was your--was your father [Glenn Dennard]--did he finish school--$$I think--yeah, he graduated high school.$$Okay.$$And he used to paint and, and enjoyed music. And I remember him taking me, hanging out with him, and we--took me to the Apollo Theater [Harlem, New York City, New York] one time. And as he was at the Apollo Theater, he was backstage, you know, getting high with some of the performers. And--$$You said, said he's friends with Sonny Rollins.$$Sonny Rollins, yes--Sonny Rollins. If I mentioned the name, he, he knew my father, yes.$$And your father was an art--an artist. He was painting--$$He was painting.$$Yeah.$$He was--he was a painter.$$What kind of--(simultaneous)--$$Artist?$$--did he do? Okay.$$Abstract, things like that, you know.$$Right--(simultaneous)--$$He--and he loved music, you know. And then he also loved like informing us on history. So he would get us black history books at the time, black history coloring books that had just came out. He got me a book about Greek and Roman mythology that was a coloring book where I learned about Achilles and how Achilles was dumped in the pool. And the mother dumped him in there, and his skin in a sense became indestructible except for that one area where she held him up by his heel. And then, of course, you know that he was shot there in that heel and ended up dying, you know, so; and books of poetry; and he would also get my sister and I--my sisters [Glenda Dennard and Toya Dennard] and I--he would buy us records. And we would literally listen to--in addition to taking us to the movies--my mother [Eleanor Adamson Dennard] and father taking us to the movies--he would also have us listening to records. And then he would have us listening to jazz records. So on a Sunday, as we were still living in Manhattan [New York City, New York] at the time, and I wish we could have stayed there because if they could have bought that that would have been incredible. But we were right around 96th Street and near Amsterdam Avenue. And I remember we would walk over to Central Park, and he would have a photographer come and take pictures of us. And during that Sunday--I remember on Sundays my mother would be cooking. And they were very, very young at the time, 'cause they had us as teenagers. And I remember two songs in particular that were always played on the console stereo. And one was Dinah Washington, 'What a Difference a Day Makes.' And the other one was, was 'Song for My Father,' by Horace Silver. [Musical beats] and so, you know, I was always filled with jazz, and he had an incredible jazz collection. And--but you know, I just remember, you know, he was tied into that kind of hustle aspect of New York City. And as I got older, I would kind of hang out with him. And my cousin actually ended up spending more time with him on the hustle side. 'Cause, you know, he kind of aware--made me aware of the streets of New York and how to navigate the streets. I knew how to navigate them to a certain extent, but he also showed me how to kind of make money. And we did things legitimately, but you know, he's like hey, this is how you do this; this is--you know, we're gonna go over here; and you can open up the doors in front of Lincoln Center [for the Performing Arts, New York City, New York], and people will give you money for helping open up the door.$$Okay, okay, 'cause always--with so many people I guess it's always something to do--(simultaneous)--$$Well, it was always--$$--if you--$$--something to do--$$Okay.$$--and New York was our playground. And I think I mentioned to you before. Since my grandmother [Lucille Adamson] on my mother's side had eight children, my cousins were my surrogate brothers, so I would spend time with my cousins--my male cousins--during the summer, and they would spend time with me. And you know, we would go over there and spend maybe two weeks spent--we called it spending the night. And I would just spend two or three weeks with them, maybe even longer sometimes, maybe almost an entire month just spending time with my cousins. And then during the year, of course, on weekends get ready to go over my cousins' house and hang out with them and stuff like that. And they always had kind of different jobs, and so I would learn how to hustle the streets with them.$And, and so I remember flying into Chicago [Illinois]. I hadn't been to Chicago before. And I flew into Chicago and met with [HM John H.] Johnson, and we had an interview. It lasted all of maybe twenty minutes to a half an hour. You know, and Mr. Johnson asked me questions like, well, you know, tell me a little bit about yourself, where you're from, things of that nature. And you know, I told him who I was, and you know, they had probably already sized me up way before then--spoke maybe two or three, five minutes to, to [HM] Linda [Johnson Rice]. And I think you know, the job was paying like sixty thousand dollars or something, which would've put--three times what I was making in Buffalo [New York], plus it was--it's national job, and, and everybody knew of Johnson Publishing Company. And so, low and behold, I was gettin' ready to leave, and Mr. Johnson and Linda stepped aside for-[Osbert] Ozzie [Bruno] wasn't even--I don't even know if he was there at the time, and Ozzie is a good friend of mine. They stepped aside for maybe five minutes or so, and I waited outside their offices. And then Mr. Johnson came back and he said--said well, Darryl--and he would speak forthrightly to you--he goes you man--you know goes, "What do you think about becoming the host of my television show?" And here I am, you know, in Buffalo. And you know, so I went, "Well, Mr. Johnson, you know, could you give me a little bit of time, you know, to think about it." And he cut right into me. He said, "Think about it? What you talkin' about thinking about for? Now I'm offering you a job to leave Buffalo, New York, and you're tellin' me you gotta think about it." I said, "You know, you're right, Mr. Johnson. Yes, sir, I'll take it," (laughter). Literally, that's what he--he said, what you gotta think about leavin' Buffalo, New York for? I said, you're right, Mr. Johnson. Please forgive me. I'm sorry. I will take the job. He says okay, good, now Linda take care of that. That's exactly the way it happened, man. And I remember in my soul how I felt. 'Cause I was gonna go back home to my wife [Darlene Dennard], and we had already had my--you know, our daughter [Autumn Dennard]. And my daughter is like--it's '80 [1980], so she's about four or five years old at the time, 'cause she was born in '82 [1982], so this is '87 [1987], you know, five years old. And, and so what happened was that I told my wife I--you know, I'm driving back, and I don't think I called her or anything because there's not like cellular phones and stuff. And I remember driving back--driving out to the airport--out to O'Hare [International Airport, Chicago, Illinois], inside the express lanes, which was kind of weird for me because you know how the express lanes are divided in the middle. And then you had traffic heading one direction, and traffic heading in the opposite direction, and we were heading on the outbound traffic in the afternoon. And you know, I went back home, and my wife met me at the airport, and I said get your bags ready. We're moving to Chicago. And Mr. Johnson actually increased my salary by ten thousand dollars when he offered me the job. He didn't let me know. I accepted at, at that base salary, but he said no, pay him more.$$So this is--this is really exciting, so.$$It was a very exciting time for me. You know, I ended up--I had a beautiful going away party with all of my church members. I went to Bethesda Full Gospel Tabernacle in Buffalo, New York. And the current pastor is Bishop Michael Badger, but Michael was a contemporary of mine. And at that time the pastor was Reverend Billy White, and he's a white guy that was the pastor of this interdenominational Pentecostal church--phenomenal church in Buffalo right on Main [Street] and Utica [Street]. And, and so everybody was just like overjoyed, 'cause they would watch me on TV of course, but you know, I was very much into the ministry and so was my wife, and my buddy, Ron, and my buddy Byron--Byron Brown and Ronald Brown--no relations. But they ended up throwing me a nice little going away party. And Byron Brown became the first black mayor of Buffalo, who just got elected to his third term. And, and so we left. My wife and I we left; we packed our bags and, and came to Chicago in 1987.