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Bea L. Hines

Journalist Beatrice “Bea” L. Hines was born in Williston, Florida in 1938. At a young age, her parents separated and she moved with her mother to Miami, Florida. Hines graduated from Booker T. Washington High School in 1956.

In 1966, Hines was hired as a file clerk in The Miami Herald’s library. A year later, in 1967, Hines enrolled at Miami-Dade Community College, where she studied journalism for three years. Then, in June of 1970, she was promoted to general assignment reporter at The Miami Herald, becoming the first African American woman to work as a reporter for the paper. Hines’s work was featured in the education and the “Living Today” sections of the Herald. From 1980 to 1985, she wrote an issues column for the newspaper that garnered much praise. She also wrote other columns for The Miami Herald, including ones entitled “Parenting Again” and “Neighbors in Religion.”

Hines has taught and led workshops at several universities, including Savannah State University, the University of California-Berkeley, Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, and the University of Memphis. In 1981, her columns were nominated for the Pulitzer Prize, and, in 1985, she was recognized as one of the top five woman columnists in the country by Savvy magazine. In 1984, Hines was selected by the Washington, D.C., Spelman Alumni Chapter as one of four outstanding women in the country for community work. In 1985, The Miami Herald honored her work with the Service Among Us Award. She has also been honored by The Church of God Tabernacle in Miami, and appeared in the documentary Instruments of Change in 2013.

Hines was married to the late James Fredrick Hines. Their sons are Pastor James (Rick) F. Hines, Jr., who died September 14, 2013, and Shawn A. Hines, who lives in Rhode Island.

Bea L. Hines was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on September 8, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.201

Sex

Female

Interview Date

9/11/2014

Last Name

Hines

Maker Category
Marital Status

Widow

Middle Name

L.

Occupation
Organizations
Schools

Booker T. Washington High School

Miami Dade College

Frederick R. Douglass Elementary

Phillis Wheatley Elementary School

Liberty City Elementary School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Beatrice

Birth City, State, Country

Williston

HM ID

HIN04

Favorite Season

Fall, Spring

State

Florida

Favorite Vacation Destination

Savannah, Georgia in the spring and the Caribbean in the summer

Favorite Quote

God Willing And The Creek Don't Rise

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Florida

Birth Date

2/12/1938

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Miami

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Chicken and Watermelon

Short Description

Journalist Bea L. Hines (1938 - ) became the first African American woman to work in a full-time position at The Miami Herald when she was hired as a general assignment reporter in 1970. Her columns for the Herald were nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in 1981.

Employment

The Miami Herald

Favorite Color

Red, Yellow, Blue and Brown

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Bea L. Hines' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Bea L. Hines lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Bea L. Hines talks about her maternal family history

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Bea L. Hines talks about her mother's jobs as a nurse and housekeeper

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Bea L. Hines talks about her early marriage to James Hines in 1957

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Bea L. Hines describes her maternal grandmother's personality

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Bea L. Hines talks about her father's abusive relationship with her mother

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Bea L. Hines talks about establishing a relationship with her father as an adult

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Bea L. Hines describes her memories of her father assaulting her mother

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Bea L. Hines talks about her relationship with her husband

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Bea L. Hines talks about taking after her maternal grandmother

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Bea L. Hines talks about her brother

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Bea L. Hines describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Bea L. Hines describes the sights, sounds, and smells of Overtown in Miami, Florida

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Bea L. Hines describes her childhood in Overtown, Miami, Florida

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Bea L. Hines talks briefly about Muhammad Ali's reputation in Overtown, Miami, Florida

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Bea L. Hines explains the etymology behind the name "Overtown"

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Bea L. Hines lists the elementary and high schools she attended

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Bea L. Hines describes her creative hobbies

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Bea L. Hines talks about entering the Final Womanhood essay contest

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Bea L. Hines describes reluctantly giving up a scholarship and singing in church

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Bea L. Hines talks about concert pianist Ruth Greenfield and singing in Greenfield's Lunchtime Lively Arts Series

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Bea L. Hines remembers working at Burdines Department Store

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Bea L. Hines talks about the African American celebrity sightings in Miami, Florida in the 1940s and 1950s

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Bea L. Hines explains how she met her husband, James Hines

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Bea L. Hines talks about her creative writing

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Bea L. Hines talks about starting a family post-high school graduation

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Bea L. Hines describes her abusive marriage and her husband's death

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Bea L. Hines talks about taking classes at Miami Dade Community College

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Bea L. Hines talks about Thirlee Smith, the first black reporter at The Miami Herald,

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Bea L. Hines talks about her first job at The Miami Herald as a file clerk

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Bea L. Hines talks about working for a Jewish family as a maid

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Bea L. Hines describes experiencing discrimination as an employee at The Miami Herald

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Bea L. Hines talks about the racist attitudes of her employers

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Bea L. Hines talks about writing for Miami-Dade Community College's student newspaper, The Falcon Times

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Bea L. Hines talks about being promoted to reporter at The Miami Herald

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Bea L. Hines talks about her first story as a reporter on the 1970 riots in Liberty City, Miami, Florida

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Bea L. Hines talks about working undercover to report the 1970 riot in Liberty City, Miami, Florida

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Bea L. Hines describes being sent to cover bogus stories during her early days as a reporter for The Miami Herald

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Bea L. Hines describes developing a reputation as a sensitive reporter and being assigned sensitive stories

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Bea L. Hines talks about covering Miami schools as a feature reporter

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Bea L. Hines talks about winning the School Bell Award

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Bea L. Hines talks about the 1980 Riot in Liberty City, Miami, Florida following the murder of Arthur Lee McDuffie

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Bea L. Hines explains the reason her column was discontinued in 1985 pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Bea L. Hines explains the reason her column was discontinued in 1985 pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Bea L. Hines talks about police brutality and profiling

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Bea L. Hines talks about covering the funeral of Haitian refugee children who drowned on their way to Miami, Florida

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Bea L. Hines describes her journalistic philosophy

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Bea L. Hines describes columns written about the police's handling of rape victims and Haitian Vodou

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Bea L. Hines talks briefly about the emergence of Botox in the 1990s

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Bea L. Hines describes interviewing the Reverend Dr. James Cleveland

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Bea L. Hines remembers interviewing Aretha Franklin

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Bea L. Hines recalls some of her favorite interviews

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Bea L. Hines talks about volunteer speaking to young girls in school

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Bea L. Hines talks about the significance of 1972 at The Miami Herald

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Bea L. Hines talks about community activist T. Willard Fair's significance in Miami, Florida

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Bea L. Hines talks African American politicians in Miami, Florida

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Bea L. Hines talks about her membership with the National Association of Black Journalists

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Bea L. Hines talks about Janet Cooke

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Bea L. Hines talks about other black journalists at The Miami Herald

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Bea L. Hines talks about football player Ray Rice's physical abuse of his wife

Tape: 6 Story: 11 - Bea L. Hines talks about her own experience with domestic violence

Tape: 6 Story: 12 - Bea L. Hines advocates the preservation of African American rights and history

Tape: 6 Story: 13 - Bea L. Hines describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Bea L. Hines talks about the murder of Trayvon Martin

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Bea L. Hines talks about her Sunday Friends and Neighbors column in The Miami Herald

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Bea L. Hines considers what she might have done differently in her life

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Bea L. Hines considers her legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Bea L. Hines talks about her family

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Bea L. Hines describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Bea L. Hines narrates her photographs pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Bea L. Hines narrates her photographs pt. 2

DASession

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DATape

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DAStory

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DATitle
Bea L. Hines talks about covering the funeral of Haitian refugee children who drowned on their way to Miami, Florida
Bea L. Hines talks about entering the Final Womanhood essay contest
Transcript
But prior to that, we talked about the Haitians and the Cuban people coming over. The Haitian people had it so tough. They would be smuggled over here and one story I did was when this, this, the man who smuggled him over made, when the [U.S.] Coast Guard was coming, he made a mother and her five children jump overboard and, of course, they drowned. So, I was sent out to interview the parents and everybody, you know, the family, and I'll never forget this editor who was scared of the editor who didn't like me. She said to me, and she wouldn't have sent me except it was Saturday and I was working and, "You know, you gotta write a good story because Sarah Rimer is going to cover the funeral," and Sarah Rimer was the young reporter who was having an affair with Gene Miller, our star reporter, and he practically rewrote her stories, you know. I shouldn't have called him the names, but I don't know where she is now but he's dead. But anyway, so I, I was so insulted when she said that. So I went out and I interviewed the paper and this is the first time I realized the difference in the cultures because you're black and I'm black, we don't have the same culture and I didn't realize that until then. So when I, I had a thing about black people. When I became a reporter, the only black women you saw on the covers, on the paper, would be the big fat women with head rags on, not really pretty, you know, and they were all called by their first name while the white women were called by their last name. So, when I would go on an assignment, I had to interview a black woman, I would say, "Okay, I'm coming with a photographer", I'd call or go by the house if they didn't have a phone, "and I want you to look nice" and I would tell them what to do and they would do it 'cause I didn't want that image always following us. So, this day I went to interview these Haitian women and the woman was sittin' on the front porch and she was just hollering and her hair was all, every which way and she had her bare, her feet were bare and her clothes were sort of hanging off and I said, "Well, you know, a reporter, our photographer is going to come to take your picture after a while. Do you think you want to go in and comb your hair and change your clothes?" And she says, "No, I want them to see my pain." I understood, I got it, and that was the picture they ran on the front page of the paper. But, while I was out, I found out, I learned that the children didn't have any clothes to be buried in. So before I went in to write my story, I went to the discount houses and I bought the prettiest little dresses and the hair ribbons and the underwear and the socks and then I had to go to Sears because the undertaker told me they needed gloves. And back then, gloves were not popular but I knew girls, Sears sold Girl Scout stuff and Girl Scouts wore white gloves 'cause I was a Girl Scout. So I went there and I got the little gloves for the little girls and the little boys, too, but I didn't buy their clothes, somebody else donated their clothing. So when I came in that day and I had written my story, that, that was a Friday, I wrote my story on a Friday, the funeral was on a Saturday, and Sarah was writing about the funeral and I heard Gene ask her, he was sitting there helping her, line for line, and I heard him ask her, "So what were they wearing?" And she said, "I don't know, I didn't see them." And so I said, "I know what they were wearing." I said, "The little girls had on pretty little frilly blue dresses and blue and white hair ribbons and white socks with lace on 'em and little white gloves that I, that came from Sears," I didn't say I bought 'em. And then he wanted to know, he looked, he says, "How do you know that?" And then I said, "'Cause I bought it," and he looked at me like, "You did that." And so when one of the, do you know who [HM] Francis Ward is?$$Yes.$$Francis was the first black columnist at The [Miami] Herald and Francis heard what I had done and he came over to my desk the next day, he said, "I'm going to give you fifty dollars 'cause I know you needed that money that you spent on those children."$$Yeah, a journalist, Francis Ward--$$Yeah.$$--whose wife [HM Val Gray Ward] founded the Kuumba Theatre in Chicago [Illinois].$$That's right, that's right.$$Right.$$And Francis gave me fifty dollars on the bill that I bought, the things that I bought for those children. So, but, I learned so much from that. I never, whenever I try to find out a person's background and their culture before I would do that again but if they had known I was trying to set up the pictures, they probably would have fired me (laughter) but I didn't want our women looking like that 'cause, you know, we have beautiful women and because you're heavy, you don't have to look like a Aunt Jemima, you know what I'm saying. You, I, our women are proud and beautiful women no matter what size. I was thin then but now I'm a fat woman, you know, and I like to look nice and I know all, down through the ages, all of our women always like to look beautiful. So I didn't like it the way they were doing us on the paper, in the newspaper. They would find the ugliest picture they could find to put in there and this is black women and it wasn't, that's what, that wasn't who we were.$Who were some of the other mentors in school?$$Mirian Chanin [ph.], who was my journalism teacher in high school [Booker T. Washington High School, Miami, Florida]. And I just sort of took that because I, it was a creative writing class and Marian always saw that I had some talent but back in that day, you had a lot of girls who were teacher's pets and I wasn't one of 'em, and so when it was time to write an essay for the Zeta Phi Betas, they give a Final Womanhood Award every year, Miriam said, Miriam Chanin said, I want you to write an essay for this contest and I said, why, 'cause they gonna give it to the same girls over and over again? And so I didn't go. I was in the auditorium practicing for the Seasons Spot-Ice. She sent for me and threatened to come up with a belt if I didn't come. So I did go. I didn't want to be embarrassed at that age. So I did, I wrote an essay, and to my surprise I won the award, The Final Womanhood Award. It was a hundred dollar award at that time.$$That's a good, that's a week's pay in those days.$$Yeah.