Blog, Bookish Life, Social Justice

The Importance of Black Journalism

The news cycle spins faster than the world turns. Journalism has been threatened by societal dangers and uproarious voices. Subsequently, there is a lacking responsibility by the news cycle that caters to fear, anxiety, chaos, and harm, particularly by those who choose to believe dishonest information. 

With Black journalists, there are increasing threats to their voices. Their perspective is vital for diverse backgrounds to learn about Black experiences. Black media is pivotal for getting out the vote and informing rural, suburban, and urban communities. Radio, local news, independent journalism, print, digital news, and cable news comprise Black media. To contribute to their work (sharing their articles, amplifying their social media accounts, etc.) is to feature their work globally.

These books detail Black female journalists in their presence that shaped the news and how it was reached.

Eye on the Struggle by James McGrath Morris focuses on Ethel Payne, known as “the First Lady of the Black Press.” The book chronicles Payne’s prolific and global voice while highlighting prominent Black newspapers including Chicago Defender, Baltimore Afro-American, and The Pittsburgh Courier

Trailblazer: A Pioneering Journalist’s Fight to Make the Media Look More Like America by Dorothy Butler Gilliam. She was the first Black female reporter at Washington Post, and helmed a 50-year career as a journalist. She also writes about her personal life that reflects the ambitions, triumphs, and pitfalls of her professional career. Her powerful reflections on covering the Civil Rights Movement traverses time and reflects now. 

Never in My Wildest Dreams by Belva Davis and Vicki Haddock, Davis details in her memoir about being the first Black female television journalist in the US, based at KQED in San Francisco. She is known over her nearly 50-year career to bring stories of Black Americans into the spotlight, including the rise and fall of The Black Panthers and the election of Barack Obama. Davis also reported on the AIDS epidemic and the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. 

CW: The forward for Never in My Wildest Dreams by Belva Davis and Vicki Haddock, published in 2012, was written by Bill Cosby. He was revered as a creator depicting the lives of Black people before sexual assault allegations came to light. He has since been convicted and is in prison. We only condone the book and content about Ms. Davis. 

I encourage you to visit Fund for Black Journalists. Supporting the vitality of Black journalists creates a robust news cycle detailing racial disparities and fight for equality that comes from hiring investigative journalists, data analysts, and video producers.

Ashley Paul is a traveler, runner, and baker. She is an Everlasting Bookworm and Culture Maven. She is passionate about supporting high school juniors and seniors to write compelling stories for their post-secondary careers. She loves stories with social commentary, atmospheric writing, and compelling characters.

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