Trailblazer A pioneering journalist's fight to make the media look more like America

Dorothy Butler Gilliam, 1936-

Book - 2019

Dorothy Butler Gilliam, whose fifty-year-career as a journalist put her in the forefront of the fight for social justice, offers a comprehensive view of racial relations and the media in the US, covering a wide swath of media history--from the era of game-changing Negro newspapers like the Chicago Defender to the civil rights movement, feminism, and our current imperfect diversity.

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Subjects
Genres
Biography
Biographies
Published
Nashville : Center Street 2019.
Edition
First edition
Language
English
Physical Description
x, 351 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Bibliography
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN
9781546083443
1546083448
Main Author
Dorothy Butler Gilliam, 1936- (author)
Review by Booklist Reviews

*Starred Review* Southern-born daughter of a preacher Gilliam arrived at the Washington Post in 1961, the first black reporter on the staff of one of the nation's most influential daily newspapers. She covered a racially segregated Washington, D.C., from a newsroom that wasn't friendly toward the idea of integration. Gilliam got her start with smaller black newspapers in the South and covered the integration of Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. For the Post, she covered James Meredith's integration of Ole Miss and interviewed Medgar Evers eight months before his assassination. But Gilliam faced as many challenges in D.C., both at the Post and in the changing culture of "Chocolate City" as she chronicled the social scene of black Washington as editor of the Post's style section. Gilliam also details her own self-awakening and broadening sense of what might be available to her as a reporter and a black woman during this time of social transformation. In her compelling memoir, she recounts her trailblazing career during the turbulence of the Vietnam War, the civil rights and women's movements, and Watergate and looks beyond her personal journey to examine efforts to diversify the staffs of news organizations and other challenges currently facing the press. Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Presents a comprehensive view of racial relations and the media in the Unuted States that draws on the author's personal and professional experiences to celebrate the behind-the-scenes victories that have shaped decades of struggle.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

The barrier-breaking civil-rights journalist presents a comprehensive view of racial relations and the media in the U.S. that draws on her personal and professional experiences to celebrate the behind-the-scenes victories that have shaped decades of struggle. (biography & autobiography). 15,000 first printing.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

Dorothy Butler Gilliam, whose 50-year-career as a journalist put her in the forefront of the fight for social justice, offers a comprehensive view of racial relations and the media in the U.S.Most civil rights victories are achieved behind the scenes, and this riveting, beautifully written memoir by a "black first" looks back with searing insight on the decades of struggle, friendship, courage, humor and savvy that secured what seems commonplace today-people of color working in mainstream media.Told with a pioneering newspaper writer's charm and skill, Gilliam's full, fascinating life weaves her personal and professional experiences and media history into an engrossing tapestry. When we read about the death of her father and other formative events of her life, we glimpse the crippling impact of the segregated South before the civil rights movement when slavery's legacy still felt astonishingly close. We root for her as a wife, mother, and ambitious professional as she seizes once-in-a-lifetime opportunities never meant for a "dark-skinned woman" and builds a distinguished career. We gain a comprehensive view of how the media, especially newspapers, affected the movement for equal rights in this country. And in this humble, moving memoir, we see how an innovative and respected journalist and working mother helped provide opportunities for others.With the distinct voice of one who has worked for and witnessed immense progress and overcome heart-wrenching setbacks, this book covers a wide swath of media history -- from the era of game-changing Negro newspapers like the Chicago Defender to the civil rights movement, feminism, and our current imperfect diversity. This timely memoir, which reflects the tradition of boot-strapping African American storytelling from the South, is a smart, contemporary consideration of the media.