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“Trailblazer: A Pioneering Journalist’s Fight to Make the Media Look More Like America” by Dorothy Butler Gilliam
March 7, 2019 at 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
The longtime Washington Post reporter, editor, and columnist will fill in a local crowd on her new memoir at this appearance (free). We asked Gilliam what it was like to start her job as the paper’s first black female reporter.
– “I had something in my mind that one of my college professors said: ‘You have so many handicaps, you’ll probably make it.’ I thought, ‘Handicaps? My race and my gender are considered handicaps?’ Things I have no control over. That was kind of passing through my mind.”
– “I knew that I wanted the job, that I wanted to do the job well, and I would do the job to the best of my ability. I felt like I was prepared; I wasn’t. I hadn’t had daily-newspaper experience, except at Columbia. I knew I had to gain experience writing for a daily paper, writing quickly. So I had those thoughts in my mind: This is going to be tough.”
– “But I came of age in a strong family. I had a dad who was a minister, a mom who—both of them had some higher education. I came of age in a religious community, where I was taught that I was special and that I could do unusual things.”
– “The Post was an exciting place to work. I can remember I was sent on an assignment—a very routine assignment to the White House when John F. Kennedy was President. Just being within shouting distance of him, I thought I was going to faint. But I didn’t faint. I got the story.”
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