Friday, October 20, 2006

Pinkston speaks

On tomorrow's Pop page, you'll find my interview with CBS News correspondent Randall Pinkston, who's speaking at Saturday's Colorado Springs NAACP Freedom Fund Gala.

The story is mostly about Pinkston's personal story -- he was part of the first wave of black broadcasters in the South and his first job was at a station so racist that the FCC was eventually forced by the courts to pull its license.

Actually, I have personal connection to that case -- my dad was working for the national headquarters of the United Church of Christ in New York at the time (the UCC was the group that brought the suit against the TV station).

So, as the court case was winding up, they sent him down there to help out the UCC leaders in Jackson, Miss. -- a job that he describes as buying booze for them, dealing with Xerox and riding around in a car with with a white woman lawyer to meet Charles Evers - Medgar Evers brother.

They had to have a white man in the car so their driver, who was black, wouldn't be seen alone with a white woman. It's unbelievable to me that those were the ground rules in parts of this country two years before I was born.

Anyway, Pinkston was a good interview -- something ironically rare in reporters -- and he has an amazing mind for details. You should check him out at the Freedom Fund dinner.


At 10:25 AM, October 21, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi Andy...was that WLBT tv in Jackson, Mississippi wherer Pinkston was? I lived there for 17 years and it seems to me that there is alot of reverse discrimination going on there even to this day. WLBT is now owned by a group of black businessmen who make their own rules and discriminate in their own ways. I was glad to move here back in 1991 to get away from all that tension.

At 2:21 PM, October 21, 2006, Blogger AndyW said...

Actually, WLBT was bought by Raycom, KXRM's old owner. A group of black businessmen owned it for most of the '80s and '90s -- and, yep, they had the reputation for being cutthroat businessmen.


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