Thirty years ago today, at the ripe age of 17, I covered my first news story professionally. I covered a huge anti-apartheid rally in Newark, N.J. for The New Jersey Afro-American newspaper, the “baby” of what then was a chain of weeklies that went up and down the East Coast. Deborah P. Smith-Gregory, my journalism teacher at Seton Hall University’s Upward Bound project in 1983, brought me into The AFRO. She allowed me to share her byline with her. The article made it onto the front page, and I never looked back. Thanks, Mrs. Deborah Smith-Gregory!
It’s an interesting list. It would be a bit more interesting if it included people I met over the years, like Jared Ball and Rosa Clemente. They are no strangers to public intellectual work, but, alas, they don’t color within the lines.
But then again, looking at the older generation:
I just remember that Manning Marable and Earl Ofari Hutchinson were among those who started this “post-Civil Rights Movement Black public intellectual” thing 40 years ago on the Op-Ed pages of Black newspapers that only a few give a crap about now. Time is not the only thing that keeps on slipping into the future.