Black America’s Dirty Little Secret

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  • Former ABC News Weekend anchor Carole Simpson has had a wide range of obstacles and victories throughout her illustrious career, many of which she recounted in her memoir “NewsLady.”
        
    But Simpson felt compelled to update the book after hearing that many young black journalists are running into many of the same racist and sexists incidents she faced in her four decade-long career in broadcast journalism.

    One of the more devastating revelations, previously unpublished, was that white men were not always the source of her problems. She faced animosity, sexism and racism from women and black colleagues as well.

    “There are some controversial aspects to this new version,” Simpson said in a news release announcing the updated memoir. “I talk about the ‘dirty little secret’ in black America. We are prejudiced against each other.”

    Simpson was the first black woman to work in NBC’s Washington bureau and was an Emmy-winning correspondent for ABC News. She covered a wide range of topics from natural disasters, foreign affairs and political reporting, including presidential nominating conventions and covering candidates, as well as anchoring the weekend newscasts. In 1992, she was the first black journalist to moderate a presidential debate.

    Right up to the end of her daily broadcasting career, Simpson wrote, she had to fend off racist and sexist remarks. But she continued to encourage aspiring young black journalists, funding several scholarships with the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) and the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTNDA).

    Her honors include induction into the NABJ Hall of Fame, a lifetime achievement award from the New York Association of Black Journalists and the Leonard Zeidenberg First Amendment Award in recognition of Simpson’s work to protect First Amendment freedoms.

    In 2006, Simpson retired from ABC News and joined the School of Communications at Emerson College in Boston as a Leader-in-Residence, where she is a full-time journalism faculty member and writing coach. Simpson also maintains a blog and website, called Think About It at www.carolesimpson.com.

    The re-release of NewsLady expands on the behind-the-scenes look at Simpson’s life. In addition to painting a portrait of the race and gender difficulties she faced while building her career, she also reflects on the rise and fall of the late Max Robinson, the first African-American to anchor a major nightly newscast, and an ABC colleague.

    “This really may be one of the few things written about Max Robinson since his death,” of AIDS at age 49, Simpson said in the news release.
     
    “I recount events in this book that show how many tried and how many succeeded in doing me harm,” Simpson said. “But before, during and after my television career, I was able to overcome and prospered. I was blessed.”
     

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    4 thoughts on “Black America’s Dirty Little Secret

    1. I’m not sure if you’re getting the point. There are some black people who don’t seem to appreciate other blacks who happen to be of a different complexion than their own. However, I believe the writer is referring to a problem we seem to have as a race. Many of us have a higher level of respect for other races. We automatically respect other races and automatically disrespect our own race unless individually, we prove that we are worthy of respect. Even then, many of us tend to think less of our own sister/brother’s accomplishments or just plain humanity. We automatically respect Whites without knowing a thing about them individually. This has to change.

    2. There will probably always be racism in this country and within our community….For some reason people always think light skinned people as my self have it easier than them(darker skinned black people)…..We struggle just like you do…..I don’t try to knock a sister/brother if they have it going on….If anything, I become friends with them to see how they got it going on and then maybe I can try it in my life…..

    3. Great commentary. The sad thing is that racism is still alive and well——-it is so sad that we as Black people still have to endure this in light of all of our comtributions to this country. Stay strong, Carole!

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