Black History Month

Earl Caldwell

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Black History Month - Earl Caldwell
Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Earl Caldwell started his career writing for his local small town newspaper and went on to cover some of the biggest stories in our nation’s history. As a reporter for the New York Times, he was the only journalist at the Lorraine Motel when Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., was assassinated. Caldwell went on to cover the Black Panthers in California for the Times.  It was in that capacity that Caldwell came under the scrutiny of the FBI which wanted him to turn over his notes. His refusal lead to a protracted legal battle that eventually went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, where he lost. Caldwell went on to cover the Rev. Jesse Jackson’s historic bid for the presidency, the election of the first black government in Zimbabwe and to become the first black journalist to write a column in a major newspaper, the Daily News. Today he is a journalism professor at Hampton University.