Black History Month

Black History Month 2011

For Black History Month 2011, the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education website celebrates 28 individuals. One for each day of February, the shortest month of the year.

The lives of these Americans are worthy of celebration and further study, which our short profiles hope to encourage. The women and men included are writers, editors, journalists, publishers, trailblazers and change makers. They remind us of the rich contributions African Americans make and have made in the world of words.

This is by no means a definitive or exhaustive listing. It’s a starting point for learning, comment & discussion during Black History Month - February, 2011 when our nation pays a little more attention to issues of diversity. Be heard. Tell us what you think & what we can learn!

*** Please follow these links to view our 2012 and 2013 Black History Month features. ***

Black History Month - Jupitor Hammon
February 10, 2011
Jupiter Hammon became the first published African American writer while a slave in New York in 1760.  Hammon established the legacy of black writers in the United States and was instrumental in developing respect for the intellect of African... more »
Black History Month - Bob Herbert
February 11, 2011
Bob Herbert is a New York Times editorial columnist who first reported for the Star-Ledger in 1970, after a tour of duty in the United States Army.  He was a founding panelist for Sunday Edition on CBS and was a national correspondent on NBC.... more »
Black History Month - Charlayne Hunter-Gault
February 12, 2011
Charlayne Hunter-Gault started her journalistic career in 1959 fighting a legal battle for minorities’ right to enroll in the University of Georgia, eventually becoming the first black to graduate from there.  Since 1967 Hunter-Gault has been... more »
Black History Month - Zora Neale Hurston
February 13, 2011
Zora Neal Hurston worked her way through Barnard College for an anthropology degree to become one of the most prominent figures in African American literature. Well known for her book, “Their Eyes Were Watching God,” she is closely connected with... more »
Black History Month - Robert L. Johnson
February 14, 2011
Robert L. Johnson studied politics and international affairs at University of Illinois and Princeton University, respectively. As a lobbyist for the National Cable Association in the 1970s, he founded Black Entertainment Television in 1980. From a... more »
Black History Month - Martin Luther King, Jr.
February 15, 2011
Known for his soaring oratory, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was also a prolific writer whose words literally changed our world. In 1963 he delivered the now-celebrated speech during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. At 35, he was the... more »
Black History Month - Paula Madison
February 16, 2011
Paula Madison is the Executive Vice President of Diversity for NBC Universal, marking the first time in NBC’s history that diversity is an executive’s primary focus. Prior to this appointment, she was the President and General Manager of KNBC, and... more »
Black History Month - Nancy Hicks Maynard
February 17, 2011
As a teen-ager, Nancy Hicks Maynard was outraged at the media’s distorted depiction of her neighborhood. She began her journalism career at the New York Post where she worked as a copy girl while going to college. At the age of 21 she was hired by... more »
Black History Month - Robert C. Maynard
February 18, 2011
As a young man, Robert C. Maynard dreamed of being a newspaper reporter, but back in the 1950s newspapers were either not hiring “Negro” reporters or already had their one black reporter on staff. Undaunted, Maynard sent out 200 resumes, ... more »
Black History Month - Barack Obama
February 19, 2011
Barack Obama is both the 44th U.S. President and the first African American President of the United States. Before his historic election, he was the president of the Harvard Law Review, served three terms in the state senate in Illinois and was a... more »