I have carried that weight of the skin I am in. The awareness that there were those who believed that because I am Black I was somehow “less than,” not up to snuff, as a journalist.
"Reporting While Black"
When I arrived at the Chicago Tribune in fall 1989, I soon discovered, that like myself, many Black reporters were degreed up and interned to the hilt. And yet, we were still deemed incompetent until proven competent. White reporters, some of them with no college degree at all, became national and foreign correspondents, ascended to the paper's top management positions.
A submission of three of John W. Fountain's columns won the 1st Place NABJ "Salute To Excellence" Award for column, newspapers under 100,000. One of them was a nostalgic piece about my beloved K-Town neighbor, Mr. Newell.
Many thanks to editor Paul Saltzman for submitting Fountain's work. He is humbled for the National Association of Black Journalists bestowing upon him this honor.