Magazine article Diverse Issues in Higher Education

A True Trailblazer

Magazine article Diverse Issues in Higher Education

A True Trailblazer

Article excerpt

Belva Davis overcame numerous discriminatory obstacles on her way to becoming one of northern California's most prominent broadcast journalists

As a pioneering television journalist, Belva Davis overcame racism and sexism in the workplace and society while reporting on politics and racial and gender issues. In the news industry, she is considered "the Walter Cronkite" of northern California.

An office worker at a naval supply center, Davis unexpectedly fell into journalism when she tried getting charity events mentioned in Black- owned newspapers and wound up freelancing for Jet and Ebony magazines. Her move into radio led to covering the 1964 Republican National Convention, where she was verbally and physically assaulted. By 1967, Davis joined the CBS affiliate in San Francisco as the first Black female TV reporter in the western United States.

She eventually anchored the news there and for affiliates of two other networks. She has covered Vietnam War protests, the rise of the Black Panthers and the assassinations of San Francisco Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk.

The winner of eight local Emmys, she has been inducted into the National Association of Black Journalists Hall of Fame.

Davis currently hosts "This Week in Northern California," a political affairs program on public station KQED. Her husband, Bill Moore, was one of the first Blacks to work as a TV news cameraman in this country and now teaches digital video at Ohlone College.

DI: Why do you think your memoir, Never in my Wildest Dreams: A Black Woman's Life in Journalism, has startled many of your colleagues?

BD: They hadn't known about my day-to-day work difficulties. In the early years, I was often asked to leave press conferences because I was Black. There were also cameramen who didn't want to work with women or Blacks and certainly not someone like myself.

But I had already learned at my integrated high school the importance of holding my ground. …

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