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Trailblazer

A Pioneering Journalist's Fight to Make the Media Look More Like America
Narrated by: January LaVoy
Length: 8 hrs and 58 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (17 ratings)
Regular price: $24.95
$14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

Publisher's Summary

Dorothy Butler Gilliam, whose 50-year-career as a journalist put her in the forefront of the fight for social justice, offers a comprehensive view of racial relations and the media in the US.

Most civil rights victories are achieved behind the scenes, and this riveting, beautifully written memoir by a "black first" looks back with searing insight on the decades of struggle, friendship, courage, humor, and savvy that secured what seems commonplace today - people of color working in mainstream media.

Told with a pioneering newspaper writer's charm and skill, Gilliam's full, fascinating life weaves her personal and professional experiences and media history into an engrossing tapestry. When we read about the death of her father and other formative events of her life, we glimpse the crippling impact of the segregated South before the civil rights movement when slavery's legacy still felt astonishingly close. We root for her as a wife, mother, and ambitious professional as she seizes once-in-a-lifetime opportunities never meant for a "dark-skinned woman" and builds a distinguished career. We gain a comprehensive view of how the media, especially newspapers, affected the movement for equal rights in this country. And in this humble, moving memoir, we see how an innovative and respected journalist and working mother helped provide opportunities for others.

With the distinct voice of one who has worked for and witnessed immense progress and overcome heart-wrenching setbacks, this audiobook covers a wide swath of media history - from the era of game-changing Negro newspapers like the Chicago Defender to the civil rights movement, feminism, and our current imperfect diversity. This timely memoir, which reflects the tradition of boot-strapping African American storytelling from the South, is a smart, contemporary consideration of the media. 

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2019 Dorothy Butler Gilliam (P)2019 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"Dorothy Gilliam is a great reporter, a pioneer for all women in the news business, and African-American women particularly. Her story is about a time in American journalism where courage and brilliance were called for in the white-male bastions that were American newsrooms. It's a story that has been waiting a long time to be told." (Carl Bernstein, Pulitzer prize-winning reporter of Watergate fame)

"Dorothy Gilliam is a national treasure. Her groundbreaking career in journalism is a monument to triumph, inspiration, grace. She is admired by journalists of color everywhere - not only because of her pioneering body of work, but because she cared about us so much." (Kevin Merida, editor in chief of ESPN's The Undefeated and former managing editor of The Washington Post)

"Dorothy Gilliam lived a fascinating life and shares it with you in Trailblazer. She started out afraid to tell her editors that D.C. cabs wouldn't stop for her - a problem for a reporter who needed to get to stories on time. She wound up a member of a group of minority columnists who regularly interviewed presidents. Her book is a tribute to her generous spirit. No one made greater efforts to share her success with others, to teach school-age journalists, to open the ranks of newspaper management to minorities. So many people in journalism are grateful that they met Dorothy. Here's your chance." (Don Graham, former publisher of The Washington Post)

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