Twenty three black columnists discuss their role in American journalism. The diversity of their voices is exhibited in a collection of their columns at the end of 2005 through the first half of 2006. There are topics that speak to every reader. Engage, enjoy and continue to follow these writers who publish weekly or several days a week in newspapers and other media. William Monroe Trotter [1872-1934] was perhaps the rudest African-American journalist this nation has produced. The first African-American Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Harvard, Trotter was uncompromising. He attacked both racists and black accommodationists as editor of the Boston Guardian newspaper in the early 1900s. Trotter's legacy of lone wolf protest inspired 18 African-American columnists in 1992 to establish the Trotter Group.
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Contributors: Betty Winston Baye, Lisa Baird, Wayne Dawkins, Lewis Diuguid, Gregory Freeman, Loretta Green, Derrick Jackson, Vernon Jarrett, Tannette Johnson-Elie, Eugene Kane, Jerry Large, Wil LaVeist, Dwight Lewis, Norman Lockman, Errol Louis, Peggy Peterman, Richard Prince, Rochelle Riley, Gregory Stanford, Adrienne Washington, Rod Watson, Tonyaa Weathersbee and DeWayne Wickham.Review:
DeWayne Wickham, the columnist for USA Today and Wayne Dawkins, a Hampton University journalism faculty member, compiled "Black Voices in Commentary: The Trotter Group," a collection of pieces by 23 black columnists. Were [Martin Luther] King alive today, he would find this a sober collection of black mainstream though from commentators who avoid the histrionics of their TV and radio counterparts ... All are past or present member of the Trotter Group, named after William Monroe Trotter, legendary publisher of the Boston Guardian, a pioneering black-owned newspaper, who challenged President Woodrow Wilson in the last century. "In the first decade of the 21st century, some of the most powerful voices of the black intelligensia can be foundon the pages of newspapers," Wickham writes in the introduction. "These black journalists are the conscience of America. They are the road posts that guard against the nation losing its way, and the shepards who insist that its democratic ideals be enjoyed by all Americans." --San Jose Mercury News, Jan. 14, 2007
The black columnists organization "The Trotter Group" has released their third collection of "no-holds-barred" works by top black commentators. Farai Chideya talks to Wayne Dawkins, editor of Black Voices in Commentary and Betty Baye, a contributor to the book and a regular on News and Notes. --NPR "News and Notes," Jan. 8, 2007
The 23 columnists here among those who gather every year in the name of William Monroe Trotter, an agitating, early 20th-century black newspaper publisher, meld the past and present by making sure important local, regional and national black stories got told. Even though most of the columns here range roughly from 2004 through 2006, collectively they weave strands of African-American history from Jim Crow up through "Hustle and Flow." Pieces of memory, fragments of encounters, reporting of current events are all here, dispatched from Boston, Detroit, Virginia and other regions, intersecting in a multifaceted piece of geography called Black America. This amalgamation allows the brief tale of a 23-year-old voter in Milwaukee to share space with the account of a 103-year-old Tulsa, Okla. riot survivor preaching a revival in Seattle. The book's slightly heartbreaking coda, "Memories," contain the final, first-person goodbyes from the Trotter members who are now ancestors. Asanta Sana, Vernon Jarrett, Norman Lockman, Peggy Peterman, Gregory Freeman and Lisa Baird, and other prominent black journalists who seem to be dying every month. --Todd S. Burroughs, tbwt.org
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