Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Journalist Belva Davis tonight at the Carter Center, Atlanta

Belva Davis is no stranger to adversity. Her mother was fifteen years old when Davis was born during the Great Depression, and she was raised in Oakland, California, where she overcame family abuse and rejection to achieve a career beyond her imagination. She appears tonight in Atlanta at the Carter Center at 7 p.m. to talk about a remarkable career and her unlikely success story. Her new book, Never in My Wildest Dreams: A Black Woman's Life in Journalism, is the real-life memoir of an extraordinary life in extraordinary times, and is being published to coincide with black history month.

As the first black woman TV reporter-anchor on the West Coast, Davis reported many of the most explosive stories of the last half-century. A reporter for almost five decades, she filed stories about the Berkeley student protests, the rise of feminism, the birth of the Black Panthers, the Jonestown massacre, the Moscone-Milk murders, and the onset of the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s.

On assignment in Africa she reported the terrorist attacks that first put Osama bin Laden on the FBI's most-wanted list. She encountered a cavalcade of cultural icons: Malcolm X, Frank Sinatra, James Brown, Nancy Reagan, Huey Newton, Mohammed Ali, Alex Haley, Fidel Castro, Dianne Feinstein, and Condoleezza Rice.

In her book, Davis recounts an astonishing era of civil rights history. In 1964 she was one of a handful of African-American TV reporters, and was verbally and physically attacked while reporting on the Republican National Convention in San Francisco. Forty-four years later she reported on the election of Barack Obama in 2008.

During her career, she brought stories of black Americans out of the shadows and into the light of day. Now in her seventies, Davis has won five local Emmys and a Lifetime Achievement Award for broadcasting. She has been fondly refered to as the"Walter Cronkite of the Bay Area," and still hosts a weekly news roundtable as well as special reports at KQED, one of the nation's leading PBS stations.

For more information: The Carter Center, 404-865-7100.

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