Reflections on Carole Simpson’s visit to Lesley, by Dr. Barbara “B.J.” Addison Reid
Monday, February 11, 2013
To hear Carole’s story causes one to admire her accomplishments. Simpson, a graduate of the University of Michigan, began her career as the first woman to broadcast radio news on station WCFL in Chicago, Illinois.
She moved to television in Chicago and into NBC News in 1974, becoming the first African American woman to anchor a major network newscast. She joined ABC News in 1982, and was the anchor of the Sunday edition of World News Tonight from 1988 to October 2003. Simpson became the first woman and the first person of color to moderate a presidential debate when she moderated the debate between George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Ross Perot.
Simpson has good instincts and a nose for news. Simpson knew Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. In January 1966, King and his wife moved into an apartment on Hamlin Avenue in Chicago. During an exclusive interview with King, Simpson learned King’s reason for being in Chicago, which was to face Mayor Richard Daley and draw attention to segregated housing conditions for Chicago’s poor people. Simpson’s perseverance in getting the King interview and lead story became a pivotal point in her career.
To feel her story causes gut-wrenching pain. Simpson endured racism and sexism and ageism. Hers is a story of survival in a male-dominated profession that placed the highest premium on white males. Like many of us, when confronted with a response, “No, you can’t…” Simpson cried, got mad, and then took the “No’s” like vitamin pills with a glass of lemonade, and she continued to strive to move herself forward.
Today, Simpson has returned to teaching and she is a Leader in Residency at Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts, teaching journalism. She visited Lesley University on February 7 and spoke before an audience in the University Hall Amphitheater, followed by a reception and book signing of her book, “NewsLady.”
Simpson’s lecture was sponsored by the University Diversity Council at Lesley University, whose mission is to help all members of the Lesley community find common ground, while providing opportunities to value and support diversity-related efforts at the University and in the community.
Dr. Barbara “B.J.” Addison Reid is the Director of Equal Opportunity and Inclusion and Title IX Coordinator at Lesley University.
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