From Jim Crow America to Apartheid South Africa and Beyond: A Journalist’s Journey

Body Politic(s) | Events | Speakers | Seminars | Resources

Charlayne Hunter-Gault, the Emmy and Peabody Award-winning journalist will deliver the first Spring 2009 Body Politic(s) lecture on Friday, March 27.  Her talk, From Jim Crow America to Apartheid South Africa and Beyond: A Journalist’s Journey will take place at 7:30pm in Gamble Auditorium, Art Building on the campus of Mount Holyoke. 

Ms. Hunter-Gault is a veteran and prize-winning journalist who has both made history and reported on the events of our time. In 1961, at the age of nineteen, she became part of the heroic and ambitious cohort of students who integrated universities in the American South during the Civil Rights era.  The first African-American woman to enter the University of Georgia, she graduated in 1962 with a degree in journalism. She recalls that moment in which her efforts to acquire equal education and to overcome segregation as one in which she and her fellow history makers were " simply doing what we were born and raised to do."

Following her graduation from the University of Georgia, Ms. Hunter-Gault attended Washington University as a Russell Sage Fellow.  Her early career in journalism included work at WRC-TV in Washington, D.C. in 1967 where she anchored the local evening news and was part of the investigative news team.  When she joined the New York Times, Ms. Hunter-Gault was the first African American reporter on staff and she held the position of Harlem Bureau Chief.  During her tenure at the New York Times, Ms. Gault won numerous awards, including the National Urban Coalition Award for Distinguished Urban Reporting and The New York Times' Publisher's Award.  She served as Johannesburg Bureau Chief and Correspondent for CNN, and spent two decades at PBS where she was National Correspondent for The News Hour with Jim Lehrer and also was anchor of Rights and Wrongs, the award-winning human rights-focused newsmagazine. From 1997 to 1999, she was based in Johannesburg as chief correspondent in Africa for NPR. Currently based in South Africa, where she lives with her family, Ms. Hunter-Gault is writing often about South African politics and is documenting the 2009 South African elections, post-apartheid issues, class, education, and society. 

In addition to her Body Politic(s) lecture, Ms. Hunter-Gault will be part of the Weissman Center's Tenth Anniversary Leadership Symposium scheduled for Saturday, March 28th.  For information about the WCL Anniversary and Leadership Symposium that features presentations by Congresswoman Nita Lowey ’59, activist Carolyn Jessop, journalist Maria Hinojosa, MHC Athletics Director Laurie Priest, and historian Mary Kelley '65, see the WCL 10th Anniversary website.

Event Details
Date: Friday, March 27
Time: 7:30 pm
Speaker: Charlayne Hunter-Gault
Place: Gamble Auditorium, Art Building, Mount Holyoke College
Free and open to public