Black Quotidian: Everyday History in African-American Newspapers

February 15, 1975

On February 15, 1975, the Pittsburgh Courier published a piece by editor-in-chief Hazel Garland on professional opportunities for black athletes after their playing careers and opportunities for African-Americans as television personalities. Garland, who was one of the first black women to lead a nationally circulated paper, lauded retired baseball player Bill White for becoming the play-by-play man for the New York Yankees and for working during the off-season for NBC. “I am very happy that things turned out the way they did for Bill White,” Garland wrote. “They don’t always happen that way. No matter how great a Black athlete is, somehow when his playing days are over, unless he has invested his earnings well, the guy has a difficult time adjusting himself to living on an ordinary low-paying job” (click to view PDF).  

After noting that White made a guest appearance on the “Today” show as an NBC-TV network sportscaster, Garland shifted her focus to television. “NBC needs to improve its image, especially on the network level,” Garland argued. I don’t know why two of the network’s best newscasters, Bill Matney and Lem Tucker, left to take on similar assignments with the ABC-TV networks. But when you come right down to it, none of the networks make use of their Blacks as regulars on network news shows, morning or evening...I still can’t understand why Blacks aren’t used as panelists on such network news shows as ‘Face the Nation,’ ‘Issues and Answers’ and ‘Meet the Press.’  While I am always happy to see the very knowledgeable Carl Rowan sitting in on NBC’s ‘Meet the Press’ from time to time, I think that a regular, perhaps Matney or Tucker or former Cleveland Mayor Carl Stokes (now with WNBC in New York) could be used on all such shows.”  

On Hazel Garland, see “Hazel Garland: Female Trailblazer,” New Pittsburgh Courier, January 27, 2011

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