She Made History In Journalism, But Was Harassed Behind The Scenes

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Damian White
January 16, 2023

 In 1975, Carole Simpson became the first Black woman to anchor a live-broadcast news program, bringing a fresh perspective to major television network ABC News.

It all began one evening when she approached Martin Luther King, Jr. on his way to a meeting with the Chicago mayor about housing segregation.

After waiting all night in the cold, she was determined to find out what the two were planning to talk about so she could report the story. To her surprise, King obliged.

The rest is history. Simpson anchored the “World News Tonight” program on ABC news for over 20 years, received awards, and even interviewed Nelson Mandela. 

But she also struggled, working in an industry dominated by white men.

Harsh racial epithets and sexual harassment were frequently cast her way, making it difficult for her to feel comfortable at work. 

A drunk news executive once told her, “You think because you’re Black and you’re a woman you can get anything you want. And you slut, you don’t deserve it.”

Simpson’s perseverance in the face of sexual and racial violence may inspire you, or make you feel less alone, but no one should have to endure what she did. And although her story is lesser-known, you can read more about it in her words from her memoir, “NewsLady.”

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