As the first black female television journalist in the western United States, Belva Davis overcame racism and sexism and helped change the face and focus of television news. She shares the story of her extraordinary life in her poignantly honest memoir.
Davis is no stranger to adversity. Born to a fifteen-year-old Louisiana laundress during the Great Depression and raised in the overcrowded projects of Oakland, California, Davis suffered abuse, battled rejection, and persevered to achieve a career beyond her imagination. She has seen the world change in ways she never could have envisioned, from being verbally and physically attacked while reporting on the 1964 Republican National Convention in San Francisco to witnessing the historic election of Barack Obama in 2008.
Davis reported many of the most explosive stories of modern times, including the Vietnam War protests, the Black Panthers, the Peoples Temple cult mass suicides at Jonestown, the assassinations of San Francisco Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk, the onset of the AIDS epidemic—and from Africa, the aftermath of 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, Muhammad Ali,
Alex Haley, Fidel Castro, Dianne Feinstein, Condoleezza Rice, and others.
Belva Davis soldiered in the trenches in the battle for racial equality and brought stories of black Americans out of the shadows and into the light of day. Now in her seventies, the “Walter Cronkite of the Bay Area” hosts a weekly news roundtable and special reports at KQED, one of the nation’s leading PBS stations.
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