Pioneers…Drum majors for equal opportunity …these men were passionate about their crusade to promote Black college achievements through the use of the tools of the media. Long before integrated competition became a theme in America, they challenged the status quo and promoted Jackie Robinson, Paul “Tank” Younger, Jesse Owens, Satchel Paige, Althea Gibson and numerous others who passed through the doorsteps of Black colleges and white institutions.
The Dean of Sports Writers
(Sept. 30, 1924 – May 7, 2014)
Legendary journalist and NFL Scout Bill Nunn entered the newspaper business as a sports writer for the Pittsburgh Courier, where he later became sports editor and managing editor. After elevating the Courier’s Black Sportswriters College All-American team to new heights, Nunn joined the Pittsburgh Steelers’ scouting staff part time in 1967 and then full time in 1969. A true innovator, he constructed a bridge between the Steelers and Historically Black Colleges and Universities. A legend among NFL scouts, he has been a part of the Pittsburgh Steelers six Super Bowl championships which included Black College stars: John Stallworth (Alabama A&M), L.C. Greenwood (Arkansas AM&N) and Tennessee State’s QB Joe Gilliam, Jr.
(Oct. 23, 1903 – May 8, 2003)
Baseball Hall of Fame Sportswriter, Reporter, Columnist, Editor, and TV/Radio Commentator …A Howard graduate who became a columnist for the Baltimore-Afro-American newspapers in 1943. Lacy was a crusader for the inclusion of black athletes in major league baseball. Some of the nation’s best ballplayers played in the Negro National League and had no chance of joining the Major League Baseball. Lacy campaigned in newspaper sports columns against the racial policies and climate that kept black players from competing on major leagueteams. His vigorous campaigning to Branch Rickey, owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers resulted in Jackie Robinson’s heralded breakthrough into the Major League Baseball in 1945. Mr. Lacy covered Robinson during his year with Montreal and his break-in year with the Dodgers. Robinson was soon followed by Larry Doby, a Virginia Union grad who signed with the American League Cleveland Indians. Honors: Baseball Hall of Fame, 1998…Red Smith Award (Sportswriters top award)
Hal Jackson was born in Charleston, SC and grew up in Washington, D.C. He graduated from Howard University where he began his broadcasting career doing Howard’s home baseball games and local Negro league baseball games. Hal broke a number of color barriers in American radio broad-casting. In 1939, he became the first African American disc jockey at WINX with The Bronze Review, a nightly interview program. He later hosted a talk show, a program of jazz and blues on WOOK-TV. Jackson moved to New York in 1954 and became the first radio personality to host his three daily shows on three different New York stations. In 1971, Jackson and Percy Sutton, former Manhattan borough president (Prairie View A&M) founded the Inner City Broadcasting Corporation- becoming the first African-American owned and operated station in New York City. The radio stations included WLIB-AM and WBLS-FM. Jackson owns and operates stations in New York, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Fort Lauderdale, Columbia, South Carolina, and Jackson, Mississippi. Jackson hosted the popular Sunday Classics on WBLS each Sunday Hall of Fame: National Association of Broadcaster’s (first minority inducted) 1990 National Radio Hall of Fame (first African-American inducted)1995 Rhythm and Blues Foundation, Pioneer Award 2003 Library of American Broadcasting, 2010 Founder, the Hal Jackson Talented Teens Miss International.
A native of Annapolis, Maryland, Ron has spent over 40 years as a trailblazer in radio and television broadcasting. He attended Morgan State University before embarking on a career as a correspondent with the Baltimore Afro-American. He held jobs as a morning newscaster at WOL Radio in 1965, and took his first broadcasting job as a radio disk jockey at WANN in Annapolis, MD in 1956. He began doing play by play at Bates High School in 1964. His first college football play by play job was Maryland State College 1964. From there Ron’s began a long and impressive career:
1968-70, Play by play announcer, Morgan State University Golden Bears
1969, Orange Blossom Classic (the Black college football showcase in Miami, Florida. FAMU Rattlers Hall of Fame head coach Alonza “Jake” Gaither handpicked him).
1969-72, His second TV broadcast was for WTTG, Channel 5, Washington, DC weekend sportscaster (teamed with news anchors Connie Chung and full-time Maury Povich).
1971-74, He got a call from Collie Nicholson to do play by play at Grambling College.
Footnote: Grambling State hired him to do play by play for their syndicated televised football games. He worked with former Dallas Cowboys running back Don Perkins, , and Betty Smith, considered the first woman sideline reporter in Los Angeles.
1975-78, Mutual Black Network “Black College Game of the Week” (former NFL stars Roger Brown and Tom Gatewood).
1976- ABC-TV Regional game featuring Mississippi Valley State vs. Jackson State.
1978-79 -CIAA Basketball Championship (Regional Telecast) First time NBC televised Black College game. (with NBA Hall of Famer Sam Jones).
1980 – 1992, Sports Director, National Black Network.
1993, John B. McLendon, Jr. Basketball Invitational Tournament, Atlantic City, NJ.
1993 MEAC Game of the Week, ESPN 2 (with Gil McGregor)
1996 -2012, Color commentator, WHOV, play by play announcer, Hampton University.
He retired for good after the 2012 season.
West VA State
North Carolina A&T
North Carolina A&T
Norfolk Journal & Guide
Stepehn A. Smith
Winston- Salem State
Dr. Ben Chavis
NY Amsterdam News
The Houston Post
Newark Star Ledger
Brad Pye, Jr.