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Charlayne Hunter Gault Research Paper

Charlayne Hunter Gault Research Paper

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Published by Macey Meriggi
Research paper about the american journalist and Civil Rights Pioneer.
Research paper about the american journalist and Civil Rights Pioneer.

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Categories:Types, School Work
Published by: Macey Meriggi on Apr 06, 2013
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02/27/2014

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 Meriggi 1
Macey MeriggiDecember 8, 2012History of JournalismFinal Research Paper Pioneer of PioneersAlthough much of the focus of Charlayne Hunter-
Gault‟s life and career is
centered on her role in the desegregation of the University of Georgia in the early 60s andher establishment of the Harlem bureau of 
The New York Times
, I want to take a closer look at her broadcast coverage of the apartheid system of government in South Africa.Her 1985 PBS
MacNeil/Lehrer 
 
 NewsHour 
 
series “Apartheid‟s People” investigated
theday-to-day lives of people who were bound up by the apartheid system in South Africa.
“Apartheid‟s People” was an in
-depth series that focused on the situation as a whole,rather than capitalizing solely on the misery and depravity of the black people whosuffered as a result of the oppressive government unlike much of the coverage at the time.This paper is based on several primary materials including two of her books
 New NewsOut of Africa
and
 In My Place
, the PBS
 NewsHour 
 
series “Apartheid‟s People”, and two
interviews with Charlayne Hunter-Gault, one conducted by former SMU student KhadijaFarah and the other conducted by Macey Meriggi. The study will examine questionscovering these areas: First, What experiences influenced Hunter-Gault
‟s
decision to become a journalist? Second, What prompted Hunter-
Gault‟s interest in reporting on the
 black communities in New York? Third, How was a pioneer of civil rights in America
 
 Meriggi 2
able to deliver a fair and balanced account of the atrocities set forth by the South Africanapartheid system? My study arrived at three main conclusions. One, the study found thatHunter-
Gault‟s maternal grandmother initially sparked her interest in journalism. Two,
my study found that Hunter-
Gault‟s experiences at UGA taught her how to recognize
good reporting and she saw the need for writers to cover stories of African-Americans.Three, it found that due to her experiences as a civil rights activists she was able torecognize what the issues were and how to shed light on the situation in South Africa. Charlayne Hunter-Gault was born in the small town of Due West, South Carolinaon February 27, 1942 to Col. Charles S. H. Hunter and Althea Brown. Her father CharlesHunter was a regimental chaplain of the U.S. Army and was transferred many times dueto his occupation. Although the Hunter family frequently relocated, Charlayne spent mostof her childhood in Covington and Atlanta where she and her two brothers, Henry andFranklyn, were primarily raised by her mother and her maternal grandmother. Hunter-
Gault‟s gr 
andmother, who was taken out of school in the third grade to help her ownmother survive, was a great inspiration to the young girl. Hunter-Gault recalls how her grandmother never stopped trying to educate herself and that she read three newspapersevery
day. One of those papers had a comic strip called “Brenda Starr” who was a
reporter that travelled the world with exciting assignments for a fictional newspaper.Brenda Star 
r‟s stories became an inspiration for Hunter 
-
Gault, “The combination of this
woman who travelled the world and had all these wonderful things going on in her life
was so exciting to me that I just internalized Brenda Starr‟s life. From that point on I said
 
„Oh, I want to be a journalist‟”.
1
 
1
Farah Interview with Hunter-Gault 
 
 Meriggi 3
During her time at Turner High School in Atlanta, Hunter-Gault began her forayinto the world of journalism with the student newspaper,
The Green Light 
.
2
By her senior year at Turner she had served as editor of the paper for two years and when it came timeto apply for college, Hunter-Gault began looking at schools with strong journalism programs. She eventually decided on Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan but in1959 she and her classmate Hamilton Holmes were approached by a group called theAtlanta Committee for Cooperative Action (ACCA) who were looking for talentedstudents to challenge segregation in the Georgia school systems. Hunter-Gault andHamilton were denied admission to University of Georgia Athens so Hunter-Gault beganher studies at WSU in Detroit. After a two year long legal battle with the state of Georgia,the students were finally allowed to enroll in classes at UGA in January of 1961, makingthem the first two African-American students to be admitted to the school. Of course theywere met with unwelcoming crowds when they first arrived on campus and were forcedto endure taunts and racial epithets but, for fear of being expelled, Hunter-Gault did not participate in sit-ins or picket lines like many of her friends were doing in downtownAtlanta.
“I was already in a position where freedom and justice, and
equality was important to me. Not because of my case but because throughout the South at that time, students my agewere doing some pretty dangerous things to bring about justice and equality for black people in the South. Theseeds of my early journalistic career were sown partly,during this period, when I watched the journalists whocovered me to see how they were doing it and it was veryeasy to separate the good ones from the bad. There weresome who could write a good story that would be positively
2
Hunter-Gault, Charlayne.
In My Place
. 109.

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