Belva Davis

Belva Davis, author

Belva Davis, author

Belva Davis is an award-winning journalist who has covered politics for four decades. She has anchored at three major network affiliates – CBS, NBC and PBS – and currently hosts a highly respected political affairs program for KQED-TV in San Francisco, the most watched public station in the country.

Click on link below to see Belva Davis talk about her new book Never in My Wildest Dreams: A Black Woman’s Life in Journalism.” on the PBS NEWSHour show of 4/6/11:

Davis has garnered national recognition from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the National Education Writers Association, and the International Women’s Media Foundation has honored her with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

In 2008, Belva Davis was inducted into the National Association of Black Journalist Hall of Fame. The previous year she received the Panetta Institute for Public Policy’s award for Public Service.

She has earned eight regional Emmys for her reporting on a variety of topics including the Aids Epidemic, Castro’s Cuba, Breast Cancer, and Learning Disabilities.  The Northern California Radio and Television News Directors Association and the Associated Press News Service awarded her Certificates of Excellence.

For over a decade Davis was the National Equal Employment Opportunities Chair for AFTRA, the broadcast union where she advocated for women, minorities, and the disabled in the television industry.  She was the first African American woman hired to work on television in the western United States and is profiled in the NEWSEUM, the world’s first interactive museum of news.

Belva Davis is the recipient of three honorary doctorates, a trustee of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, the Museum of the African Diaspora, the War Memorial Performing Arts Center, and the Institute on Aging.  She is a member of the San Francisco Chapter of Links Inc., and an honorary member of Alpha Kappa Sorority.

Praise for Never in My Wildest Dreams –

“The remarkable odyssey of Belva Davis is a compelling testament to tenacity and truth. As a pioneering black journalist, she was determined to tell the stories that mainstream news outlets had ignored for too long—and she devoted her career to ensuring that the voices of all Americans became part of our national conversation. This fiercely honest memoir reveals that her struggle was never easy, but helping change the world never is.”   — Andrew Young, Former Ambassador to the United Nations, Chairman of GoodWorks International, LLC

Never in My Wildest Dreams is a book about courage and achievement from pioneering journalist Belva Davis, who helped to change the face and focus of TV news. When Davis started her journalism career, the major media outlets were largely closed to African Americans and female reporters. In the earliest part of her career, she worked for black newspapers and black-programmed radio stations. In 1966, when, racial barriers began to fall, she became the first black woman hired as a television news reporter in the western United States.

Many of the explosive stories of the ‘60s ’70s and ’80s intersected with her private life.  She spent months covering campus demonstrations, anti-Vietnam war protests and the rise of the Black Panthers. She married William Moore, who became the first black television news photographer at a commercial station in California – at one point each of them had a station-issued gas mask.. As she covered the kidnapping ordeal of heiress Patty Hearst, police informed her that white supremacists were threatening to abduct her own daughter. When she reported a series about alleged police misconduct, her son was mysteriously arrested.  The family housekeeper turned out to be a likely spy on behalf of the Rev. Jim Jones’ Peoples Temple. And her daughter worked in San Francisco’s City Hall and was there the day Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk were assassinated.

Over the years she has won awards for reporting on the AIDS epidemic, and traveled to Cuba to meet with Fidel Castro, as well as to Kenya and Tanzania after the bombings of U.S. embassies in those countries. With honesty and openness, she talks about the difficulty of managing her family and professional career, while quietly fighting racism and sexism.  Along the way she tells how she held fast to her dream– and changed the perception of who should and could be a good television news reporter.

Belva Davis is a powerful, inspirational and witty speaker who is ideal for any occasion including commencement, journalism, ethnic studies and women’s history programs who should be booked as soon as possible.

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