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News & Press: NABJ News

NABJ & PABJ Announce Tombstone Dedication for Founder Reginald Bryant

Friday, April 05, 2013   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Tiane Johnson
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WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 5, 2013) –The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) and Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists (PABJ) have announced a tombstone dedication at the gravesite of Reginald A. Bryant on Saturday, April 27, at Eden Cemetery, 1434 Springfield Rd. in Collingdale, Pa. The dedication ceremony begins at 2 p.m. and the public is welcome.

Bryant was a founder of NABJ and PABJ. He was a veteran broadcaster and media consultant as well as a writer, filmmaker and artist. 

"Reggie Bryant was a visionary,” said NABJ President Greg Lee. "He was one of 44 people who had the courage and foresight to form the National Association of Black Journalists. He left us too soon, but his legacy is everlasting. The least NABJ can do is to contribute to his legacy with this special tombstone."

Reggie's intellect was often confrontational, and at the same time, to many, who were not threatened by it, was a challenge and an inspiration, according to NABJ and PABJ Founder Acel Moore. "His greatest significance is that he was an innovative educator,” he said. "I miss him.”

Bryant’s broadcast practice expanded into a groundbreaking television interview program, "Black Perspectives on the News,” a news program on WHYY in Philadelphia that featured prominent newsmakers from 1973 to 1978. The program was seen on 170 stations across the country. 

In spring 2011, PABJ members organized a community service project at Eden Cemetery. The chapter arranged for area photographers to donate their time to photograph the historic Eden tombstones and resting place of famous African Americans, such as Octavius Cato and Marian Anderson.

One volunteer stumbled across the unmarked grave of Bryant. That volunteer was Bobbi Booker, Reggie’s former colleague.

The NABJ Convention came to Philadelphia later that year and former PABJ president Sarah Glover asked NABJ to join PABJ in raising money to place a tombstone at Reggie’s resting place. NABJ and PABJ members along with Reggie's station, WURD 900AM, helped with the fundraising effort. With the family's blessing, NABJ and PABJ coordinated the purchase, design and installation of the tombstone.

Reggie was an avid reader and believed strongly in the power of education.

The top of the stone is in the shape of a book and has an inscription with one of Reggie's famous sayings: "It's not what you know that gets you in trouble, it's what you know that's just not so.”

"Reggie Bryant’s legacy as a founder of PABJ and NABJ will be carried on for generations,” said PABJ President Johann Calhoun. "I remember Reggie from his broadcast days at WURD 900AM, where he spoke truth to power. He embodied the meaning of civic journalism – not being afraid to speak out against the powers that ran Philadelphia and this nation for the little man struggling in the streets.”

During his long career, Bryant interviewed five U.S. presidents, 52 Pulitzer Prize winning authors and had been commended by hundreds of organizations for his community service.

Bryant’s mentee, colleague and friend I. Robin "Bobbi" Booker said, "Reggie Bryant was a multimedia master, who, via the medium of radio, conducted daily lessons on ‘The Art of Pro-and-Conversation.’ I miss him everyday." 

Other journalists shared similar sentiments.

"It is fitting NABJ and PABJ announce Reggie's tombstone dedication today on the third anniversary of his death,” said PABJ Immediate Past President Sarah Glover.  "He's sorely missed on Philadelphia's airwaves. Reggie stood for justice and spoke his mind. His spirit lives on and it’s humbling to celebrate his legacy together.” 

Bryant was a legend in journalism and talk radio, according to WURD President and General Manager Sara Lomax-Reese.

"He was the consummate wordsmith who spent years dazzling us with his wise, well researched interviews,” she said. "As we celebrate our 10th anniversary this year, we at WURD are guided by his spirit of substantive, passionate, informed dialogue. We are grateful for the path he has paved for us.”

NABJ will forever be indebted to Reggie’s commitment as one of the 44 founders of the leading organization for journalists of color. Our honoring an "NABJ Founder" is but a fitting display of our long-term commitment to upholding the founding principles of our association, and honoring the contributions of the pioneering journalists who created our esteemed organization.

An advocacy group established in 1975 in Washington, D.C., NABJ is the largest organization for journalists of color in the nation, and provides career development as well as educational and other support to its members worldwide. For more information, please visit www.nabj.org.

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