Caution Blacks: White Men at Large

It was the 1970s.  My black buddy Joe told me about a job opening for a graphic designer in the art department at WJZ-TV, an ABC affiliate television station in Baltimore.  Dick Weisberg, the white department head, liked my portfolio, thought I was a good fit for his team, and hired me. I was very nervous those early days working at the TV station.  Black graphic designers were rare, and I felt pressure to, as they say, “represent.”  My first day, a white coworker took me into the dark room and showed me how to operate the photostat machine.  One lesson was not enough.  And yet, I could not bring myself to ask for additional help.  I eventually became a master of making photostats, but I ruined a lot of expensive photo paper in the process.  I stuffed the ruined photo paper down my pants leg, smuggling it out of the building for disposal.  It was a silly thing to do.  My white coworkers would have been happy to help me....(Read Full Article)

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