Diversity Employers

December 2015

Editorial objective:1- give diverse jobseekers sound information on job opportunities and how to successfully navigate the job search process,2- invite “employers of choice” to share success secrets and valuable information on where the jobs are.

Issue link: https://diversityemployers.epubxp.com/i/601905

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Page 18 of 31

Diversity Employers | DiversityEmployers.com | December 2015 17 e've all heard the cliché, "if you fnd a job you love, you'll never work another day in your life." Well, I lived that charmed career. It all began on a typically hot, sunny day in August, 1969 with a telephone call from local news director and anchor- man, Alec Gifford, of WVUE Channel 12 television to Nolan Marshal, an ac- complished businessman and still pho- tographer. Alec reached out to Nolan to invite him to interview for a position as a TV news photographer. Nolan was not interested in the position, but kept the appointment and brought me and his brother-in-law, Eddie Epps, to be inter- viewed in his place. During the interview, in addition to discussing basic duties of the job, Alec demonstrated threading the camera that the photographer would use; a 16mm magnetic sound camera. Over the week - end I returned to the station to practice until I could thread the camera with ease and confdence. My practice paid off because on the following Monday, Alec called Nolan with the news that I was chosen for the job. I was elated. I later learned that unbeknownst to me at the time, I had just become the frst African- American man on the planet to be hired as a news photographer by a network television station. Initially, I used my personal car and was paid mileage, but was later assigned a station car with FCC phone call letters KL4041. After several weeks of driving the station car, which had the station's call letters, WVUE TV, on the sides, the police stopped me. I showed them my driver's license and radioed the station to have them confrm my employment status. Satisfed, the offcer allowed me to go on my way. I quickly became the station's "go to" cameraman and represented the station at many social events and luncheons. Chanel 12 realized that they had some - thing to show off with me, and they did. In the early 70's, my reporter, Louis Dela- fore, and I were assigned to cover a White Citizens Council meeting. It wasn't until after I had set up my equipment that I was ordered out of the meeting because of my color. The other two local stations flmed Louis and I leaving the meeting and featured us on their 6:00 and 10:00 p.m. broadcasts. Within two years of my working there, the station added a noon news broadcast. Alec Gifford again made history by hiring Furnell Chatman, the frst Black news re- porter in the City of New Orleans. One of his frst guests was Jessie Owens, the 1936 Olympic champion who won four gold medals in Berlin while Adolf Hitler looked on in revulsion. Mr. Owens gave me a photo of himself, which made my year. One Mardi Gras day, I was dispatched to Lee Circle to flm the parade. Despite having all my passes and credentials, a white police offcer ordered me to leave the area. When I attempted to show my credentials, he arrested me and took me to jail. Ironically, I was booked into the very same precinct that I had done a story on earlier that same week. A city councilman ordered me released, and the station's attorney and I later met with the chief of police to demand that the charges be dropped. Although today we can fnd barcodes on every item in a grocery store, when I was a young boy my mother sent me to the grocery store to pick up a few items for her. I noticed that all the cans had little black lines on them, but nobody in the store knew what they meant. I found out in 1974 when I was sent to K&B Drug Store store to flm the frst use of barcodes in retail sales in the south. One of the most interesting stories I flmed in 1974 was on the effectiveness of seatbelts. I was dispatched to the NASA-owned Michoud Assembly Facil - ity in New Orleans East where I flmed a segment on crash dummies. During the tests, some wore seatbelts, and others were unrestrained in cars that were sent crashing into walls at varying rates of W A Fascinating Career, AMONG GIANTS The Amazing Story of LLOYD EDWARDS By Lloyd Edwards as told to Kathy Taylor Jessie Owens

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