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I’m sometimes astonished to remind myself that I grew up in an era before colorization, when not only were television and movies almost exclusively black and white, but the people who starred in them could more accurately be characterized as white and whiter. On the rare occasions that I did see black people on-screen, they were playing sidekicks, servants, or slaves.
Back then—except for films made by pioneering black filmmakers such as Oscar Micheaux—the media gave me no black heroes or heroines, no depictions of black family life, and of course, no black journalists telling the stories of my community.
After I broke through one of those barriers and into the business, I felt obligated to help tear down ...