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"Wilburt Bill Tatum: A memorial for Notably Black Publisher in NYC"
1) 1:32 Wilburt Bill Tatum MP3
Wilbert 'Bill' Tatum: Black Journalist
[col. writ. 3/14/09] (c) '09 Mumia Abu-Jamal
Wilbert 'Bill' Tatum was a Black journalist, first, last and always -- as writer, columnist, editor and publisher of the New York Amsterdam News.
Tatum, who recently died at 76 while vacationing with his wife, Susan, in Dubrovnik, Croatia, was no longer the paper's publisher, but he was always a presence there.
His daughter, Elinor, succeeded him years ago as the editor and publisher, and spoke succinctly and eloquently of her father's accomplishments when she said, "My father understood what being a Black journalist in America was about and knew he had to fight for every single journalist of color. He also had to speak to the general public about Black America and he told stories no one else would and he stood up for what he believed in" (Jet magazine, Mar. 16, 2009, p.28)
Under Tatum, the Amsterdam News was a site where many in the nationalist, radical and cultural community could tell their stories, and that included everything from the Nation of Islam to the Five Percenters; from ex members of the Black Panther Party to the New Black Panther Party. The energetic N. Y. Caribbean and continental African communities had a voice there -- all part of New York's expansive Black community in all of its flavors.
Tatum did what has been rare for Black journalists -- the creation of journalistic institutions that continue to carry on.
Tatum's legacy will long be remembered.
--(c) '09 maj
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