Charlayne Hunter-Gault, a journalist with more than 40 years of experience in television, radio and print, will highlight the legacy of Dr. King's dream at the 18th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Breakfast on Monday, Jan. 21. The event also features musical performances from Melinda Doolittle of "American Idol" fame. In a telephone interview Tuesday, Doolittle said she was excited to be part of the commemoration of Dr. King's life and legacy. "We owe our freedom and progress to Dr. King and the courageous and principled men and women who changed the course of this nation and of history," Charlayne Hunter-Gault, a journalist with more than 40 years of experience in television, radio and print, will highlight the legacy of Dr. King's dream at the 18th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Breakfast on Monday, Jan. 21.
Hunter-Gault, the first Black woman admitted to the University of Georgia and the first African-American reporter at the New Yorker, recently rejoined National Public Radio as a correspondent following six years as CNN's bureau chief in Johannesburg, South Africa. For two decades, she worked for PBS, where she served as national correspondent for "The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer" and anchored the award-winning newsmagazine on human rights, "Rights and Wrongs."
Hunter-Gault wrote In My Place, a memoir of the civil rights movement, fashioned around her experiences as the first Black woman to attend the University of Georgia. Her latest book is New News Out of Africa: Uncovering the African Renaissance.
Her numerous honors include two Emmy awards and two Peabody awards—one for her work on Apartheid's People, a NewsHour series about South African life during apartheid and the other for general coverage of Africa in 1998. Hunter-Gault also was the recipient of the 1986 Journalist of the Year Award from the National Association of Black Journalists, the 1990 Sidney Hillman Award, the American Women in Radio and Television award, the Good Housekeeping Broadcast Personality of the Year Award and a 2004 National Association of Black Journalists Award for her CNN series on Zimbabwe. She has also received awards from Amnesty International for her Human Rights reporting, especially her PBS Series, Rights and Wrongs, a human rights television magazine. In August 2005, she was inducted in the National Association of Black Journalists Hall of Fame. She is a sought after public speaker, holds more than two dozen honorary degrees, is on the board of The Committee to Protect Journalists and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.