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Local News / Books

Tuesday, 2 March, 2010 10:30 PM

Former Free Press Editor Robin D. Stone to hold book reading, discussion and signing on March 6

Book cover: www.amazon.com

My Times in Black and White: Race and Power at the New York Times

by Garrett Godwin
ggodwin82@yahoo.com

 

DETROIT -- Former Free Press editor Robin D. Stone will be at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History on Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m. to read, discuss, and sign copies of My Times in Black and White: Race and Power at the New York Times, the provocative new memoir written by her late husband, Gerald M. Boyd.

Stone, who penned the book's afterword, calls Boyd's story a success story. "The story traces Gerald's rise in journalism," she says of Boyd, who was forced to resign from the New York Times in 2006 as managing editor in the wake of the Jayson Blair plagiarism scandal that engulfed the paper that spring. Boyd died of complications from lung cancer in November 2006.

"Some people say it's a sad story, that it's a tragedy," Stone says. "People assumed that because Gerald was black, he was helping this young, black reporter, when he wasn't." Regardless of the false association, she asserts, "Gerald was a success."

Boyd completed a draft, but Stone saw getting the manuscript published and promoting it as "finishing this chapter."

"It was important to allow him to tell the truth as he saw it," she says.

"He writes about the role of race, about negative experiences related to race, and about using journalism as a tool for greater racial and social understanding," Stone says. "But that doesn't mean he saw journalism through a lens of race."

Despite the challenges, she adds, Boyd navigated this corporate, high-powered field. My Times in Black and White goes beyond journalism, she says; no matter where they work, people can find lessons in how Boyd achieved success.

Stone speaks to the challenges facing journalists today: "The field is changing. The news industry has been contracting; there are fewer opportunities than there were a few years ago. But to cover diverse communities effectively, news organizations still must be diverse."

That's a part of what her late husband was all about, she says. "He promoted diversity among blacks, Latinos, gays, women, whites," she says. "He promoted diversity of thought."

Nichole Christiansen, a former Detroit Free Press editorial writer, will also join in the discussion.

For more information on the book, visit www.mytimesinblackandwhite.com.

 

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