Member of Legendary Group
The following is an excerpt from a 2002 article written by Steven Gray, a reporter and member of the National Association of Black Journalists, in recognition of the 30th anniversary of the landmark 1972 discrimination suit filed by seven reporters against the Washington Post. The group became known as the "Metro 7".
"In August, six former Washington Post reporters met at a colleague's home for a commemoration. Not to mark the 30th anniversary of the break-in at the Watergate Hotel, but of a landmark Equal Employment Opportunity Commission complaint charging the newspaper with discrimination against its black employees.
Gray's article can be read in its entiretyhere.
Hodge: The first story I covered as a professional was on policing in the District of Columbia. It used to be that when the DC Police Department did recruiting, they would go all over the country, including the South, and the only requirement was that you had to have an 11th grade education, as I recall. It may have been a high school diploma, but I am almost certain completing the 11th grade was all they required. They would get a lot of guys from Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, places like that. And they would come up, get the job and live in Prince Georges County, which, in those days, was very much poor and largely white. The department struggled with a lot of charges of abuse, police overreach and out and out racism. The story that I was asked to cover was a few years after the department changed its policies to require that applicants have at least two years of college and they must live in the district. Those two changes made a tremendous difference in the relationship the police had with the residents of the city. Everything got better.
G-Man: Bill McCreary, Les Payne and the late Gil Noble are legendary journalists that earned numerous awards throughout their career, but, with all due respect, they never obtained the same level of visibility as their white colleagues Tom Brokaw, Mike Wallace and the late Peter Jennings. McCreary, Payne and Noble are household names, but the majority of those households are Black.
From The G-Man proudly salutes Mike Hodge and the Metro 7 as American heroes.... and journalism trailblazers.