Norma Adams-Wade is one of the founders of the National Association of Black Journalists. In 1974, she became the first black full-time staff writer to cover citywide news hired by The Dallas Morning News. She retired in 2002 and still writes a weekly column for the Morning News.
Q: Do you have or do you make [New Year's] resolutions? A: I do not make resolutions. (Click the audio file below to hear the remainder of her response.)
Q: What has been one of the best parts of being one of the 44 NABJ [National Association of Black Journalists] founders? What has that experience and that contribution to the journalism industry been like for you?
Q: Did you ever face any racial violence or threats in the early years or at any point while you were a full-time journalist at The Dallas Morning News?
Q: What stories do you want to break this year?
Q: Who inspired you?
Norma Adams-Wade broke the story that Dallas' two distinctive parades honoring civil rights leader Rev. Martin L. King Jr., were facing massive changes.
Her original reporting led to a request for more Morning Newsstaffers to cover the controversy, which eventually resulted in Dallas having one MLK parade Jan. 18, 2016, instead of two.
She has been making journalistic history for decades and has no plans to stop any time soon.
Adams-Wade first made history in 1974 when R.E. "Buster" Haas literally came to her front door to hire her as the first black full-time staff writer to report about all of Dallas. She made history again Dec. 12, 1975, as one of the 44 founders of the National Association of Black Journalists to convene in Washington, D.C., to launch the organization. She was among the 12 cofounders who attended a 40th NABJ anniversary celebration in December 2015.
The columnist and former senior staff writer retired from the Morning News in 2002. In 1988, she started writing a column devoted to events in Dallas' black community, which she writes weekly.
Adams-Wade is quick to mention a name not heard much these days: Julia Scott Reed, whom the Morning News hired to cover the black community in 1967, making Reed the first black staffer at the newspaper.
You should also know that December was a busy month for Adams-Wade because the Dallas-Fort Worth Association of Black Journalists honored her and several others at its holiday mixer. And that event is where I learned about all that she did to further the profession. We discussed my interest in writing about her trailblazing career and you can listen to excerpts of the Jan. 11, 2016, telephone interview to the left.
Regina L. Burns, M.A., Project+, is an award-winning multimedia editor and journalist, specializing in Black history and African American stories at Harvest Reapers Communications. Her work has been published in Texas Highways magazine, WFAA-TV, The Dallas Morning News, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram as well as The Commercial Appeal, the Tri-State Defender and The Flyer, among others.
She previously worked for a variety of news media organizations as an editor and journalist, including The Associated Press in Mississippi and Texas. She was news director at WLOK-AM and WGKX KIX-106 FM in Memphis. Learn more