In March 1965, KDKA Radio newsman and University of Pittsburgh alumnus George Barbour offered to travel to Alabama to cover one of the marches being held by non-violent protesters seeking voting rights for African Americans. With racial tensions running high, it was considered too dangerous for a news outlet to send an African American reporter to cover the 54-mile trek from Selma to the state capital of Montgomery.
But Barbour, loaded down with 30 pounds of radio and tape-recording equipment, set off on his assignment. His experience there, which included being chased by a group of angry White men, is told in “George Barbour: Journalist,” a new documentary by filmmaker Ken Love which will premiere at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 11.
SPECIAL GIFT—Courier President and Treasurer Jesse Vann holds Golden Quill award received by George Barbour, right while Editor P. L. Prattis, center looks on. It was Barbour’s first Golden Quill. (Photo courtesy of Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh).
An online discussion will follow the film featuring these panelists:
Harold Hayes, news reporter retired from KDKA-TV; Elaine Effort, formerly with KQV Radio; Nathaniel Barbour, Barbour’s grandson and a doctoral student in physics at the University of Maryland; and Pitt student Ama Germain.
Ervin Dyer, Ph.D., senior editor of Pitt Magazine and adjunct professor in the Department of Africana Studies, will moderate.
The new film outlines the career track of Barbour, who was the son of a coal miner and from a family of 13. He graduated from Pitt in 1951 and had a successful career at several outlets, including the Pittsburgh Courier before joining KDKA Radio, where he covered many important stories, including the Selma to Montgomery march.
Love, also a Pitt alumnus, said he was struck by Barbour’s qualities.
“I was impressed with his humanity, his love of life, and how he faced adversity and overcame it,” said Love. “He is a true role model.”
Opening remarks to be provided by Chancellor Gallagher, Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Clyde Wilson Pickett, Director of the University Library System Kornelia Tancheva, and Associate Professor Laurence Glasco.
To register to attend the event virtually, go to: