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She Put Pen to Pad – Nancy Hicks Maynard – Black History Profile February 27, 2012

Posted by msbobbieg in Uncategorized.

Nancy Hicks Maynard


She Put Pen to Pad – Nancy Maynard

By: Bobbie Jones


            In this my final Black History Profile for this year I wanted to celebrate and honor Nancy Maynard Hicks, one African American female reporter and along with her husband decided to change the lives of many before she left this planet and in doing so changed the face of newspapers and network news across America..

 Born Nancy Hall on November 1, 1946 in Harlem, New York Nancy enjoyed some of the benefits of post World War II America. After moving to Connecticut, NY with her family she saw sprawling lawns and beautifully manufactured homes and enjoyed life with her emerging and intellectual mother and father.  During her school age years however, an event would take place that would ultimately alter Nancy’s young life.

            A fire destroyed Nancy’s elementary school and community recreation pool and she wondered why the local news coverage was so poor and virtually non-existent in her neighborhood.  Those events during and after that fire set forth in Nancy’s mind the desire to become a Journalist because she needed to see stories about her and her people and her community, which she was not seeing or reading about.

  So, after high school she attended Long Island University where she graduated in 1966 and set out on her journey to bring news to the seemingly forgotten and even if it was the so-called turbulent 60’s Nancy’s hard work, determination and smarts paid off for in 1968 she was hired by the New York Times.  Now, if you don’t know that was a big deal for a young black girl to be hired by the Times in 1968 – then let me tell you IT WAS –  and although her job title was that of Copy Girl don’t think for one minute she was resolved to stay in that position.

            I bet you would not believe it if I told you but in less than a year Nancy became the first African American female reporter at the Times and she got her chance to cover those stories when she put pen to pad and took on her white counterparts.  Children, education, homelessness, hunger, poverty and joblessness all the things facing and challenging the African American community she covered, wrote about and put on the front page for the world to see and with any luck to act and hopefully change the plight of so many African Americans.

  Nancy was not content to sit idly by as the world jotted by her and nor was she content to leave the training and education of young African Americans to just anybody so after her marriage to her husband Robert Maynard, in 1977 they both left prestigious jobs in the newspaper business and founded the Maynard Institute of Journalism in Oakland California.  At the Institute a full development and understanding of the Newspaper and Broadcast business was presented, taught and given to African American students at a time when no other school existed like it in the world.

 And when Nancy really wanted to show her students what it was like to run a newspaper in the real world her and her husband just combined their purchasing power and made a bid for the Oakland Tribune at a time when it was suffering some loss and in 1983 became the first African American owners of a major newspaper – now that’s called teaching a lesson.         

            I have enjoyed sharing these truly wonderful life stories – Black History Profiles with you, my readers and I say to you that I tell these stories about people who have changed the course of history and made a difference in someone else’s life in hopes that one day someone will tell mine.  But, more than that I truly believe that kindness and the care for others truly matters and if we all get up and do something for our fellow-man and make this world a better place, somewhere in the deep recesses of someone’s mind or at the very least, their corner office someone may just remember a story that inspired hope and adoration – and my dear friend that story might very well be yours.

God Bless & Good Luck.

– Copyright (c) Bobbie Jones – February 27, 2012

– All Rights Reserved






Join me as I honor all the great talent we have lost in the past two years. Just continue to scroll down and remember their lives with me.


The  Ones  We  Loved  &  Lost  in  2011  and  2012

Whitney Houston 1964-1912

Don Cornelius 1936-2012

                                      And here is Ms. Etta James (1938-2012)

Heavy D we also lost (1967- 2011)
Mr. Patrice O’Neal (2011)
Mr. Nate Dog Himself ( 1969-2011)
And we can’t forget Smokin Joe Frazier (1944-2011)
Mr. Nick Ashford (1942-2011)
                     Mr. Fred Shuttlesworth (1922-2011)



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