Writers-in-Residence talk to spotlight radio activism pioneer Richard Durham

Richard Durham
February 5, 2016

St. Augustine, Fla. – Award-winning radio producer Sonja D. Williams will discuss the fascinating life and times of Richard Durham, an African-American radio and TV dramatist from the 1940s and 1950s, on Feb. 18 at 7 p.m. in Flagler College’s Solarium. Her talk, titled “Media's Jackie Robinson? Writer Richard Durham's Pioneering Life and Activism,” is part of the college’s Writers-in-Residence series and is based on the work of her book, “Word Warrior: Richard Durham, Radio, and Freedom.”

Williams' presentation will emphasize the power of writing in advocating for freedom, justice and equality.

“Durham demonstrated how the willingness and the ability to write for various mass mediums can enable a person to get their point across in compelling ways,” she said.

According to “Word Warrior,” Durham was posthumously inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in 2007. He is known for creatively chronicling and bringing to life the significant events of his times. Durham's trademark narrative style engaged listeners with fascinating characters, compelling details and sharp images of pivotal moments in American and African American history and culture.

Williams has written and produced numerous features and documentaries for National Public Radio (NPR), Public Radio International (PRI), the Smithsonian Institution and local radio stations nationwide. Several of her productions were award-winning, including three consecutive (1994-1996) George Foster Peabody Awards for Significant and Meritorious Achievement for the groundbreaking series “Black Radio: Telling It Like It Was,” “Making the Music” and “Wade in the Water: African American Sacred Music Traditions.”

She is currently a Professor in the department of Media, Journalism and Film at Howard University in Washington, D.C.

The event, free and open to the public, will be held in the Solarium, 74 King Street. Call (904) 819-6339 or visit here for more information on the Writers-in-Residence series.