*Pioneering journalist Glen Ford, founder of the news site Black Agenda Report, died on July 28 at age 71. A cause of death was not given.
Ford’s colleague Margaret Kimberley of Black Agenda Report announced his death on Twitter.
“I am sorry to inform you that Glen Ford, founder of Black Agenda Report, and my friend, comrade, and mentor has passed away,” Kimberley tweeted last Wednesday. “We will share more information as we receive it. May he rest in power.”
According to The New York Daily News, Ford was known as a trailblazer and proponent of Black journalism and perspective.
“He was the consummate journalist, a man who demanded rigorous analysis of himself and others, and he lived by the dictum of afflicting the comfortable and comforting the afflicted,” Kimberley wrote on Truthout. “Ford co-founded a publication in line with his core values: He did not suffer fools gladly, succumb to corporate media and government narratives, or feel obligated to change his politics in order to elevate the Black face in a high place.”
That extended to his criticism of former President Barack Obama, whose merits he famously debated with author Michael Eric Dyson on “Democracy Now!” in 2012. Ford accused No. 44 of expanding the use of drones in war, preventive detention and policies of austerity.
Via NY Daily News:
“Ford was always an uncompromising defender of Black people and never shrank from explaining the mechanisms which place that group at or near the bottom of all positive metrics and at or near the top of all the negative,” Kimberley wrote.
Ford’s father was famed disc jockey Rudy “The Deuce” Rutherford, the first Black man to host a non-gospel television show in the Deep South, BAR said.
By age 11, Glen Ford —his name was shortened in 1970 by none other than godfather of soul James Brown, when Ford worked at Augusta, Georgia radio station WRDW — was reading copy on-air. As an adult he went on to work at local stations in Columbus, Ga., Atlanta and Baltimore and created a half-hour weekly news magazine, “Black World Report.” He also worked in Washington, D.C., joining the 88-station Mutual Black Network as Capitol Hill, State Department and White House correspondent as well as Washington Bureau Chief, his bio said.
He co-launched, produced and hosted “America’s Black Forum” in 1977, the first nationally syndicated Black news interview program on commercial television. He founded “Black Commentator” in 2003, but left that in 2006 along with Kimberley, the late Bruce Dixon and Leutisha Stills of CBC Monitor to establish “Black Agenda Report.”
He was also a founding member of the Washington chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists, an executive board member of the National Alliance of Third World Journalists and a media specialist for the National Minority Purchasing Council, in addition to being a sought-after public speaker at colleges and universities.