Time magazine this week published "Beyond 9/11: Portraits of Resilience," a photo-rich commemorative edition dedicated to the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. No identifiable African Americans are pictured in its 64 pages.
Asked about the omission, Time spokesman Kerri Chyka said by email: "TIME is declining to comment at this time."
The issue is published at a time in its history when the magazine apparently has no African American editors.
"There certainly are African Americans on Time's masthead," spokeswoman Ali Zelenko told Journal-isms by email. However, she did not respond when asked to name them. The masthead lists other staffers in addition to editors.
"I will reiterate that diversity has been, and remains, an important priority at Time," Zelenko said.
A Time announcement said, "To create this special edition, award-winning photographer Marco Grob worked with the editors of TIME to produce an astonishing set of forty portraits coupled with dramatic oral histories from survivors and leaders including George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, General David Petraeus], George Pataki, Rudolph Giuliani, Valerie Plame Wilson, Tom Brokaw, Daisy Khan, Howard Lutnick, James Yee, and many more. Additionally, for the very first time, the only four survivors of the attack on Tower Two of the World Trade Center who were above the point of impact tell their stories."
Despite their absence in Time, African Americans' involvement in the story of Sept. 11 has been chronicled in other media outlets.
Of the 343 firefighters killed on Sept. 11, about a dozen were black and a dozen were Hispanic, according to department estimates, the New York Times reported in 2002, when a controversy arose over a decision to create an ethnically and racially diverse statue honoring the firefighters who died. The photograph on which it was based featured three white men.
Jason Thomas, a former U.S. Marine, helped to rescue a pair of Port Authority police officers in the rubble, the Associated Press reported in 2006. He was portrayed by a white actor in the film "World Trade Center."
Sunday's Parade magazine includes an interview with Melodie Homer, whose husband, LeRoy Homer Jr., was the first officer on United Flight 93, which crashed into a Pennsylvania field after passengers and crew members fought back against terrorists who’d seized the plane’s controls.
Some media outlets went this year to Madeleine V. Leckie Elementary School in Washington, which lost a student, a teacher and two parents when American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon, killing 184 people.
"Hilda E. Taylor, the teacher killed in the attack, was from Sierra Leone and had often lamented that Americans cared little about history and geography," Lynette Clemetson wrote in the New York Times in 2006, on the event's fifth anniversary. "Active with the National Geographic Society, Ms. Taylor took students on field trips sponsored by the organization.
"In 2001, Ms. Taylor selected Ms. Brown’s son, Bernard Brown II, a sixth grader with a magnetic personality and a permanent grin. Bernard, 11, was a good student, and Ms. Taylor thought a trip to the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary off California would motivate him to work even harder. Along on the trip were students and teachers from two other Washington schools, who were among those who died in the crash."
Rebecca Blatt, of Washington's WAMU-FM, visited John Milton Wesley, who lost his fiancée, Sarah Clark, a 65-year-old teacher from Columbia, Md., who was on the plane that crashed into the Pentagon.
Sharon Pendana of theRoot.com wrote about Clark and two other victims, Michael Richards and Peggie Hurt.
Albor Ruiz, a columnist at the New York Daily News, told readers about Denise Allen, a highly regarded needlework and folk artist, whose memory quilt depicting the terrorist attacks is to hang at the World Trade Center National 9/11 Memorial and Museum as part of its opening exhibition.
And the Indianapolis Star published photos by its late African American photojournalist, Mpozi Mshale Tolbert, who spent 11 days documenting rescue work in New York by the Indiana Task Force One. Tolbert died at age 34 in 2006, collapsing in the newsroom.
In the broader view, African Americans might offer a different view of the last 10 years.
In December 2001, Madison Shockley wrote on SFGate.com, the San Francisco Chronicle's website:
"While we share the majority's view of Sept. 11, African Americans have a different perspective on Sept. 12 and thereafter. We are not nearly as anxious to go bombing around the world in a macho attempt to restore our pride as the biggest, baddest player on the planet.
"According to a poll conducted by the Pew Research Center for People [&] the Press, 39 percent of African Americans surveyed — compared with 17 percent of whites — are doubtful about the prospects of military action. And while support for President Bush is running at 80 percent among the general public, among blacks his support is still below 50 percent."
That October, Cornell Lewis, a pastor at Northend Church of Christ in Hartford, Conn., wrote in the Hartford Courant:
" . . . I found out through the calls that there is a diversity of opinions among blacks. Some were for defending this country at all costs. Some are ambivalent about embracing this new patriotic fervor. A pastor in New York believed that America's arrogance, insensitivity and ignorance of other cultures and its foreign-policy decisions were to blame for the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11. One black woman in Detroit said, `After all America did to other nations, the sins of the fathers are visited upon the sons.' "
Furhana Afrid, the Communicator, Radio Digital Television News Association: 'My 9/11 Awakening As a Muslim Journalist'
Michelle Garcia, El Diario, New York: How 9/11 Led to an Attack on Immigrants
Juan Gonzalez, New York Daily News: Muslim family remembers son who died a hero at Ground Zero — and can't forget the bias that followed
Cynthia E. Griffin, Our Weekly: Invisible heroes of 9/11: Absence of African American stories prolongs sense of being ignored
Emil Guillermo, Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund: Taking the leap: the horror and the love of 9/11
Mike Hale, New York Times: Some Channels Are Forgoing 9/11 Shows
Maria Hinojosa, "Latino USA," public radio: Latino Perspectives 10 Years Later
International Press Institute: 10 Years after 9/11, Journalists Suffer
Annette John-Hall, Philadelphia Inquirer: For some of 9/11 victims' survivors, anniversary coverage can be a bit much
Bill Keller, New York Times: My Unfinished 9/11 Business: A hard look at why I wanted war.
Andrew Lam, New America Media: Post 9/11, Is Coming to America Still Worth the Journey?
Mark Memmott, USA Today: Remembering Sept. 11: 'I Threw The Phone Down, I Screamed'
Zaineb Mohammed, New America Media: Growing Up Muslim in a Post 9/11 World
Askia Muhammad, Washington Informer: USA-9/11: Ten Years of Endless War
The New Age, Midrand, South Africa: Ten years after 9/11- An African perspective
Chris O'Shea, FishbowlNY: Magazines: 9/11 Covered
Alyssa Rashbaum, mtv.com: KRS-One Denounced For Controversial Statements About 9-11 (2004)
Lisa Tobin and Michael May, WBUR-FM, Boston: 9/11 Stories: A Flight Attendant’s Calm Final Call [on Betty Wong, Asian American]
Dorothy Tucker, WBBM-TV Chicago: Muslim School Teaches Students About 9/11
Alex Weprin, TVNewser: TV News Reflects On 9/11/2001: NBC’s Lester Holt, CNN en Espanol’s Juan Carlos Lopez
Telemundo's Jose Diaz-Balart passionately defended his choice of immigration as his topic for Thursday's Republican presidential debate, telling Journal-isms Friday that the decision was his and that immigration "is a huge issue in our community.
"The first, second and third issues of the Hispanic population that I serve are jobs," he said. "When you have 11.3 percent unemployment rates and 16 percent in the African American community, if you don't deal with the issue of jobs, you are not catering to their needs."
However, Diaz-Balart said, by the time his turn came in the MSNBC debate, co-moderators Brian Williams of NBC News and John F. Harris of Politico had already asked about the economy and jobs.
"If there was one person in the debate who was free, it was me," Diaz-Balart said. "I told them I'm going to do immigration," and no one objected. He said he had three other subjects but exhausted only one of them. All the candidates were asked to address it, which he said earned him praise for its fairness.
"It helps the Hispanic community to gauge public servants by how they feel about immigration reform," the Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-born anchor said. Hispanics have a saying, "Tell me who you have as a friend, and I will better know who you are." Because of the number of undocumented immigrants and the possibiiity of deportation, he said, "There's fear in our community."
Some journalists, Latinos and others, said they thought it looked like stereotyping for Diaz-Balart to ask the only questions about immigration.
"The gimmick gave rise to instant heckling in the Twitterverse, with many seizing upon it as a blatant act [of] tokenism. Pundits and others mused whether a Jewish reporter would soon be brought out to ask about Israel, or a gay journalist to ask about gay marriage. Others commented on Diaz-Balart's lack of camera time," Erika Fry wrote Thursday in the Columbia Journalism Review.
"The National Review rated the outsourcing of the immigration issue to Telemundo as the debate's 'weak media moment,' while the Los Angeles Times said it provided the event's 'biggest unanswered question: What in the world did Telemundo's Jose Diaz-Balart do to be denied a chair on stage like Williams and Harris had?' "
However, Jeremy M. Gaines, spokesman for MSNBC, said by email, "it was an NBC News/Politico debate with two moderators (not three). We thought it would be a great opportunity to have Telemundo be able to ask a few questions since they were airing it.
"We were thrilled that Telemundo was able to air the NBC News/Politico debate in Spanish and take part in the questioning. The immigration issue is of vital importance to the entire electorate and we were glad the candidates were able to address the issue in a meaningful way for the first time in a debate this election season."
Diaz-Balart said the debate made history as the first English-language debate that was also shown in Spanish. He hosted the Spanish-language edition of the debate that aired at 11:30 p.m. that night on NBC-owned Telemundo.
He said he hoped to ask his other questions in a future debate.
Elise Foley, HuffPost LatinoVoices: Immigration: GOP Candidates Finally Talk About It
Maurice Garland, theLoop21.com: Candidates Show True Colors at GOP Debate
Tony Norman, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Perry presidency is deadly to imagine
Britton Loftin, Politic365.com: Herman Cain Offers his ’9-9-9' Tax Plan in GOP Presidential Debate
Clarence Page, Chicago Tribune: Rick Perry rides 'Ponzi' bull
Lindsay Rubino, Broadcasting & Cable: GOP Debate Delivers 5.4 Millions Viewers For MSNBC
Armstrong Williams blog: GOP Debate Observations
"NATO acknowledged Thursday that an American soldier killed an Afghan journalist working for the BBC after mistaking him for a suicide bomber during a complex attack in southern Afghanistan in July," Ray Rivera reported Friday for the New York Times.
"The acknowledgment came weeks after family members of the reporter, Ahmed Omed Khpulwak, had raised questions about his death, and after an independent investigation had found strong clues suggesting that Mr. Khpulwak was not killed by insurgents in the suicide attack as initially believed. Last month, the BBC demanded an investigation by NATO.
"NATO officials apologized to the family on Thursday and issued a two-page summary of the episode. The report said the soldier believed Mr. Khpulwak had fired on American troops and was about to detonate a suicide vest when he 'shot the individual with his M-4, killing him.'
"Gen. John R. Allen, the top commander of NATO forces in Afghanistan, ordered the investigation. The report found the soldier 'complied with the laws of armed conflict and rules of engagement and acted reasonably under the circumstances.'
"Peter Horrocks, director of BBC Global News, said in a statement that Mr. Khpulwak’s death 'further highlights the great dangers facing journalists who put their lives on the line to provide vital news from around the world.' The news service said it was awaiting the full report and would study the findings."
Al Sharpton's role at MSNBC will extend beyond the 6 p.m. "PoliticsNation" time slot he was chosen to host, MSNBC spokesman Jeremy M. Gaines confirmed on Friday.
"You can expect to see him be part of the panel on big political nights with our other primetime hosts," Gaines said.
Sharpton did a lengthy turn as a news analyst immediately after President Obama's address to Congress on jobs Thursday night, along with other non-journalist hosts such as Rachel Maddow and Chris Matthews, and journalists such as Chuck Todd.
The activist said of Obama, "The one you saw tonight was brilliant. Once you get the tune, the lyrics are going to be brilliant." The president, as he outlined his jobs plan, said certain details, such as the means to finance much of it, would come later.
Sharpton was also in the analyst's role after the Republican presidential debate on Wednesday. There, alongside other talk-show hosts such as Matthews and Lawrence O'Donnell and journalist Eugene Robinson, Sharpton noted that the event was held at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif. He said the candidates seemed to be more rigid in their views than Reagan. "Reagan looked like the Democrat in the room," the activist said, adding that Reagan had raised taxes and run up the deficit.
MSNBC's announcement last month that Sharpton had been hired mentioned only his role as "PoliticsNation" host.
Meanwhile, CNN announced, "CNN and the Tea Party Express, along with more than 100 local tea party groups from every state across the country, will team up Monday, September 12 to present a first-of-its-kind debate from the site of the 2012 Republican National Convention: Tampa, Florida. Eight Republican presidential contenders will face questions from moderator and lead political anchor Wolf Blitzer during the two-hour event, which will air live on CNN from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. from the Florida State Fairgrounds."
Tommy Christopher, Mediaite.com: Al Sharpton Draws Conservative Ire Over States Rights And Segregation In Debut
Randall Kennedy, the New Republic: The Sharpton Renaissance: How the Reverend’s Reputation Got Refurbished
George W. Plunkitt, New York Observer: Sharpton Staffer Tells Black Journalists to Fall in Line
President Obama addressed a joint session of Congress Thursday on jobs and the economy (Credit: Chuck Kennedy/White House)
"The broadcast and cable nets may be dropping regular programming to roadblock the President's jobs speech to a joint session of Congress Thursday night, but in an email to the White House press list Thursday, the administration was encouraging those journalists to watch the White House's own annotated live stream (WhiteHouse.gov/Jobs-Speech)," John Eggerton wrote Thursday for Broadcasting & Cable.
"The White House will even include a post-speech panel, echoing the post-event punditry panel that has become the standard for cable news.
"In the email titled 'Jobs Speech Tonight at 7:00 p.m. EDT — Watch Live,' the White House said: 'Make sure you watch the enhanced live stream of the speech with charts, graphs, and quick stats highlighting key points in the President's speech.'
" 'Immediately following the President's speech,' it said, 'the White House will offer a live panel where policy experts from the White House will answer your questions,] which can be submitted online.
Yael T. Abouhalkah, Kansas City Star: Thanks for the tax cut, Mr. President. Now, who's hiring?
Wayne Bennett, "Field Negro" blog: Barack Truman?
Lewis Diuguid, Kansas City Star: Obama handed 43.6 million reasons for a workable jobs program
Lili Gil, Fox News Latino: What Does Obama's Jobs Plan Mean For Latinos?
Avis Jones-DeWeever, HuffPost BlackVoices: Obama's Burden: Addressing the Black Labor Crisis in "Post-Racial" America
Eugene Robinson, Washington Post: Obama’s jobs speech challenges GOP
Russell Simmons, HuffPost BlackVoices: Barack Obama's Job Speech: Them's Fighting Words!
Omar Tyree, HuffPost BlackVoices: Falling Out of Love With Obama
Marian Wang, ProPublica: Our Guide to the Best Coverage on President Obama and the Economy
"In a new PBS special, Tavis Smiley investigates why factors such as generational poverty, unemployment, and the lack of positive male role models in schools are contributing to staggering drop-out rates in Black male youth," Britt Middleton wrote for bet.com.
"PBS broadcaster Tavis Smiley will make an inquiry into an alarming truth that is well known yet rarely discussed: the number of African-American high school drop-outs, specifically males, is increasing at an alarming rate.
"A 2006 study by The Manhattan Institute surveyed 100 of the largest school districts in the United States and found that only 48 percent of African-American males earned a diploma — that’s 11 percent less than African-American females. More troubling is the research that shows on an average day, one and four Black males who drop out of high school will end up incarcerated.
". . . In the primetime special airing on PBS, Smiley will travel across the country and interview educational experts as well as the young men who have succumbed to this cultural epidemic.
"Smiley's special, entitled 'Too Important To Fail', premieres on September 13 at 8 p.m."
* "Pay for full-time employees at the St. Petersburg Times will be cut by five percent until January 2012 under a new cost-savings plan implemented by the newspaper starting Monday," the newspaper's Eric Deggans wrote Thursday on his blog. "Staffers will be given five additional days off, with pay, during the five-month period, distinguishing this move from compulsory furloughs used by some other media outlets. The change will save about $1-million over the next five months in payroll costs."
* Sportswriter Dave Kindred and David Fleming, senior writer for ESPN The Magazine and ESPN.com, have debated the recent ESPN The Magazine story and photo illustration that questioned whether Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick would have gone to jail for dogfighting if he were white.
* Christopher V. Lopez, former editor of the El Paso Times, has been named associate vice president for University Communications at the University of Texas at El Paso, Paula Monarez Diaz reported Thursday for the Times.
* Cecilia Vega, reporter for KGO-TV in the San Francisco Bay area, is headed to ABC News, the Rich Lieberman Report said on Thursday. Vega is a former reporter at the San Francisco Chronicle, the Press Democrat in Santa Rosa, Calif., and the San Bernardino (Calif.) Sun.
* Jacque Reid, familiar to BET viewers as that network's lead news anchor on the "BET Nightly News" from 2001 to 2005, is joining WNBC-TV's "New York Live" as a third host, Jerry Barmash reported Thursday for FishbowlNY.
* "The Berenstain Bears," a popular educational children's cartoon program on public television, soon will be speaking in the language of the Lakota Sioux, Patrick Springer reported Thursday for the Dickinson (N.D.) Press. "Public television networks in North Dakota and South Dakota will begin broadcasting the Lakota Berenstain Bears episodes Sunday in an effort to help children learn the endangered language."
* Ethiopia has charged Swedish journalists Johan Persson and Martin Schibbye with "terrorist activities," Reporters Without Borders reported Thursday, along with Ethiopian journalists Wubeshet Taye, deputy editor of the weekly Awramba Times, and Reyot Alemu, a columnist for the Amharic-language weekly Fitih, both living in Ethiopia, and Elias Kifle, the editor of the Washington-based Ethiopian Review website, who lives in the United States. They could face life imprisonment.
* "The former guerrillas of the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) fought a 22-year civil war for greater autonomy and civil rights for the southern Sudanese people, culminating in South Sudan's independence this July," Tom Rhodes wrote Thursday for the Committee to Protect Journalists. "But local journalists fear the former rebels turned government officials still harbor a war mentality that is unaccustomed to criticism, and that they are not prepared to extend the freedoms they fought hard to attain."
* "Peruvian television journalist Pedro Alfonso Flores Silva died today from gunshot wounds sustained in an attack by an unidentified assailant late Tuesday, local press said," the Committee to Protect Journalists reported Thursday. ". . . Flores Silva, 36, was riding home on his motorcycle . . . when he was intercepted by a taxi, press reports said. A hooded assailant got out from the back of the vehicle and shot him once in the abdomen, press reports said."
* Nigerian journalist Saminu Ibrahim escaped lynching when he was accused by a bank employee of causing the employee's private parts to disappear. "But for the intervention of the policeman attached to the bank who quickly took both the accused and the complainant to the nearest police station for safety, the correspondent would have been lynched," Ibrahim Habu wrote Thursday for Nigeria's Daily Champion.
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Journal-isms is published on the site of the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education (www.mije.org). Reprinted on The Root by permission.