This is Sharon Raiford Bush’s (nee, Crews) first White House-issued media credential, which allowed her to work directly with President Jimmy Carter. Bush was a television journalist and weather anchor at the time, employed by WGHP-TV in High Point, NC, an ABC affiliate.
Bush got her start in broadcast news on September 29, 1975, when WGPR-TV in Detroit, MI, became the first black-owned-and-operated television station in the nation. In effect, Bush became the nation’s first black female weather anchor of prime-time news.
Rare photos of the nation’s first African American television news anchor team have been archived by the following institutions:
Ford Presidential Library and Museum, Ann Arbor, Michigan; Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC; Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, Detroit, Michigan; North Carolina Historical Museum, Raleigh, North Carolina; California African American Museum, Los Angeles. The images were restored by CBS Corporation. Atty. Mark E. Kalmansohn of Century City, California, assisted in all arrangements.
The inaugural news team consisted of Amyre Porter, Doug Morison and Sharon Crews [nee, Raiford Bush]. Channel 62 will switch to Digital 44 on June 12, 2009. Channel 62 will be preserved as a virtual display.
A young Raiford Bush asks Santa for a favor, rather than a toy
When WGPR-TV in Detroit, Michigan, started broadcasting on September 29, 1975, I felt accepted. Just ten years prior, I was marching with my family in Greensboro, North Carolina, during the Civil Rights movement; nine years earlier, I was asking Santa for the right to drink from a public water fountain. Amyre [Porter], Doug [Morison] and I desegregated a different type of counter which changed the face, complexion and direction of both the broadcasting industry and American society.
So when the announcer stated my name during the opening billboard, it was that moment that I became officially the nation’s first African American female weather anchor of prime time news. This bold effort by the WGPR-TV team was such a big deal the President of the United States saluted us. For that, I remain humbled.
Never-before-seen images of the inaugural news team and crew have now been archived/displayed by the following institutions:
Ford Presidential Library and Museum, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC
Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, Detroit, MI
North Carolina Historical Museum, Raleigh
California African American Museum, Los Angeles
My sincere gratitude is extended to CBS Corporation and Atty. Mark E. Kalmansohn for preserving this integral part of American history.