NYU Black Renaissance Noire Winter 2014 - Page 146

144 Among them was Madeline Anderson, who had been a film editor at net since 1964, and was promoted to producer after the walkout. Anderson was the sole woman to fill that role at net. Among her numerous contributions for Black Journal, she produced and directed a documentary segment on Malcolm X on the fourth anniversary of his death. Anderson eventually left net to start an independent film company (Onyx Productions) and became known as one of the first African American women to produce and direct her own films, including the influential “I Am Somebody” (1970). She returned to public television as a producer and director for Sesame Street and The Electric Company, among other programs. Anderson’s interviews do not hint at any dissatisfaction with her experience at Black Journal. But Sheila Smith Hobson, who joined the Black Journal team with a master’s degree in hand, left the program embittered. She later wrote an essay for the feminist classic Sisterhood is Powerful, in which she decried the discrimination she encountered as a black woman in the media. At net “my womanhood and blackness were constantly insulted,” she wrote. While it was revelatory to have black male colleagues “who for once weren’t mail boys,” she found that Black Journal’s gender politics varied little from the rest of television. Hobson moved on to become the original producer for the New York City-based public affairs program Like It Is, and years later she seemed to soften her criticism. After a decade in the profession, she hailed Black Journal for producing “one of the most highly diversified and highly trained groups of Black professional media experts ever assembled.” Peggy Pinn, director of the &