Featuring Belva Davis

You must go beyond where your grandmother has travelled, for your own future.

About Belva

Belva Davis is the first Black woman to work as a television news reporter in the western United States. During her impressive career of nearly four decades, Belva has been honored with eight local Emmys, a number of lifetime achievement awards including the International Women’s Media Foundation’s, and honorary membership in Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority. She is profiled in the Newseum, the world’s first interactive museum of news, and in the HistoryMakers Library of Congress collection, both in Washington, D.C.She was one of the founding directors of the Museum of the African Diaspora in San Francisco. Belva Davis has also received four honorary doctorates, and archives have been named for her at San Francisco State University and the Indiana University Bloomington Black Film Center. Her memoir, Never in My Wildest Dreams: A Black Woman’s Life in Journalism, was published in 2011.


We had a chance to interview author Belva Davis, whose essay "What it Takes: A Letter to my Granddaughter" appears in All the Women in My Family Sing. This is what we learned...

What inspired you to write your essay for this anthology?

My sincere concern for my granddaughter’s generation of young women.  Many barriers have fallen, often without indications of what can be done to improve the quality of life for the future. I am hopeful that my essay offers some directives for a fruitful life for women of her generation.

What is one of the most memorable challenges you have experienced as a woman of color in the 21st century?

To embrace that the fact that I am woman with my own attributes that are as valuable as those of my male colleagues.  My mission is to make them aware of the fact that women bring a different label to the table and help them  build respect for my added value.  

Give an example of women’s roles in today's social justice movement.

For social justice to be just, women and men must bear witness to the fact that gender is not a measuring instrument of leadership quality and let skill and commitment to equality for all define roles.

What have your experiences been in leadership as a woman of color? 

I believe I have moved ahead at the pace of my commitment to the goal. Often that meant seeking support wherever it was offered, from both men and women.

What do you most hope readers will take away from reading this book?

That truly my sisters do sing many similar notes, but remain true to their own personal beliefs when it touches their core.