Campus & Community

Remembering Sarah-Ann Shaw ’19HD, a Local Luminary

The main campus building at Simmons University

In 1968, journalist and Roxbury native Sarah-Ann Shaw (1933–2024) made her debut television appearance on WGBH-TV’s “Say, Brother” (renamed “Basic Black” in 1998). The following year, she became the first Black reporter to be hired for a local network (WBZ-TV) news program.

According to her obituary in The Boston Globe, Shaw “specialized in covering stories neglected or marginalized by other media sources. From Dorchester housing hearings and discriminatory banking practices to welfare rights, homelessness, and a women’s rights movement rapidly transforming work and home life, she gravitated toward issues that mattered deeply to Boston’s communities of color.”

Over the course of her career, Shaw received many awards for her groundbreaking reportage and advocacy. As The Globe describes, “She was proudest of two, according to her daughter: an honorary degree from Simmons College, whose College of Media, Arts, and Humanities is named after the late Gwen Ifill, another trailblazing Black journalist; and a lifetime achievement award from the National Association of Black Journalists, a distinction she shares with Oprah Winfrey, CNN’s Bernard Shaw, and CBS newsman Ed Bradley, among others.”

Read the full article in The Boston Globe

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Kathryn Dickason