May 31, 2012
Dear Howard University Community,
Today, we celebrate the accomplishments of Harold Baron "Hal" Jackson (1915–2012), a broadcasting trailblazer who worked tirelessly over much of the twentieth century to showcase Black life on the radio. A Washington native, Jackson attended Dunbar High School and later Howard University. He rose from announcing Howard baseball games to reach the pinnacle of the national radio industry.
Jackson will be remembered as one who crossed color boundaries that others had long accepted as impassable. When he started out, African Americans faced near total exclusion on the nation‘s airwaves. To open the way, Jackson provided airtime for Black Jazz and Blues musicians and gave a platform to important Black political leaders. Jackson eventually became an industry executive and in 1971, he and a group of investors purchased WLIB-AM, the first African-American owned and operated station in New York City. In 1995, Jackson was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame.
A son of Howard, Jackson made a lasting mark on American radio broadcasting. We vow to continue that work as we honor his legacy. We extend our deepest condolences to his family and those who knew him well.
Sidney A. Ribeau
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