Rest in Power Glen Ford: Nov.5, 1949 – July 28, 2021

This has hit me hard, somehow. Please allow me for now to offer only these three Tweets in honor of his journey to the other side. He was a giant among both journalists human beings.

(Video, 1:15:41)

for Brother Glen, Bruce Cockburn's Closer to the Light

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Dawn's Meta's picture

is global.

Peace to you.

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A society grows great when old men plant trees in whose shade they know they shall never sit. Allegedly Greek, but more possibly fairly modern quote.

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wendy davis's picture

@Dawn's Meta

this came on the popular resistance newsletter: Glen Ford, Veteran Journalist And Founder Of Black Agenda Report, Dies At 71; Glen Ford spent more than four decades delivering the news from a Black perspective on a national scale',
Bruce C.T. Wright, July 28, 2021

Glen Ford, a veteran broadcast, print and digital journalist who hosted the first nationally syndicated Black news interview program on TV before going on to found the Black Agenda Report website, has died, according to reports. He was 71 years old.

Ford’s cause of death was not immediately reported. Several sources announced his death late Wednesday morning, including Margaret Kimberley, an editor and columnist at Black Agenda Report, the weekly news magazine that offers commentary and analysis from a Black perspective which Ford launched and served as its executive editor.

Condolences began pouring in on social media once news of Ford’s death broke.

@CornelWest Jul 28
My dear brother Glen Ford has passed! He kept alive the highest standards of truth-telling and justice-seeking of the Black radical tradition. He was a giant in revolutionary vision, analysis and praxis! We should never forget him! @blkagendareport

To call Ford a career journalist is a vast understatement. According to his bio on the Black Agenda Report website, Ford was reporting the news live on the radio as early as 11-years-old and went on to enjoy a career in journalism for more than 40 years that included working as a Washington bureau chief as well as a correspondent covering the White House, Capitol Hill and State Department.

After getting his start in news radio in Augusta, Georgia, Ford honed his skills at other local news stations and eventually created the “Black World Report,” a syndicated half-hour weekly news magazine that paved the way for the Black Agenda Report to be founded. Years later, in 1977, Ford helped launch, produce and host “America’s Black Forum,” the first nationally syndicated Black news interview program on commercial television.

That led to the creation of “Black Agenda Reports” two years later in a successful effort to focus his syndicated content in the areas of Black women, business, entertainment, history and sports.

After co-founding in 2002, he and the rest of the website’s staff left to launch Black Agenda Report, which remains a popular source of information, news and analysis from a Black perspective.

In one of his final dispatches before his death, Ford, along with Kimberley, on July 21 addressed the jailing of former South Africa President Jacob Zuma, questioning on Black Agenda Report whether the resulting uprising there should be characterized as “riots” or an “insurrection.”

Born Glen Rutherford in Georgia in 1949, Ford famously has his surname shortened by James Brown, who owned the radio station where Ford got his start in Augusta, Georgia.

In an example of how Ford made a point to hold elected officials accountable, he once discussed during an interview in 2009 about the “ethical dilemma” he faced by questioning then-Sen. Barack Obama about his presidential agenda and his membership to the Democratic Leadership Council, which Ford — then working with — referred to as “the right wing corporate mechanism of the Democratic Party.” Obama, Ford recalled, responded with a “fuzzy mish-mash of non-answers.” But because Ford “did not want to be seen as the proverbial crabs in a barrel” and affect Obama’s political ascent, he allowed Obama to pass what he called the “bright line test.

Ford said that was a mistake that he would never make again and suggested that it was a lesson well learned.

“I’ve never regretted a political decision as much as having passed Barack Obama when he should have failed the test; and we never made that mistake again,” Ford said in the interview.

I will forever be grateful to Glen Ford for giving this concept: “the black misleadership class.” Rest In Peace Glen Ford.

i can't recall how long ago bruce dixon had left us, but his loss was hard, too.

Peace to you and to all of us, Dawn's Meta. slept for a couple hours, and it helped.

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a few years ago. He was an incredible truth teller with a perspective I, as a white person, would never have on my own, without life experiences and voices such as his.
My hope is that he did not suffer.

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wendy davis's picture

@on the cusp

'da bomb' , especially as his rhetoric grew more visionary and polemical. i'm so glad you appreciated him so much! i loved hearing this:

“I’ve never regretted a political decision as much as having passed Barack Obama when he should have failed the test; and we never made that mistake again,” Ford said in the interview.

i join you in hoping he hadn't suffered. i suppose i wasn't surprised to hear Margaret ay he'd been sick for some time, which may have accounted for a rather irascible email conversation we had some months (?) earlier. the way i had remembered BAR was that it was all noted to creative content w/ attribution at eh bottom of the page, etc., but with the new site administrator, there was no bottom of the page. one scrolled forever.

trying to explain all of that to him did in fact make him irascible, but he did yield and say in the end: yes, 'treat it as such'. i'll also note that the site admin bloke (chadaray of close), nor marrgaret kimberly, ever did answer my emailed Q.

i also loved that he each syllable he spoke as though chewing them off, one at a time. : ) the paul jay/sharmeni perez era of TRNN used to host him.

from BAR contributor ann garrison:

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lotlizard's picture

Namely, just another cleverly-constructed “consent factory.”

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