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Elizabeth D. Schafer

radio broadcaster, was born in Talladega County, Alabama, the son of Roy and Edna Garrett, tenant farmers. Although Garrett's father was illiterate, his mother could read and write and was concerned that her children be educated. By age five Garrett was literate and attended school with his siblings. He also helped his brothers and father farm the land they rented.

Not much is known about Garrett's childhood. By the 1940s he was living in Birmingham, Alabama, where he owned a dry cleaning business. Garrett also worked as a disc jockey at “soul” station WVOK and used his personal records and turntables. In 1957, motivated by the opportunity to secure a broadcast frequency and determined to establish a radio station, Garrett moved to Huntsville, Alabama. He was denied a building permit by the city government, however, and was arrested when he began construction without one.

Garrett protested the ...

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Terri L. Norris

radio and television broadcasting entrepreneur and entertainment personality, was born Catherine Elizabeth Woods in Omaha, Nebraska, the eldest of four children of William Alfred Woods and Helen Jones Woods. Both of Hughes's parents had notable accomplishments. William Woods was the first African American to receive an accounting degree from Nebraska's Creighton University. Helen Woods was a trombonist with Mississippi's Piney Woods orchestra at Piney Woods Country Life School, an African American boarding school founded by her father, Laurence C. Jones, in 1909. This female orchestra, called the International Sweethearts of Rhythm, famously ran away from Piney Woods in pursuit of musical creative freedom; they sought to play swing music, not gospel. Her mother also earned a master's degree in Social Work.

Hughes spent her childhood in a low income housing project She was the first African American to attend Omaha s Duchesne Academy of the Sacred ...

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Donna L. Halper

radio and video disc jockey, was born John Julian Jackson III (although some sources give his birth name as “John Jay Jackson”) in New York City, the son of John J. and Elma V. Jackson. Little is known of his family, but they apparently moved to Boston early in his life, as J.J. was raised in the Roxbury section of that city, and attended Boston public schools. He briefly joined the military, and then returned to Boston, and worked for a time in the fledgling computer industry. But he already knew that he really wanted to work in radio.

Jackson learned that Tufts University, where he was not a student, operated a radio station that permitted community volunteers to broadcast. His first on-air radio job, therefore, was at Tufts station WTUR, in nearby Medford in the late 1960s. While working there, he met Joe Rogers ...