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date: 06 August 2020

Robinson, Max Cleveland locked

(1 May 1939–20 Dec. 1988),
  • Darren Rhym

Extract

television newscaster, was born in Richmond, Virginia, the son of Maxie Cleveland Robinson and Doris Griffin, schoolteachers. Robinson attended Oberlin College in 1957–1958 and Virginia Union University, his father's alma mater, briefly in 1959.

That year Robinson made his first venture into broadcast journalism, responding to a newspaper advertisement for a newsreading job in Portsmouth, Virginia. The ad was for whites only, but Robinson answered it anyway. He was allowed to audition along with four white candidates. He was hired, but when he read the news his face was not shown; instead a slide with the station's logo appeared. One day, wanting his family and friends to see him read the news, Robinson told the crew to remove the slide, which they did. The next day Robinson was fired after the station received a myriad of negative telephone calls.

Robinson joined the U.S. Air Force in 1959 ...

A version of this article originally appeared in African American National Biography.

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