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CABJ History

The Chicago Association of Black Journalists (CABJ) is a voluntary, 501 (c)(6)
non-profit organization with members employed in radio, television, print, new media, public relations, journalism education and students studying journalism at local colleges and universities.

CABJ was one of the original affiliate chapters of the National Association of Black Journalists, founded on December 12, 1975. Veteran journalist Max Robinson, co-anchor of ABC News and Vernon Jarrett came together to form CABJ after racist attacks were made against Chicago Sun-Times reporter Lacy Banks. CABJ was founded thirty-three years ago on January 15, 1976, by a group of dedicated local journalists representing newspapers, magazines, television, radio and other media-related fields.

Chicago has a rich heritage in the journalism profession and media industry. Chicago has been home to many prominent and accomplished African American journalists and media professionals... Carole Simpson, Max Robinson, Vernon Jarrett, Bernard Shaw, Bryant Gumbel, Russ Ewing, John H. Johnson, Tom Joyner, Doug Banks, Clarence Page, Robert S. Abbott, Ida B. Wells, Lerone Bennett, Jr., Merri Dee, John H. White, Oprah Winfrey, John Tweedle, Lu Palmer, Jim Tillman, and Yvonne Daniels... just to name a few! All of these industry leaders are home grown or at one time or another called Chicago home.

Many dedicated individuals have contributed to building CABJ over the years. Past presidents of CABJ include founding member Vernon Jarrett, Lynn Norment, Art Norman, Warner Saunders, Mary Mitchell and Angela Harkless. Under their leadership, CABJ has played a major role in supporting and developing African Americans in the media industry. In this current age of media conglomerates and consolidation, CABJ remains firmly committed to promoting diversity and fair and balanced coverage of the African American community.