Back in the 1970s, as The New York Times lagged behind other papers in hiring journalists and editors of color, Paul Delaney, the first black reporter to work in the newspaper’s Washington bureau, was among those who Nonwes helped recruit journalists.
He was on assignment in New Orleans in 1973, when he ran into a black television reporter who told him that his twin sister, who works as a fact checker for Playboy magazine in Chicago, went to a daily paper. Was eager for. Next time when Mr. Delaney was in Chicago, he saw her.
And that is how Sean G. Kennedy came to work in The Times, in a random way in that era, like before the organizations National Association of Black Journalists Was formed to help organize the recruitment of journalists.
Ms. Kennedy, who worked at The Times for 23 years, died on April 5 at the home of her sister Royal Kennedy Rodgers in San Francisco. She was 73 and lived in New Orleans. Ms Rodgers said the cause was breast cancer.
Ms. Kennedy began her career as an intern at the Washington Bureau in 1975 as part of a program to cultivate minority journalists.
Max Franklin, who was head of the Washington bureau from 1968 to 1972, and who later became executive editor, recruited Mr. Delanyi from The Delhi Star. Then, as Mr. Frankel wrote in his memoir, “The Times of My Life and My Life with the Times” (1999), “we decided that our obligation is not only to raid other employees, but also to our business.” To open a path for us. ” Promising young
The Times created that path by hiring people of color in the bureau as news assistants. Through an agreement with the Union of Correspondents, Mr. Frankel said, the bureau used them as reporters when paying clerical wages; In return, the bureau promised to sponsor them for reporting jobs in New York if they met the Times’ standards. One of the bureau’s editors, Bob Phelps, helped her by taking her work home and marking her as a teacher.
Ms. Kennedy made the cut. “He was in Vanguard,” Mr. Delaney said in an interview. “His success and joining the staff greatly attracted the program’s other minorities.”
At that time, people of color on paper were relatively rare; Recently he has made up about 26 percent of the newsroom (nine percent of blacks) and 32 percent of the company overall, and the Times has established a fellowship program for groomsmen of color.
In business today
In New York, Ms. Kennedy worked at the metro desk and was promoted to head Long Island bureau. Then he demanded and was given the job of a real estate writer.
“She loved real estate,” said Leena Williams, another black reporter who worked at the Times and was a close friend of Ms. Kennedy. “She was one of the first people to see Gentrification in Crown Heights and Harlem. She was writing real estate stories and turning them into lifestyle stories.”
Ms. Williams said her next dream was to work for the Styles section. Ms. Kennedy was a skilled cook and knowledgeable about fashion, interior design, and architecture. Ms Williams said she was disappointed when she was told that she was “not ready” for Styles, although she occasionally freelanced for the segment.
Mr Delaney said “you’re not ready” was a common explanation when a black reporter was denied a move. “This kind of stuff was in front of us,” he said. “That’s what we had to overcome.”
Sean Graves Kennedy was born on 8 June 1947 in Chicago. her dad, Lieutenant Colonel James Vincent KennedyWas one of Tuskegee AirmenAll-Black Corps of elite pilots; He completed his training too late to see war in World War II but became an Air Force officer and flew missions in Korea and Vietnam. He received a degree in electrical engineering and worked in the Apollo space program.
His mother, Shirley (Graves) Kennedy, After her children grew up, she went back to school and earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in African-American studies and a doctorate in political science. He then studied black at the University of California at Santa Barbara.
With Mr. Kennedy in the military, the family lived at air bases around the world. The parents were quite interested in current events and loved reading, and their children adopted the same habits. Royal Rodgers said that while living in Tokyo and with no television there, he and Sean “ate up” American magazines. Shawn went to the University of Ohio in Athens but left for Playboy before graduating.
She married Harold Brown, an investment manager in 1997 and left the Times shortly thereafter. They moved to Sacramento and Washington, DC before settling in New Orleans.
“New Orleans was his second big action,” his sister said. Even before Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005, Ms. Kennedy and Mr. Brown were involved in economic development there, and they later devoted themselves even more to rebuilding the city. After Mr brown died in 2013, Ms. Kennedy continued her many projects.
One project Ms. Kennedy was particularly proud of was overseeing Historical conversion of St. Rosa de Lima Church A center for the Waldorf School, a demonstration space and a business incubator.
In addition to her sister, she is survived by two brothers, Kevin and Colin; A step-son, David Brown; And a step-grandson.