Black Bermudians in media honoured
A pioneering presence in the Bermudian media landscape was honoured at a forum this week.
Montague Egbert Sheppard was recognised for his role in radio and television broadcasting at the emancipation event Through a Glass Darkly: Black Bermudians in the Media.
Lovitta Foggo, the Minister of Labour, Community Affairs and Sport, said that Mr Sheppard's impact on Bermudian television in the 1950s and 1960s was “profound”.
She added: “The social, political and economic order which prevailed in Bermuda at that time was very different from that of today.
“We lived in a society that was dominated by racism and sanctioned segregation.”
Ms Foggo said that Mr Sheppard's Capital Broadcasting Company “established a niche in the arena of public broadcasting that was prolific, unparalleled and unprecedented in the history of public broadcasting in Bermuda”.
She added: “Not only was Capital Broadcasting the first broadcasting company to introduce the production of colour television into Bermuda, it was also the first to secure an affiliation with one of the major three television networks in the United States — the ABC Network.
“According to Historian Ira Philip, Capital Broadcasting Company was the first enterprise to be owned, controlled and operated by black people in the western hemisphere.”
Ms Foggo said that Capital Broadcasting had been “instrumental” in training local Bermudian talent — “talent which still graces our airwaves today”.
She presented Mr Sheppard with a plaque, on behalf of the Department, for his work in the community.
One of the objectives of the event was to look at home media shaped how black Bermudians were viewed and view themselves.
It was organised by the Department of Community and Cultural Affairs and held at the Bermuda Industrial Union on Thursday night.
Glenn A Blakeney Sr, Qian Dickinson and Dr Dana Selassie served as panellists.