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Friday, November 4, 2016

John Oliver on Journalism

HBO's John Oliver shares what many in the journalism profession already knows. “The media is a food chain that would fall apart without local newspapers,” Oliver declared during one of his shows in August. But wait, he said a whole lot more. 

So who's really to blame for what's taking place in the world of journalism? The readers? Digital media? The editors? 

Reassociated Press article sheds light on the situation. "Stop Blaming the Internet For Killing Newspapers. Start Blaming Editors," explains how the once coveted profession of journalism lost its way when editors, executives, and reporters were forced to go digital. 

Now taking comments below, or you can email your views to

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Sidebar Conversation: Shrinking Your Carbon Footprint

Journalists share their views on environmental sustainability living

To kick off the second season of the podcast Better Said Than Written, episode one is an extension of the article Hyperlocal Newsroom Hype.  

So what are hyperlocal newsrooms?

Hyperlocal newsrooms provide informative news on a local level. Now, don't think about Eyewitness News at 5, 7 and 11pm. Think about news that big networks and major publications don’t have time to cover. For example, air and water quality reports, residential development that may affect property taxes, or stories about local residents making their homes environmentally friendly.

Turns out environmental sustainability is a topic more journalists want to learn about. Several journalists shared their views in the following podcast ...  Hit the play button to hear their insights.

Friday, October 21, 2016

#thisis2016: Friends & Racism

Whenever you hear or read stories about racism in America, the two ethnicities that first come to mind are Blacks and Latinos. But what about all the other ethnicities in America? 

The New York Times recently addressed racism toward Asian Americans in an open letter penned by deputy metro editor, Michael Luo. An Open Letter to the Woman Who Told My Family to Go Back to China sparked the social media campaign #thisis2016. The trending hashtag is filled with stories from Asian Americans who encountered racism from strangers on the streets, co-workers and even church members. 

In the following vlog, two friends reflect when the racists remark "Go back to China" put their friendship at stake. 

Do you have an Asian American friend that you offended? Please share the lesson you learned in the comment box below, or email your views to

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Hyperlocal Newsroom Hype

Hyperlocal media outlets like BrickCityLive, DNAinfo, NJSpotlight, Patch, and Wrexham have been popping up in communities all over the world for several years. And like most traditional newsrooms, hyperlocals have to figure out how to stay relevant in the competitive world of journalism and make a profit. 

Hyperlocal newsrooms provide informative news on a local level. Now, I’m not talking about Eyewitness News at 5, 7 and 11pm, I’m talking about news that big networks and major publications don’t have time to cover. For example, air/water quality reports, residential development that may affect property taxes, or stories about local residents making their homes environmentally friendly.

To get a sense of what's taking shape in the hyperlocal news community, media professionals were invited to attend Sustain Local 2016 - a national conference on journalism sustainability, which took place on Thursday, October 6 and Friday, October 7, 2016.

(Image by TC's Views: #SustainLocal2016)
The conference, now in its third year, was hosted by the Center for Cooperative Media at Montclair State University, in Montclair, New Jersey.  

To fully understand what Sustain Local was trying to achieve, I spoke with several media professionals and asked them to share their main take-aways from the conference. 

“This conference was addressing the hyperlocals about monetizing and financing,” explained Jane Primerano, Region 1 Director of the Society of Professional Journalists. “I know many people who are struggling with hyperlocals.”

Search #SustainLocal on Twitter to see what topics moved attendees during the conference.

Hyperlocals are usually run by veteran journalists who were squeezed out of traditional newsrooms due to layoffs and community weeklies that went out of business. Many of these hyperlocal journalists have multiple roles within their organization, which may include finding innovative ways to generate revenue. “Your average reporter is a terrible sales person,” said Primerano. “Those skills do not overlap.” 

Hyperlocals have a reputation of being run by a sole individual. However, a 2015 survey conducted by Arizona State University assistant professor Monica Chadha, found that some hyperlocals have more than 20 employees. And some of those hyperlocal employers are strapped for cash. 

“Journalism needs cash,” said freelance journalist Noah Levinson. “You have to find somebody to support it one, way or another.” Levinson’s take-away from the Sustain Local Conference does have merit but no matter what the business model, newsrooms will always have this problem, especially hyperlocal outlets.

After surveying 210 participants from 144 hyperlocals, Chadha’s research found that 39 percent of their annual revenues came from banner ads. The next tier of revenues came from grants, private foundations and subscribers, which collectively made up nearly 16 percent.

Sustain Local had prominent industry movers and shakers participate on a number of panel discussions where attendees learned innovative ways to rake in additional revenue. 

(Image by TC's Views: John Mooney founder of NJ Spotlight)
Hosting tutorial webinars and events are just some of the ways hyperlocal news outlets can stream additional revenue. “A good third of our income came from events,” John Mooney, founding editor of NJ Spotlight, said during the panel - How 501(c)3 News Organizations are Finding Sustainability.

Nevertheless, holding on to extra income may become a problem for some hyperlocals, especially since advertising is shifting to the social media platform, Facebook, observed Miriam Ascarelli, who teaches journalism and composition at New Jersey Institute of Technology

“If I were a local publisher, that would be a huge red flag for me,” said Ascarelli. “ You have to have a strategy for keeping those advertising dollars in your news organization and not let somebody else take them.”

(Image from Twitter: Michael Oreskes)
The chatter of advertising dollars and how to generate additional revenue at hyperlocal newsrooms finally subsided when Sustain Local’s keynote, Michael Oreskes, senior vice president of news at National Public Radio, took the stage. 

As an avid public radio listener, I gave a round of applause when Oreskes said, “People want to support local journalism because they depend on it.” And he’s absolutely right. 

Hyperlocal newsrooms are more connected to people in the communities they cover than traditional local news outlets. These days it seems like newsrooms only report about celebrity mishaps, crime and multiple alarm fires. As a results, some traditional newsrooms neglect to balance out their coverage with local community stories. 

It’s a good thing there’s a batch of community news organizations taking initiative to give the general public just a little bit more. Hopefully, traditional local newsrooms and hyperlocals will be able to bridge the gap and just focus solely on providing informative news we all can use.

Do you have a favorite hyperlocal? What's your view on the culture of local news? Leave your comments in the box below or email your views to

Podcast Alert! The conversation moved from Hyperlocal Newsrooms to sustainable environmental practices. You can hear the "sidebar conversation" on season two of Better Said Than Written - the podcast supplement to Artz of Culturez - via SoundClound and now on iTunes and Sticher.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

The Blogging Journalist

(Courtesy of: Scripting News)

Journalism has been a part of my resume since 2001. This is when I got accepted to the School of Journalism & Mass Communications at the University of South Carolina and where I was introduced to blogging. My copyedit professor warned me that media convergence was on the way and that I had to make sure I didn't pigeonhole myself as a "broadcast" journalist.

It was the best career advice I ever received and I started to blog before I graduated in 2004. My first blog post was about me turning down an on-air gig at a news station in Albany, Ga. I rejected the offer because I found out that I was being hired as the "token" Black reporter. My reason didn't go over well with critics and I wasn't ready for the instant feedback from people hiding behind fictitious usernames in the comment box. I ended up deleting my post and refused to blog ever again.

In 2007, I ventured into financial journalism and I cut my teeth at an online media outlet where I covered mergers and acquisitions. To breakaway from deals taking place in the capital markets, I thought it would be fun to start blogging again during my free time. 

The blogging life was cut short after I learned my M&A colleagues were poking fun at one of my blog post "Help Me Find My Umph" — a story about a breakup on New Years Eve Day. I terminated the blog the minute I heard them discussing the post during a social work gathering about how my boyfriend broke up with me and the reason he gave was that I didn't have enough umph. 

After that incident, I never thought I could be a blogger and a journalist at the same time. Then I remembered what my copyediting professor told me back in J-school, "You can't just be a broadcast journalist. You have to know how to write for the World Wide Web, print and broadcast platforms," he said.

So on Oct. 24, 2013, I decided to give blogging one more shot. I started to utilize my journalism skills and created the multimedia blog, As you can see, it's still up and running and every year it gets better. I upped my game by producing videos and a podcast supplement. And yes, I produce the videos and podcasts all by myself. Thanks to my days as a broadcast journalist, I know how to shoot and edit videos, write scripts for my voiceovers, and conduct interviews. As for the podcasting part, I researched, listened to other podcasts and I taught myself how to produce a show. 

The harsh critics no longer bother me. However, I introduce myself as "a journalist first and a blogger second" or "I'm a journalist who blogs." It's a way to let non-journalists bloggers know that:

  • I received proper training in J-school 
  • I've worked in several newsrooms, including broadcast, print and digital
  • I've acquired valuable reporting, editing, and writing skills
  • I follow the code of journalism ethics
  • I paid my dues
  • And, yes, there is a difference between bloggers and journalists

So what's the difference between a blogger and journalist? Haley Osborne, of, came up with the perfect infographic.

InfoGraphic courtesy of: 
Blogger vs Journalist Infographic

It's fair to say, that over the last three years I've figured out how to incorporate an equal balance of journalism, multimedia skills with blogging in my posts. Each post has a little dose of emotion and facts, when applicable. The only thing I haven't figured out is how to make a living off of being a blogging journalist. 

If you're a journalist who blogs, I'd love to get insight on how you balance the two roles. Send your views to or leave your comment in the box below.

Side note: Some bloggers make way more than what the infographic estimates. Don't believe me? Just a Girl and Her Blog tells you just how much she makes in her income report.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Behind the Canvas: The Creative Process of an Artist

The creative process of an artist has several components. Many of those elements consists of using five senses. However, did you know there are three more senses humankind rarely consider during the creative process?
See: What? There Are 8 Senses?? 
Emmett Wigglesworth is an 82 year-old New York based artist who sat down with Artz of Culturez TV to explain how some artists choose to send a "message" through their work using more than just their hearing, sight, smell, taste and touch. 

Are you an artist with the gift of being a messenger? We'd love to hear your creative process.

Leave your comments below or email your views or a voice memo to

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Art Tip Tuesday: Cost of Shipping & Insuring Fine Art

Three costs that will affect the price of shipping fine art

by Brittany Goodwin

Moving fine art is a delicate process, and one that needs to go perfectly — both for peace of mind and for the sake of the work itself. 

There are several reputable companies offering fine art shipping in New York City, but not all will disclose fees to the casual shopper. 

There are three main costs that will affect the total price of transporting fine art: crating, shipping fees and insurance. And depending on the piece, any of these could be the largest source of cost.

For example, a highly valuable but small piece of art will have high insurance costs but low crating and shipping charges. A large heavy piece like a statue or installation will have higher crating charges and much higher shipping costs. 

But in all cases, the total cost of properly transporting the artwork will be small compared to its value. 

Crating Fine Art

Fine art should be shipped in a special crate designed for this purpose. It should never be shipped in a regular box, even with padding, nor should it be shipped in a crate that is too large. The crate should match the size of the piece.
Related Story: The Artistry of Moving Art
For standard size paintings and small statues, pre-made crates are available. The price varies and ranges from $150 to $260. For larger or oddly sized pieces, a custom crate will need to be built, which an art mover can build upon request. 

Shipping Costs

Once the art is crated the piece can be shipped through a commercial carrier, including the U.S. Post Office, UPS and FedEx. Another option is to hire a transportation service that specializes in moving unique items. 

Hiring a fine art shipping service means professionals will manage artwork at all stages of the move. Costs can be in the low hundreds for a standard oil painting or the mid to high hundreds for a larger piece. For very large or heavy pieces, costs may run up to $10,000 but this is rare. When shipping within the United States, most art fees are well under $1,000.

Insuring Fine Art Shipment

Insurance is a must for all fine art moving. With the U.S. Post Office or UPS, expect to pay insurance on top of the shipping charge. 

With a professional mover, typical insurance is included in the shipping costs. Expect insurance to run approximately 1% of the total value of the piece. 

The best way to get a more precise estimate is to speak directly to a fine art shipper. Note that exact prices will depend on the piece.

Brittany Goodwin

Brittany Goodwin is a digital marketing professional and freelance writer in the Greater Philadelphia area. She enjoys traveling and loves learning new things. Goodwin earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing from Rutgers University.

Keep up with Goodwin on LinkedIn
Follow her on Twitter @go0dwinbrittany
And Instagram @goodwinbrittany  

Saturday, July 16, 2016

MTV Breaks Down #BLM

Racial barriers continue to plague Americans and it's causing distress in the melting pot of the Land of the Free. 

The unjustified killings of Black Americans by the hands of police officers has yet to subside. And now innocent police officers have more to worry about after five of their fellow comrades were gunned down by a lone sniper in Dallas following a peaceful Black Lives Matter protest.  

The social chain of events have left many undivided. People are confused and arguing about ‪#‎BlackLivesMatter‬ vs.‪ #‎BlueLivesMatter‬ and everything in between. 

In the following video, MTV's Franchesca Ramsey drops facts, stats and knowledge surrounding #BLM on all fronts.

I highly encourage you to take notes.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Dear Black Female Journalists, What's with the Silent Treatment?

When you're a journalist of color in any newsroom, it's always reassuring when a veteran takes you under their wing to show you the ropes. It's even better if the veteran journalist is a person of color. 

And if you're a woman of color new to the gig, having another woman who looks like you guide you through the male-dominated profession is an added bonus. 

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Basquiat's Multimillion Dollar Portriat

(Jean-Michel Basquiat Untitled, 1982)

It always amazes me how much a deceased artist makes at auctions.

A self-portrait by Jean-Michel Basquiat sold for a worldwide auction record of $57.3 million at a Christie's contemporary art sale in May, according to the Associate Press.
Basquiat's self-portrait, Untitled, 1982, which portrays the young artist as a fiery demonic figure, was snapped up by Japanese online retailer, Yusaku Maezawa.
Prior to the auction, it had a $40 million pre-sale estimate.

Various artists have made millions after their death, but where does all that money go? The family? An estate that divides the money into a non-profit organization?

Right now, I do not have the visible funds to acquire any of Basquiat's original works. But I wonder how much a print of Untitled cost? For now, I guess I'll have to admire Basquiat's work from a distance.

Related Stories: 

ead more here:

Monday, April 4, 2016

Money Method: Several Ways to Maximize Your Tax Refund

As your tax refunds start making its way to your checking accounts, make sure not to spend it all in one place before the direct deposit hits. 

The thought of having a couple of extra grand in your account may make you feel like a baller but there are better things you can do with that money. 

Steve Siebold, author of How Rich People Think, and a self-made multi-millionaire, says, "If you’re going to spend the money, make sure there is some benefit or return on investment so you’re not just throwing that money away.”

Siebold suggests to consider the following:

Focus on financial freedom: The long-term results of financial freedom and abundance that comes with paying off your credit cards, student loans and any other debt. Most people with credit card debt don’t understand that with interest rates at 20% or more, they’ll be paying off their credit cards forever. That extra money can help put a significant dent in your overall balance.   

TC's Tip: If you have a solid track record of paying your high interest credit card on time, call your credit card company and ask for a lower interest rate. If they say no, then ask why and how can you lower it in the future.

Invest in yourself: If you want to spend your refund, invest wisely in yourself by committing to never-ending personal growth and development. Take a professional development seminars and look into coaching/mentoring programs. The goal is to use the money to improve your skills.

Start a side business: Use your talents and passions to solve a problem that people are willing to pay for. 

TC's Tip: For example, that small business around the corner may need your help with social media. Why not set up an LLC, a website, business cards and find that first client who needs help setting up social media platforms for their business. I'm currently on the hunt for my first client. (Details coming soon)

Don’t get caught up in the moment: Write a list of the pros and cons of spending the money vs. investing it or paying off debt.

TC's Tip: It doesn't take much to start investing and you don't have to put down a six figure deposit. There are companies out there that will suite the needs of entry-level investors to the mass affluent. Take a look at automated investing companies like Betterment, Personal Capital and Wealthfront.

 How do you plan to utilize your tax refund? Leave your comments below or email views to

Related Money Methods:

Monday, March 28, 2016

Vigilant Defenders: Gideon's Army

Here's a documentary I found a few years ago. I'm surprised Gideon's Army hasn't received more recognition beyond National Public Radio and the New York Times.

Let me respectfully take that back. The film premiered on HBO in July 2013 and it was awarded the editing prize at 2013 Sundance Film Festival. However, you probably never heard of it.

The film's producers, Dawn Porter and Julie Porter, takes a deeper look into the daily work of public defenders Brandy Alexander, June Hardwick and Travis Williams. They are on a mission to find justice in the Deep South's judicial system. 

What documentaries are on your must see viewers list? Share your comments below or email them to

Find out more on the documentary at 

Monday, March 7, 2016

It's Never to Late to Pursue a Career in Art: Annie Frances Lee

                         Annie Frances Lee                                                                       Blue Monday
Artist Annie Frances Lee was born on March 3, 1935 in Gadsden, Ala. Raised by a single parent, she grew up in Chicago, Ill., and attended Wendell Phillips High School. 

Lee began painting at an early age, winning her first art competition at the age of 10. Lee was offered a four-year scholarship to attend Northwestern University after high school, but married instead and raised a family.

It was not until age 40 that Lee decided to pursue a career as an artist. She enrolled in Loop Junior College and completed her undergraduate work at Mundelein College in Chicago. 

After eight years of night classes, while working at Northwestern Railroad as a clerk in the engineering department, Lee earned her M.A. degree in interdisciplinary arts education from Loyola University. 

Lee’s railroad job inspired one of her most popular paintings, "Blue Monday," which depicts a woman struggling to pull herself out of bed on a Monday morning. Her trademarks are the animated emotion of the personalities in the artwork and the faces which are painted without features. 

At age 50, Lee had her first gallery show; she allowed prints to be made of four of her original paintings. Using her unique designs, Lee also developed figurines, high fashion dolls, decorative housewares, and kitchen tiles.

After showing her work in other galleries for a number of years, Lee opened Annie Lee and Friends Gallery where she displayed her works as well as the works of other artists. 

When several of her paintings appeared on the sets of popular television shows such as The Cosby Show and A Different World, the exposure helped popularize her work. Although she regularly received requests for public appearances, Lee preferred to appear at gallery shows; she also enjoyed visiting schools to encourage and inspire students. 

She passed away on November 14, 2014, at the age of 79.


Tax Scams You Should Steer Clear From

It's tax season again, and scammers are on the actively searching for their next victim. 

Illegal tax scams, can cost you your life savings, harsh penalties, accruing interest and possible jail time. 

The IRS pulled together its annual "Dirty Dozen" for tax payers, which warns them what consumers should be aware of. 

The following 12 points are pulled directly from

1. Identity Theft
 The IRS continues to aggressively pursue criminals who file fraudulent returns using someone else’s Social Security number. The IRS is making progress on this front. Remain vigilant to avoid becoming a victim and be sure to protect your Social Security number.

Tip: Memorize your nine digit number and do not, I repeat, do not carry your social security card around with you in your wallet.

2. Telephone Scams

Threatening phone calls by criminals impersonating IRS agents remain an ongoing threat. The IRS has seen a surge of these phone scams in recent years as scam artists threaten taxpayers with police arrest, deportation, license revocation and more. These con artists often demand payment of back taxes on a prepaid debit card or by immediate wire transfer. Be alert to con artists impersonating IRS agents and demanding payment.

FYI: The IRS will never call your home, cell, or your workplace to collect back taxes. EVER! They will send a letter to your home. The IRS knows where you live.

3. Phishing

Phishing scams typically use unsolicited emails or fake websites that appear legitimate but are attempting to steal your personal information. The IRS will not send you an email about a bill or tax refund out of the blue. Don’t click on strange emails and websites that may be scams to steal your personal information.

4. Return Preparer Fraud

About 60 percent of taxpayers use tax professionals to prepare their returns. While most tax professionals provide honest, high-quality service, there are some dishonest ones who set up shop each filing season to perpetrate refund fraud, identity theft and other scams. Be on the lookout for unscrupulous tax return preparers. Choose your preparer wisely.

5. Offshore Tax Avoidance

Hiding money and income offshore is a bad bet. If you have money in offshore banks, it’s best to contact the IRS to get your taxes in order. The IRS offers the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program to help you do that.

6. Inflated Refund Claims

Be on the lookout for anyone promising inflated tax refunds. Also be wary of anyone who asks you to sign a blank return, promises a big refund before looking at your tax records or charges fees based on a percentage of the refund. Scam artists use flyers, advertisements, phony store fronts and word of mouth via trusted community groups to find victims.

7. Fake Charities

Be on guard against groups masquerading as charitable organizations to attract donations from unsuspecting contributors. If you are making a charitable contribution, you should take a few extra minutes to ensure your hard-earned money goes to legitimate and currently eligible charities. has the tools you need to check out the status of charitable organizations. Be wary of charities with names that are similar to familiar or nationally-known organizations.

8. Falsely Padding Deductions on Returns

Don’t give in to the temptation to inflate deductions or expenses on your tax return. Think twice before overstating deductions such as charitable contributions, inflating claimed business expenses or including credits that you are not entitled to receive, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit or Child Tax Credit. Complete an accurate return.

9. Excessive Claims for Business Credits

Don’t make improper claims for fuel tax credits. The credit is generally limited to off-highway business use, including use in farming. It is generally not available to most taxpayers. Also avoid misuse of the research credit. If it doesn’t apply to your business and you don’t meet the criteria, don’t make the claim.

10. Falsifying Income to Claim Credits

Don’t invent income to erroneously claim tax credits. A scam artist may try to talk you into doing this. You should file the most accurate tax return possible because you are legally responsible for what is on your return. Falling prey to this scam may mean you have to pay back taxes, interest and penalties. In some cases, you may even face criminal prosecution.

11. Abusive Tax Shelters

Avoid using abusive tax structures to avoid paying taxes. The IRS is committed to stopping complex tax avoidance schemes and the people who create and sell them. Be on the lookout for people peddling tax shelters that sound too good to be true. When in doubt, seek an independent opinion regarding these complex situations or offers. Most taxpayers pay their fair share, and so should you.

12. Frivolous Tax Arguments

Using frivolous tax arguments to avoid paying taxes can have serious financial consequences. Promoters of frivolous schemes encourage taxpayers to make unreasonable and outlandish claims to avoid paying taxes. The law is crystal clear that people must pay their taxes. For decades, the federal courts have consistently upheld the tax laws. The penalty for filing a frivolous tax return is $5,000.

The IRS notes that tax scams can take many forms beyond its “Dirty Dozen” list. The best defense is to remain alert and trust your gut instincts. 

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

The Artistry of Moving Art

3 Methods Professionals Use to Transport Fine Art

by Brittany Goodwin

Whether you're an artist or an art collector, we can all agree that original works of art are irreplaceable and invaluable. Art is extremely precious, whether it is an oil painting, a marble sculpture, or some other creative masterpiece, which makes it important to properly and safely transport it from place to place. And when you live in big artsy cities like Berlin, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, or Paris, transporting fine works of art can be chaotic and worrisome because there is no easy way to move them without the risk of damage.

Artists and art curators can all relate to the struggles and frustrations of the delicate process of transporting art. So what can you do if you need to safely move a piece of fine art through a city where unexpected mishaps and accidents can happen? Hire a professional fine art mover! 

The following are three techniques that professional fine art movers use to safely and securely transport works of art.

Custom Built Crates

If you've crafted a piece of art that is more than a painting, you will get a peace-of-mind with a custom built crate, which can house any masterpiece. Custom built crates make it possible to move anything from large sculptures to delicate vintage musical instruments. Trusting the fine art movers to house your work in custom built crates is a sure fire way to get your piece to the next exhibition safely. 

Hoisting and Rigging

As you can imagine, there are major difficulties of getting a large work of art on a platform or a rooftop. To the average eye, the task may look impossible. However, all you need is the right type of manpower and the equipment to get that piece of work into position. Professional fine art movers have access to cranes and hoisting equipment to safely lift and place large works in their next exhibition hall. 

Handle With Care

Professional art movers will take care of your work with delicacy to ensure it will arrive to its next destination intact. Whether it is a framed painting or in a storage tube, you can rely on the professionals to safely handle it as if it were part of their own personal collection. 

With the above points, it is safe to say that you can let the professionals transport and move your art because no artist or art curator would want to risk damaging fine art by trying to move it themselves. Whether you are putting your art up for a public display or you're simply moving to a new location and need to take your work with you, be sure to get help from the professionals.
Brittany Goodwin

Brittany Goodwin is a digital marketing professional and freelance writer in the Greater Philadelphia area. She enjoys traveling and loves learning new things. Goodwin earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing from Rutgers University.

Keep up with Goodwin on LinkedIn
Follow her on Twitter @go0dwinbrittany
And Instagram @goodwinbrittany  

Saturday, February 27, 2016

A Legend in Black History: Eugene Jacques Bullard

Eugene Jacques Bullard is the first Black-American fighter pilot in history and a national hero.

As an expat living in France he joined the French Infantry at the start of World War I. France awarded Bullard the Croix de Guerre and Medaille Militaire after being seriously wounded.

In 1916, Bullard joined the French Air Service where he trained as a gunner and a pilot. 

When American pilots volunteered to help France and formed the Lafayette Escadrille, Bullard asked to join but by the time he became a qualified pilot the infamous volunteer group were no longer accepting new recruits. As an alternative, he joined the Lafayette Flying Corps. He served the French flying units and completed 20 combat missions.

When the United States joined World War I, Bullard was the only member of the French Flying Corps who was not invited to join the US Air Service. Why? The USAS only accepted White men.

After WWI Bullard became a jazz musician in Paris and owned a nightclub which he named L’Escadrille. When the Germans invaded and conquered during World War II, L'Escadrille and Bullard became hugely popular with German officers. However, the Germans didn't know that Bullard, who spoke fluent German, was working for the Free French as a spy. He then joined a French infantry unit, but was discharged after being severely wounded.

By the end of WW2, Bullard had become a national hero in France. In 1959, the French government named him a national Chevalier. After returning to the United States his accolades went unnoticed.

In 1960, the President of France, Charles DeGaulle, paid a state visit to the U.S. and one of the first things he wanted to do was to meet Bullard. That sent the White House staff scrambling because most of them, never heard of him. They finally located him in New York City, and DeGaulle traveled there to meet him personally. At the time, Eugene Bullard was working as an elevator operator.

Shortly after Bullard met with the President DeGaulle, he passed away.

Very few Americans knew of Eugene Bullard. This is just one more legend whose story should be in the Black history books. 

Do you have a story to share about a legend in Black history person who paved the way for Black Americans? E-mail your submission to or leave your views in the comment box below.

Be sure to follow Artz of Culturez on Facebook to keep track of stories and little-known facts that may not be covered here on the blog.

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* Black History Profile: Charlayne Hunter-Gault

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