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Bay Area TV Pioneer Belva Davis: “I Was Going to Do Whatever It Took”

Belva Davis, a television pioneer who has worked for 43 years in the Bay Area, reflects on her career in a new memoir titled “Never in My Wildest Dream: A Black Woman’s Life in Journalism.”

In 1966, Davis became the first female African-American TV reporter on the West Coast when she was hired by CBS-affiliate KPIX.  With KPIX, she exposed social injustice while also trying to fight for her own civil rights.

Davis, 78, currently hosts a public affairs show for PBS station KQED. She spoke with the San Francisco Chronicle recently about her unlikely rise from poverty and abuse as a child to a storied career as a journalist:

I dreamed of a different life for myself, something a long way from what I knew. There is a phrase I use: Don’t be afraid of the space between your dreams and reality. I was going to do whatever it took–I say this in the best sense–to get to this other life, this other side.

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