COMING FULL CIRCLE: From Jim Crow to Journalism
Coming Full Circle is the memoir of an African American woman who grew up privileged and educated in the segregated culture of the American South before and during the twentieth-century civil rights movement. Despite laws that restricted her housing, education, voting rights, and virtually every other aspect of life, Wanda Smalls Lloyd grew up to become one of the nation’s highest-ranking newspaper journalists, and among the first African American women to be the top editor of a major newspaper. Coming Full Circle is a self-reflective exploration of the author’s life journey—from growing up in coastal Savannah, Georgia, to editing roles at seven daily newspapers, and finally back to Savannah to make a difference in her childhood community. Her path was shaped not only by the segregated social, community, and educational systems, but also by religious and home training, a strong cultural foundation, and early leadership opportunities. That Southern upbringing produced an adult woman who realized her professional dream of working for daily newspapers and rose to become an editor at the Washington Post and a senior editor at USA Today before returning South as the executive editor of the Montgomery Advertiser. Along the way, she was an advocate and an example for how diversity helped newsrooms become reflections of accuracy for their audience. Lloyd’s memoir opens a window on the intersection of race, gender, and culture in professional journalism. How she excelled in a profession where high-ranking African American women were rare is a reminder for older readers and an inspiring story for a younger generation.
“Coming Full Circle is really a story for anyone looking for inspiration to push up.”
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MEETING AT THE TABLE: African-American Women Write on Race, Culture and Community
Published in 2020 by DownSouth Press
ABOUT MEETING AT THE TABLE
In the aftermath of the tragic death of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and the worldwide protests that followed, the editors discussed a project that would bring voices of African-American women together to honestly and transparently share how race and culture affected them in ways related to their families, their careers and their communities. The essays in MEETING AT THE TABLE will not only enlighten readers, but offer paths into the vital conversations across racial, cultural and communal divides.
MEETING AT THE TABLE is a project created by two veteran editors, each with more than 50 years of experience in journalism and literary writing and teaching. Tina McElroy Ansa and Wanda Lloyd met in 1967 at Spelman College, where they were freshman-year roommates. They are both recipients of doctorate degrees from Spelman.
MEETING AT THE TABLE video promo
MEETING AT THE TABLE sizzle
“2 Old Chicks Who Know a Lot of Sh*t!” podcast
Wanda Lloyd and Tina McElroy Ansa, co-hosts and co-executive producers
Watch now: On Spotify and on YouTube