In 1971, Melba Tolliver Stood Up Against WABC-TV When She Refused To Wear A Wig Or Scarf To Cover Up Her Afro

In 1971, African American journalist Melba Tolliver stood up against WABC-TV when she refused to wear a wig or scarf to cover up her afro to report on the White House wedding of Tricia Nixon.

Melba Tollver was born on December 1939 in Rome, Georgia. She’s an African American journalist and former New York City news anchor and reporter. She’s most remembered for her strong stance against ABC owned WABC-TC when she refused to wear a wig or scarf to cover up her Afro in order to cover the White House wedding of President Richard Nixon’s daughter Tricia Nixon in 1971.

She worked as a registered nurse and later became a secretary at ABC in November 1966.

Tollver later became a reporter and anchor at WABC from 1967 to 1976. She went on to work for WNBC where she stayed until 1980.

In March, 1967, ABC News executives tapped Tolliver, a secretary at the time, to sit in for Marlene Sanders, anchor of “News With The Woman’s Touch.” Thus, Tolliver became the first black person ever to anchor a network news program.

For nearly three decades, Tolliver reported and/or anchored news at WABC-TV, WNBC-TV, News 12 Long Island and the Food Channel, in addition

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