Comedian Roy Wood, Jr. reminded us of why we should all be watching the The White House Correspondents dinner. The annual event is considered to be one of the most coveted invitations media members can receive. While many think of the event as a place to roast all politicians regardless of party affiliation, the dinner, which is produced by the White House Correspondents Association is about more than jokes. According to their website:
“The White House Correspondents’ Association exists to promote excellence in journalism as well as journalism education, and to ensure robust news coverage of the president and the presidency. We support awards for some of the best political reporting of the past year, and scholarships for young reporters who carry our hopes for vibrant journalism in the years to come. Each day, we work to ensure that the men and women who cover the White House have the ability to seek answers from powerful officials, up to and including the President.
Our association comprises hundreds of members from the worlds of print, television, radio and online journalism. Their work, for outlets based in the United States and overseas, reaches a global audience.
We also work to encourage new generations of White House correspondents through our college scholarship programs. About two dozen winners are selected each year from across the United States to visit Washington in order to be celebrated and encouraged.”
While the association has a philanthropic mission, lay people i.e. the rest of us, can enjoy the Correspondents dinner which is aired annually on C-Span. Comedians are usually brought in to remind attendees not to take themselves too seriously while highlighting important issues.
This year’s host, stand-up comedian and occasional Daily Show host Roy Wood, Jr. did not disappoint while doing a delicate dance of roasting everyone in the room including President Biden and those not present including former president Donald Trump and Tucker Carlson. Some attendees cringed at Woods’ biting humor while others laughed hysterically at his highly intelligent jokes. Although he could have, Wood refrained from roasting Vice-President Kamala Harris and focused his energies on the unfair treatment of the former Senator and current United States Vice-President based on her identity as a woman.
Wood, a major comedian has recently had guest hosting duties on The Daily Show. Check out how the Florida A&M University graduate and radio host brings a laugh a minute to guests.
In a poignant closing, Wood thanked his father, Roy Norris Wood, Sr., who was an African American radio pioneer, civil rights journalist, commentator, college professor (Malcolm X College in Chicago) and , and entrepreneur. The Columbia University graduate founded the Black News Network in 1972, the nation’s first black-owned network dedicated to curating content by Black activists, journalists and creators. Ironically Wood, Sr. gave Don Cornelius entry into the broadcast field after Cornelius, who was working as a police officer, pulled over Wood, Sr., who remarked how great his voice was and gave him his card.
Wood, Jr. also spoke about his mother Joyce, a civil rights activist and professor. Joyce was one of the first Blacks to integrate Delta State University in Mississippi and went on to work as a professor and administrator for over 43 years at an HBCU in Alabama.
This post was curated by Nsenga K. Burton, Ph.D., founder & editor in chief of the award-winning news site The Burton Wire, celebrating a decade of excellence. Follow Nsenga on Twitter @Ntellectual.
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