She’s been a journalist for over 40 years and has one of the most impressive resumes in the business, but she had to overcome a lot of hurdles to get where she is today.
Jocelyn Dorsey was the very first black news anchor in the Atlanta market, and it was never an easy road. She recently opened up about those early days in an interview, and her stories are a combination of funny and sad.
“It was a very difficult time for me," she admitted. “The audience had to get used to me, which was a very interesting journey.”
Dorsey started her career in 1973 and was idealistic about her prospects; she says that she believed the quality of her work would be all she was judged for. That wasn’t the case.
“They weren’t used to seeing African-Americans on TV, especially behind an anchor desk," said Dorsey. And they especially weren’t digging her hair. “I decided I was gunna have an afro and they really weren’t used to seeing that and that created quite a stir. It was very controversial.
"Now, people look at it and probably laugh about that, but at the time people did not want to see that type of ethnicity on the air and I got a lot of backlash from it.”
She endured all of that, however, and has achieved something of a mythic status amongst broadcasters. She was inducted into the Georgia Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 2016, and has been honored with numerous other awards besides.
And – this is just an interesting bit of trivia – the now elderly Dorsey is a huge motorcycle enthusiast. 10 years ago, she drove her Harley from Alaska to Florida (almost 8,000 miles) in just 21 days.
Jocelyn Dorsey: legend.