By Deborah A. Culp
Today, I received the news that 78 year old, Mr. Samuel Logan, Publisher of the Michigan Chronicle passed away. Of course I, like most was taken back, reeling with shock and a myriad of emotion. But if I can share one of the best encounters with Mr. Logan, and about him, this would be it.
Years ago, when I was fresh out of Broadcasting School I headed the Michigan College that was to be my gateway into the “real world” of work. Not just any type of work, but the art of actually crossing over into the media. Armed with little experience and up to that point only having had my work printed in the church bulletin, I was a nervous wreck!
Having been told by a mentor that my writing was good and that I should share it with others; I didn’t have a clue as to “how” this was going to happen. Being in a family that is socially connected didn’t hurt either. So away I went with a bevy of written pages in my hand, down to the offices of the famed Michigan Chronicle. I was buzzed in by the strikingly beautiful Pauline Leatherwood. Polite and in a professional tone that I’ll never forget – she asked me “how can help you Miss?” She was the front desk receptionist on duty that day.
I was shaking in my boots… standing there in the lobby of one of the county’s most successful, read and revered African American Newspapers; the Michigan Chronicle. I, I, (stammering) finally found my voice and said I am a writer and I’d like to write for the Chronicle. To my surprise, she asked me to have a seat, and I did.
Shortly a well dressed and firmly handsome man appeared and after a brief salutation, he asked me “do you have any writing experience my dear?” Short of the church projects and a brief opportunity to write for a civil rights quarterly newspaper, I didn’t have much at the time. I told Mr. Logan that I didn’t have a whole lot of “hands on” experience but if he gave me a chance, I’d work long and hard for him and he wouldn’t be sorry.
He went away and returned shortly. He told me that he going to pair me up with a “seasoned journalist” for a while to see how I’d do and how things would shape up. I was introduced to Mrs. Marie Teasley. Mrs. Teasley took me under her wing and my personal family too. At the time our son William IV was a baby just learning to walk. She loved him as if her were her own. She would talk to me about everything! This wasn’t just idle chatter; it was a part of her style of mentoring me. She wanted me to be the best journalist possible and to be an example for my son. * 20 years later, he joined the USMC and sent her a picture and they tell me that she shed tears of pride and joy!
I was blessed to grow in my work and to go off on my own. Writing and taking photographs for the Michigan Chronicle for many years. Both I and my husband wrote copy and interacted with Mr. Logan in other capacities. “Those were the days and he will be missed but not forgotten”
I cannot thank him and the staff of the newspaper enough, for taking a chance on me. Rest in peace Mr. Logan. The world is short one heck of a Warrior! –DAC-