The FIRST Black Woman to become a Radio DJ
As a Radio Nerd, you should know the name Mary Dee Dudley. Mary broke racial and gender barriers by becoming the first female African American radio DJ in the United States.
Her show, ‘Movin’ Around’ started as a 15 minute segment on WHOD in Homestead, Pennsylvania on August 1, 1948. The show quickly expanded to an hour then two hours and finally, four hours.
Despite the small range of the station (250 Watts) Mary was a huge hit, receiving up to 150 fan letters a day.
When Mary’s two hour show started, she brought her brother on as a newscaster.
Her brother, Mal Goode, was a news reporter for the local Pittsburg paper - covering Jim Crow segregation, police beatings, corrupt & prejudiced politicians and housing issues in the community. Mal eventually became the first Black reporter for the ABC news network.
She left WHOD in 1956 to host a gospel show on WHAT Philadelphia called ‘Songs of Faith’ She hosted the show for eight years until she died of cancer in 1964.