Black History Month Spotlight: Ruby Berkley Goodwin, the First Black Hollywood Correspondent

Every weekday this month, we’re profiling fascinating figures from L.A.’s Black history
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For a running list of all our 2021 Black History Month profiles, click here.


A multi-talented writer, poet, columnist and actress, Ruby Berkley Goodwin (1903-1961) also worked as an assistant and publicist for her best friend Hattie McDaniel. She is credited with helping McDaniel write her famous Oscar acceptance speech for Gone with the Wind in 1939.

The first accredited Black Hollywood correspondent with her own syndicated column, Goodwin lived on a ranch in Fullerton with her family while covering the gossip of Tinseltown. She also wrote the warm-hearted autobiography It’s Good to Be Black, recounting her life as a union organizer’s daughter in Illinois, in a family for whom “black was a mark of distinction not of condemnation.”


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