By Micha Green, AFRO Washington, D.C. Editor, [email protected]
Journalism has not always been a “women’s sport,” however groundbreaking ladies played the game- and one of those was Barbara Jean Flack-Darko, founder of The Montgomery Times, died ofcancer on Feb. 8 and mourners are celebrating her memory at Dunbarton Chapel at Howard University’s School of Law, 2900 Van Ness St. N.W. on March 2.
Born on Nov. 5, 1946 in Charlotte, N.C., Darko attended Johnson C. Smith University and Columbia University School of Journalism.
Her son Kwame Darko shared memories of his mother.
“I would describe her as a driven, forgiving and optimistic woman who believed that everything happens for a reason,” Darko told the AFRO. “She had an amazing sense of humor, but had the uncanny ability to turn on her focus switch.”
Flack-Darko was a barrier-breaking journalist as one of the first Black women to serve as producers for CNN and CBS. In addition she worked as a contributor for the Huffington Post and AOL as well as a political aide to Montgomery County Council member Tom Perez.
She served as executive editor for the AFRO from April 2008 to April 2009, according to her LinkedIn. The journalist described her several duties while serving as executive editor for the AFRO: “Department head overseeing the editorial operation of local and national editions. Managed deadlines, graphics, layout and design, breaking news and weekend Web news content at afro.com. Supervised major news cycles, including the historic Barack Obama presidential nomination and inauguration. Assigned news and feature stories. Supervised staff reporters and freelance writers.”
As someone with a passion for informing the Black community, Flack-Darko founded The Montgomery Times, a one-woman publication, which was created to connect Montgomery County’s growing African American population.
Her son remembered her as someone who perfectly equalized her dedication to her craft and family.
“It never seemed like a balancing act because she loved writing and she loved making a difference in the community,” Darko told the AFRO. “With that being said, she sacrificed so much financially to make sure I was put in the best positions possible to succeed. The balancing act was essentially raising me as a single mother while maintaining a drive and passion to write at a high level.”
In addition to her son, Flack-Darko is survived by her spouse Nana Othene Darko of Ghana, two brothers Donald Preston of Cincinnati, Ohio and Terry Preston of Knoxville, Tenn., a sister Enya Flack of Charlotte, N.C. and a great deal of family and friends.
Darko said his mother’s legacy as a journalist is one of, “promoting the advancement of African Americans in local communities and across the nation.”
As he mourns her loss, he said her dreams for him would live on.
“She’s always had high hopes for me as well, so I plan on furthering her legacy by any means necessary to make her proud.”