‘Our stories are our power,’ says biographer A’Lelia Bundles

Apr 26, 2021

Morgan State University department of multimedia journalismhosts weekly J-Chat conferences. 

As always, the guest comes on and discusses their career path in the world of journalism with the standard Q&A portion. But April 22 wasn’t anything like what’s usual and customary. 


A’Lelia Bundles was the guest who joined the panel. Instead of the event being a routine Zoom conference, I found myself being a fly on the wall listening to a generation of Boomerjournalists reconnect and tell stories of their “hay day.” 


As they sat their telling stories of how they met, and funny stories during their career, there was one name that remainedconsistent as to who was the greatest impact on their lives. The person was Phyllis T. Garland, a journalist and professor at Columbia University while A’Lelia Bundles attended. 


Bundles had been writing since grade school, and saw her love for writing blossom under professor Garland’s tutelage. A’Lelia Bundles discussed her time at Columbia J-school and the powera professor can have in helping guiding her to write her story of African American women, specifically her great-great-grandmother. 


After Columbia, Bundles would have a 30-year career as an executive at several network television news channels such as ABC, NBC and PBS. 


She never lost her touch when it came to writing. 


“Our stories are our power. I write the books I wish had been written for me," said Bundles.

When asked to explain the quote Bundles reflected on her time in high school and how African American stories were minuscule compared to what else was in the history books, and there were many untold stories about African-Americans in America that can be powerful. 


A'Lelia Bundles writes stories she wished was afforded to her in the past. At this conference call I witnessed the past come together to pass knowledge to the next generation while having a round-table like experience amongst peers and former colleagues.