REWATCH: News 6 hosts Real Talk: Obstacles and Opportunities town hall

Black pioneers discuss their experiences

ORLANDO, Fla. – Despite the hardships they may have faced, many Black men and women have fought relentlessly to become pioneers in fields that previously would have shunned them.

That includes one of our own. News 6 photojournalist Tee Taylor was the first Black photographer at the station. When he was hired in 1970, he forged a path for others to follow in his footsteps.

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He remembers the sneers and insults both inside and outside the newsroom when he first began his career so many decades ago.

“It was out of the norm to have a person of color walking around the station. One guy, he said kind of funny, ‘Damn, we got one of them now,’ and it bothered the manager I was walking around with,” Taylor said.

Now, 51 years later, Taylor is considered one of the best in the business.

His story is just one News 6 highlighted during the Real Talk: Obstacles and Opportunities town hall on Feb. 17 at 8 p.m.

Other panelists were the first Black Miss Florida, Ericka Dunlap, Judge Donna Goerner, the first Black woman to serve as a judge in Seminole County and Morehouse College student and United Foundation of Central Florida vice president Julien Serrano-O’Neil. You can read more about them here.

During the hour-long conversation, the four panelists analyzed some of the systemic barriers that hinder Black men and women and provide their take on what can be done to ensure that they’re given the same opportunities for success as their white counterparts in the future.

They also shared their expertise and how they overcame struggles -- including discrimination and racism -- to do what critics thought was impossible.

We’re also invited you to be part of the conversation. Viewers were asked to submit your questions for our panelists to find out more about how they achieved their accomplishments and the obstacles they faced along the way.

Be sure to follow for the next installment.