ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Decades ago, News 6 photographer Tee Taylor was told to enter through the side door of a local staple because of his skin color.
Tee, the first black photographer at News 6 who broke racial barriers here in Central Florida, is now a special honorary member of the University Club of Orlando. It’s a historic private club in the heart of downtown Orlando.
After our story aired about Tee paving the way for so many in our community, the University Club reached out to him and two other Orlando legends with a special invitation Tuesday and presented them all with lifetime memberships. All of them have their own story of how they were treated unfairly because of their race or gender back in the 1970s or 1980s.
“I eventually got in with the help of my camera, and I call it the power of the camera,” Tee Taylor said. “It wasn’t for my satisfaction. It was for you and for you, to make sure that when you come behind me you will have a seat at the table.”
The club also acknowledged its wrong at the ceremony.
“Knowing what the country has gone through with the social unrest over the couple of years, this was the right thing to do and a lot of it is thanks to Tee,” the club’s current president Craig Swygert said.
The once all-white male university club now is more diverse and Swygert said they’ve taken steps to better address inclusion, especially after the recent calls for justice nationwide and the many protests right here in Central Florida last year.