Susan Ladd grew up in a conservative, white family who taught her that black people were dangerous and should be feared. In the early 1970s, her parents chose not to send her to the recently desegregated Little River School near her home, but instead to a makeshift “pop up” school which was quickly erected and hastily staffed so that white children could avoid attending a black school. But despite her parents’ intentions, Ladd developed an intolerance toward racism and sexism and became a defender of the underdog.
Perhaps her fierce desire for fairness is why she committed her life to journalism. Ladd worked at the News & Record for almost 35 years, and she brought her fight for justice and equality into her journalism. At one point she even shared the story of how her decision to marry a black man divided her family for two decades.
Susan Ladd joins host Frank Stasio to share her stories of growing up on the cusp of desegregation, her fight to reprogram racist thinking and how love and time healed her family. Recently downsized from her long time job at the News & Record, Ladd also shares her concerns about the future of media and her work to prepare the next generation of journalists.