By Anthony McClean, Editor-In-Chief Emeritus
For nearly three decades, Dr. Patrick Freeman has not only been one of the pre-eminent journalists in the United States, he’s been a leader of social change and an inspiration to many black media professionals like myself.
Affectionately known as “The Mighty O’Ba”, the New Jersey native has covered college and professional sports for the past 27 years for the Buffalo (N.Y.) Criterion Newspapers. During that time he’s covered 21 Super Bowls as well as the NBA and numerous college and high school sports.
But what has proved to be one of his greatest contributions was when he served as the host for “The Message”, an innovative talk show that ran from 1994 to 2008 on WUFO-AM in Buffalo.
The talk-show not only featured sports figures such as Bob McAdoo and Andre Reed, Dr. Freeman also interviewed many of the movers and shakers within the local, state, and national Black community.
His interview resume included such luminaries as Dick Gregory, Kwame Ture (aka Stokley Carmichael), and Dr. Frances Cress Welsing. While offering his listeners a unique insight on his guests, Dr. Freeman also displayed his extraordinary interview skills.
In his new book entitled “The Art Of The Interview: Book #1”, Dr. Freeman shares a portion of these great interviews to the reader.
A graduate of SUNY Regent College who also attended Morehouse College, Dr. Freeman offers the reader an “intellectual classroom” that highlighted his guests’ contributions to the Black community.
The book also serves as a slice of black history and a true vision to Dr. Freeman’s growing legacy.
Among the other interviewees featured in Dr. Freeman’s book are: Dr. Jeremiah Wright, Pastor Emeritus of Trinity United Church of Christ; Professor James Small; Author Ilyasah Shabazz, the daughter of Malcolm X; and Dr. Na’im Akbar, author of Breaking The Chains of Psychological Slavery.
In the book’s forward, penned by fellow journalist Earl Ofari Hutchinson states “The Art of the Interview is truly a signature work in the field of both broadcasting, the spoken word, and the historiography of many of America’s leading African American achievers, movers, and shakers.”
“The Art of the Interview, as is the case with the many historic noted guests Dr. Freeman has interviewed, will stand as our guidepost to not only the art of interviewing, but the art of ensuring that our storied African American history and legacy is preserved for the ages.”
For those who enjoy history or those enjoy a stimulating and intellectual conversation that feeds the brain, “The Art Of The Interview” hits all of those spots and then some.