Belva Davis (born Belvagene Melton; October 13, 1932) is an African-American television and radio journalist. She is the first African-American woman to become a television reporter on the U.S. West Coast. She has won eight Emmy Awards and been recognized by the American Women in Radio and Television and National Association of Black Journalists.
After growing up in Oakland, California, Davis began writing freelance articles for magazines in 1957. Within a few years, she began reporting on radio and television. As a reporter, Davis covered many important events of the day, including issues of race, gender, and politics. She became an anchorwoman and hosted her own talk show, before retiring in 2012.
Belvagene Melton was born on October 13, 1932, to John and Florence Melton in Monroe, Louisiana. She is the oldest of four children. Her mother was 14 years old at Belva's birth, and Belva spent her early years living with various relatives. When she was eight years old, Belva and her family, including aunts and cousins, moved to a two-bedroom apartment in the West Oakland neighborhood of Oakland, California. Eleven people lived in the apartment. Davis later said about her youth, "I learned to survive. And, as I moved from place to place, I learned to adapt. When I got older, I just figured I could become whatever it was that I needed to become."
By the late 1940s, her parents were able to afford a house in Berkeley, California. Davis graduated from Berkeley High School in 1951, becoming the first member of her family to graduate from high school. She applied and got accepted into San Francisco State University but couldn't afford to attend college. She went to work as a typist at the Oakland Naval Supply Depot, earning $2,000 a year...
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