Page 6 - Talladegan SP 4 Flipbook
P. 6

Editor’s Note

                              Long before I heard of           agencies were clueless about the African-American
                                 Talladega College, I heard of  market. She secured high-profile clients such as Sears,
                                  Barbara (Gardner) Proctor    Roebuck & Company, Kraft, and Alberto-Culver,
                                   ‘54. When I was growing     and her company quickly became the second-largest
                                   up in public housing in     African-American advertising agency in the nation.
                                   Chicago, her success
                                   made me believe that        Ms. Proctor was a trailblazer who had a transformative
                                  anything was possible. Ms.   impact on the industry.  She was highlighted in
                                Proctor was the first African   influential publications, featured on 60 Minutes and
                             American woman to own and         proclaimed a “hero” by President Ronald Reagan.
        manage an advertising agency, and she was Windy
        City royalty.                                          In December 2018, headlines around the world announced
                                                               the passing of Ms. Proctor.  The tributes to her life reminded
        Despite being raised in a home without running water,   me of the hope she once inspired in me.
        the North Carolina native earned bachelor’s degrees
        in English, education and social work from Talladega;   Like Ms. Proctor, Talladegans around the world are
        moved to Chicago; and, in 1970, launched Proctor and  leading inspirational lives. Many are standouts in
        Gardner Advertising.                                   their fields or leaders in their communities. Some are
                                                               known for their remarkable financial contributions.
        Her agency name was cleverly selected to combat        Others generously donate time to meaningful causes.
        sexism and racism.  By combining Proctor, her          Many people may not realize that these remarkable
        name by marriage, and Gardner, her maiden name,        individuals are Talladegans, but they know the world
        she gave the impression that there might be another    is a better place because of them.
        owner -  perhaps a male. Proctor and Gardner also
        sounded conveniently similar to Proctor and Gamble,    In our inaugural issue of The New Talladegan, I
        a large white corporation.  While having the right     am thrilled to share the stories of a few of these
        company name was beneficial, her creativity and social   outstanding individuals.
        consciousness were particularly essential to her success.
        Ms. Proctor understood the importance of showing       Mary King Sood
        positive black images at a time when most advertising   Mary King Sood
                                                               Director of Public Relations

                                                               Thank you to the Chicago SunTimes for sharing these
                                                               iconic photos of renowned adwoman Ms. Barbara
                                                               (Gardner) Proctor (November 30, 1932 – December
                                                               19, 2018) with The New Talladegan.
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