The Life and Times of Ann B. Walker
Sitting in her Franklin Park home on a crisp fall afternoon, retired journalist and community activist Ann B. Walker reflects on a career that made her a pillar of the African American community. It has been filled with historic and unexpected turns, none more surprising than when she got a call from the White House.
Walker says she had just returned from a trip to Africa in 1980 when her husband, Linwood, told her that President Jimmy Carter’s office called and asked her to interview for a position. She had no idea why.
Then she remembered an interview she conducted with Carter in Columbus when he was running for president. Reporting for WLWC-TV4 (now WCMH NBC4), Walker questioned him about issues he’d raised two years earlier at the Poor People’s Conference in Little Rock, Arkansas, which she attended. She asked him to elaborate on those topics during his Columbus visit, and she says she must have made an impression.
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Hence, Walker became the first Black woman from Columbus to receive a White House appointment. As media director of the Community Services Agency, she oversaw communications for the agency that partners with state and local governments to reduce poverty.