My family always watched the news on WBZ-TV (Channel 4) when I was growing up, so I had the privilege of seeing Sarah-Ann Shaw’s stories on the Black community, social justice and numerous other topics from a fairly early age. The pioneering Black journalist worked at WBZ from 1969 until her retirement in 2000. She died Thursday at the age of 90.

A WBZ story on her death quotes the late WBZ reporter Charles Austin as saying: “People were just waking up to the fact that there was an underserved community and they needed to be recognized in a way that was on a parallel, on a par, with everyone else.”

WBUR Radio (90.9 FM) has an interview with Ron Mitchell, a retired video editor and videographer at WBZ who’s now the publisher of The Bay State Banner. Here’s an excerpt:

Sarah-Ann Shaw was a trailblazer. She was a daughter of Roxbury, and she held her community in the highest esteem. So she made sure that when she told stories about the greater Roxbury and … greater Black community, that she told the truth about our community. You know, back when she started, a lot of the news, especially about Roxbury, was very negative. And it was hard to get positive stories about our community, and Sarah-Ann Shaw made sure that those stories existed … they were honest, and she was telling her truth about her community.

Before moving to WBZ, Ms. Shaw was a reporter at “Say Brother,” a show created by WGBH-TV (Channel 2) amid the civil-rights movement of the 1960s. (The show was later renamed “Basic Black.”) “It’s very, very important that ‘Say Brother’ did shows and expose people in the community about different areas — police brutality, education — that they could not really get from other sources,” Ms. Shaw said in 2018 on the 50th-anniversary episode of the program.

The Boston Globe quotes Ms. Shaw from a 2007 interview: “I tried to do stories that showed positive events in the Black community. I thought it was important particularly for young Black kids to see themselves not on television for fighting, for doing drugs, et cetera, but for doing something positive.”

Sarah-Ann Shaw was a vital part of the city’s fabric, showing the way for two generations of Black and female reporters in Boston. It couldn’t have been easy. But by all accounts, she handled her role with grace and professionalism. She will be missed.

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