Mable Haddock, pioneering public media figure and champion of Black television and film, has died. The founding president and first CEO of the National Black Programming Consortium (NBPC) — now Black Public Media (BPM) — died on Saturday, July 23, 2022, in New York City at the age of 74 of kidney disease after a brief hospitalization. BPM is the Harlem-based national media arts nonprofit dedicated to creating and producing media content about the Black experience.
“Mable exemplified what it meant to be authentically Black and female in a professional space. She wasn’t afraid to speak truth to power, both verbally and in her writings,” said BPM Executive Director Leslie Fields-Cruz. “A true trailblazer, she was a warrior in the fight for equity in public media, and a friend to all.”
Haddock dedicated her life to bringing diverse voices to public media and beyond. In 1979, she helped found NBPC in Columbus, Ohio, to support Black stories and storytellers in film and television, helming the nonprofit for a quarter of a century and overseeing its transition to its eventual home in Harlem.
During her tenure, more than $6 million in funding was dispersed to hundreds of film and television producers, and scores of documentaries and programs were aired on public television through series she produced, including Matters of Race, Unnatural Causes, Mandela, The Fannie Lou Hamer Story, The State of Black America (I and II) and other programs. Under her leadership, the organization joined forces with other like-minded organizations, forming the National Minority Consortia — now the National Multicultural Alliance, which continues to bring increasingly diverse content and talent to public media.
Haddock served on the Columbus Cable Advisory Board, the Pittsburgh and Columbus Public Access Boards, the PBS Programming Board, the National Minority Consortia and the Ohio Arts Council multicultural advisory board.
A contributing writer for Dialogue Magazine, she lectured across the U.S. and around the world about the aesthetics, politics and role of Black film.
Haddock was the recipient of numerous film, television, and media industry awards during her more than 30 years of public media service.
A GoFundMe has been set up for Haddock at https://gofund.me/3513b5de. A private funeral will be held in Clover, Virginia, on Thursday, August 4. Public memorials in New York City and Columbus, Ohio, will be announced later. For more information, visit blackpublicmedia.org.