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Home / Community / Monrovian journalist, Ralph Walker, leaves behind momentous legacy

Monrovian journalist, Ralph Walker, leaves behind momentous legacy

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Monrovian resident, Ralph Walker, passed away Oct. 25 due to complications with cancer. According to Monrovian Daily News, he passed away surrounded by loved ones.

Terry Miller | HeySoCal

Walker hosted and co-produced the nonprofit media organization, Community Media of the Foothills with facilities and equipment available for public use. He also hosted a local, public access broadcast show, “Conversations with Ralph Walker.” as well as “Conversations in Monrovia” and “Beyond the Headlines.” Throughout his career, was able to speak with an impressive scope of sources including Rosa Parks and Mohammad Ali.

A former Black Panther of 1960s Chicago, Walker is remembered as an impactful journalist who passed the mic to those typically unheard and/or silenced. A resident since 1988, his coverage focused on the history and affairs of the city of Monrovia; a city that is 57% white and only 6% Black.

In 2020, the Monrovia ChangeMakers honored his commitment and contributions to marginalized communities. Walker expressed a deep passion for civil rights and liberties movements. So, despite the pushback he encountered, he pressed on knowing that the pressure was important.

“My motive and my desire was to try to shake up the passive community of people that didn’t want to be involved in situations. To stir up that mind. To create movement. Because without movement, we have stagnation,” he said. “When you want to create a change, you’ve got to move forward with what you were blessed with. I was blessed with the ability to engage in conversation.”

In 2009, Walker was honored by Monrovia City Council for his outstanding contribution to local journalism. For his work, Walker was honored with the 1999 Community of the Foothills Producer of the Year, the 2000 Members Choice Award from the viewers, the 2001 Members Choice Award from the viewers, the 2001 W.A.V.E. – Western Access Video Excellence, Meet the Mayor, and the Lara Laramendi Blakely 2009 Monrovia City Council Award for 15 Years of Service to the community through KGEM.

In an interview with Hanna Nielson for HeySoCal, Walker said, “its like being a vehicle for positive change. I use it to educate, in a civic manner, all walks of life in the same breath. The viewing audience is not primarily black, which is unique. I look at the pros and cons of issues. I’m not afraid to talk about anything that’s going on, business, social, political. For some child out there, it’s important witnessing a black man hold his own in the media.”

Walker was a consistent contributor to Beacon News Media through Monrovia weekly. His contributions ranged from conversations about race to local city government coverage. Former editor and photographer, Terry Miller, remembers him as a “great friend” to the publication.

“He knew the underserved, were really underserved. And he made sure that people got recognition for where recognition was not ever forthcoming, especially for black people. So he was a remarkable guy,” Miller said. “He was incredible to work with. He would be just a true gentleman, but he wouldn’t stop asking. I mean, he would bug you. Some people didn’t like that very much. Because he was, you know, assertive when he wanted to get information…but he was just an astounding guy who really cared about the history of Monrovia.”

Ralph Walker, shares his knowledge about Black History with third graders while poking fun at himself holding a vintage Monrovia Weekly newspaper, “when my hair was black…” | Photo by Terry Miller/Beacon Media News

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