a documentary film from the Rochester Association of Black Journalists

Rochester is home to some

amazing African-American 

leaders. It's time their stories 

were told on the big screen.

In January 2012, RABJ President Richard J. McCollough began recording interviews with some of Rochester's most coveted and influential African-American figures. 

In the months and years that followed, RABJ has logged hundreds of hours of interviews and archival footage of these individuals. Now, the chapter is bringing all that work to the public's attention. RABJ Legends is the culmination of those interviews. The documentary will bring attention to some of Rochester's most impactful African-American leaders, people who blasted through barriers in the areas of politics, education, science, and history. The idea behind Rochester Legends is to get local children to learn more about the rich African-American heritage that the city has to offer. That is why the documentary will soon be followed by a book of the same name. 


rdeguzman headshot.jpg

Rachel Y. DeGuzman

The Rochester Legends event and documentary were amazing. Congratulations to RABJ and Richard J. McCollough for reminding us of our debt to these legends and, by doing so, reminding us of our individual and collective potentials for positive change.

Ruby Austin.jpg

Ruby Austin

It was a real pleasure to attend the event on Saturday.  The food was delicious, excellent turn out and the program was outstanding.

I am so happy that David, Connie and Walter are getting their accolades while they are still on this earth – they are so deserving.

Constance Mitchell Jefferson.jpg

Constance Mitchell-Jefferson

Thanks to RABJ for the recognition of mom, Dr. Anderson and Dr. Cooper. The event was wonderful. Kudos to Richard J. McCollough for doing an outstanding job on the documentaries. Each segment was superb. 

fiona willis.jpeg

Fiona Willis

What a beautiful documentary you produced together to honor these remarkable Rochester Legends. It was truly an honor to be in their presence and celebrate their incredible work. Thank you for your hard work in putting such an amazing event together.

Diane Sheffield.jpg

Dianne Sheffield

The Legends Event was awesome!  You and your team "Did The Work" and it showed. Everyone had a wonderful time, the food was excellent, the documentary on our three Legends was superb and the venue was fitting for the event

George Fontenette.jpg

George Fontenette

The Magnificent Three. Thank you for all that you have done for the city of Rochester


Although Rochester is full of noted African-Americans, this documentary focuses on three individuals in particular - Dr. David Anderson, Dr. Walter Cooper and Constance Mitchell.

Legend 2.jpg

Constance Mitchell

Mitchell is a civil rights activist who became the highest elected African American official in the nation when she won a seat on the Monroe County Supervisors (forerunner of the Monroe County Legislature) in 1961. 

Legend 1.jpg

Dr. Walter Cooper

Cooper is a research scientist and educator who helped found the Urban League of Rochester and Action for a Better Community. 

Legend 3.jpg

Dr. David Anderson

Anderson is a founding member of the Black Storytelling League of Rochester and Akwaaba: The Heritage Associates, an organization whose members share and reenact African American history.

Screenshot_2019-11-19 RABJ Legends.png

As an organization, the Rochester Association of Black Journalists felt it was necessary to tell the stories of these individuals because, otherwise, there was no guarantee their contributions to society would be recorded at all. Proceeds for the documentary premiere will go toward publishing the Rochester Legends book and to fund an annual college that RABJ organizes for students seeking careers in journalism or mass communications. 

RABJ is an organization of journalists, students and media-related professionals of color. RABJ is a chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists, an organization of more than 4,000 members.