Palmira ‘Honey Bee’ Braswell set for Hall of Fame induction

From staff reportsApril 2, 2013 

Palmira “Honey Bee” Braswell, Macon’s first black female radio disc jockey, will be inducted into the Georgia Radio Hall of Fame in October.

Braswell, who died last year at age 84, will be one of nine 2013 Legacy inductees. The ceremony is scheduled for Oct. 19 in Marietta.

Braswell, who grew up in Macon’s Pleasant Hill community, also was a trailblazing educator and an advocate for poor children.

She earned a sociology degree at what was then Fort Valley State College. She began teaching in the 1950s at Ada Banks School on Seventh Street.

At school one morning, Braswell heard that radio station WBML was looking for a black woman to be a disc jockey. She applied and got the job.

She taught second grade by day and spun the hits of B.B. King and others from 9 to 11 at night. Honey Bee-brand snuff sponsored her show.

In 1960, Braswell, in her early 30s, gave up radio and left Macon to attend Teachers College at Columbia University in New York. Before returning to teach in Macon, she taught for a few years in Spanish Harlem.

She retired in Macon in 1987, having worked for the Bibb County Board of Education as director of staff development and before that as elementary curriculum director.

In retirement, Braswell, who lived in east Macon, was a trustee for the Middle Georgia Regional Library.

She served on the state board of education from 1995 until 2001, championing early-childhood learning and funding for impoverished school districts.

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