What Had Happened Was podcast: Radio pioneer and DCDC leader on burning crosses and fighting for herself

Credit: Amelia Robinson

Credit: Amelia Robinson

One of Ro Nita Hawes-Saunders' earliest memories is watching her 4-foot 11-inch tall mother rise up to set a racist teacher straight.

Growing up as the daughter of local civil rights workers, Hawes-Saunders said she saw crosses burned in her family’s front yard and was told she wasn’t welcome in her neighborhood and that the KKK was going to get her.

Despite that and the challenges she faced afterwards  — including a 10-year battle to launch her former radio station —  Hawes-Saunders says she remains an optimist.

What Had Happened Was podcast host Amelia Robinson walked down memory lane with the local radio pioneer for a lively episode of the podcast filled with laughter and the advice Hawes-Saunders — now the CEO of the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company — said helped transform her from a naive girl into a strong woman.

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"What Had Happened Was" is a podcast for Dayton, powered by Dayton.com. You won't believe the stories that come from right here. Host Amelia Robinson shares the best tales from the Gem City, Land of Funk and Birthplace of Aviation: Dayton, Ohio.

This podcast is brought to you by Cox Digital Marketing.

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