Tacuma R. Roeback recently joined Real Times Media, Inc., as managing editor of its hallmark Chicago Defender news publication. The acclaimed writer and editor originally from Brooklyn, New York, has made major contributions to the Black Press and media outlets around the nation. He is an award-winning journalist published by the industry’s most prestigious news organizations and is lauded by industry peers for his profound and compelling news reporting.
“The Chicago Defender facilitated the Great Migration in the 20th Century. Now we are charged with telling stories influenced by the “Reverse Migration,” people of color leaving Northern urban centers for cities in the Sunbelt. This newer migration undergirds so many of our stories now,” he explained adding, “In traditional publications, I don’t feel like our perspectives are captured fully, and we’re not seeing those stories reflect our history.”
Roeback formally began his role at the Chicago Defender on Monday, March 27.
The writer and editor began his journalism career as a news reporter for the Times Herald-Record, with subsequent stints at the Tennessean and Slant News, Inc., and communications roles with NextEra Energy, Inc. and Adopt-A-Family of the Palm Beaches.
He most recently served as the editor-in-chief for Black Men’s Health, which provided relevant health and wellness content to men of color.
He also spoke about what it means to serve as the Defender’s managing editor.
“I have such reverence for the legendary men and women who served at the Defender before me,” he said.
“We have to chronicle issues that matter to us and highlight the people who helped pave the way, the trailblazers. We have to keep their names in circulation and highlight how they laid the framework and foundation for our existence.”
Roeback’s journalism, non-fiction, and fiction have appeared in the Smithsonian Magazine, San Francisco Chronicle, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Tennessean, South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Phoenix New Times, The Shadow League, SAGE: The Encyclopedia of Identity, Downstate Story, Tidal Basin Review, and Reverie: Midwest African American Literature, HipHopDX.com, and Okayplayer.com.
The seasoned journalist and editor is also a fellow of the Kimbilio Center for African American Fiction and a past fellow of the Hurston/Wright Foundation Writers’ Week Workshop and VONA (Voices of Our Nations Arts Foundation) Workshop.
Roeback is also the past winner of The Bessie Head – Zora Neale Hurston Literary Award and runner-up for the Illinois Center for the Book, James Jones Award for Prose. He also was the recipient of two newsroom writing awards from the Tennessean.
He is an alumnus of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, Chicago State University, and Florida A&M University.
Roeback resides in Chicago, Illinois, with his wife Tracy and two children, Kaila and Tremaine, Jr.
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