Beryl Dakers

By:Bob Gillespie


Beryl Dakers as a host on NatureScene.
Photo of Beryl Dakers and Rudy Mancke, the original hosts of NatureScene.

Name: Beryl Dakers

Background/significance: Dakers is executive director of Cultural Programming for South Carolina ETV as well as executive producer for SCETV’s “Outreach” program. Over a 30-year-plus career in broadcasting, she worked as the first African-American on-air news reporter for WIS radio in the 1970s and later was among the first African-American on-air personalities for WIS-TV.

At ETV, she hosted forums with newsmakers to discuss current events, and she produced a number of documentaries, notably “Makin’ a Way Out of No Way: Modjeska Simpkins,” a study of the civil rights leader, and “Strom Thurmond – At the Seat of Power,” about South Carolina’s longest-serving US Senator. Dakers also has been nominated for two Emmy Awards, created “NatureScene,” one of ETV’s most popular series, and is heavily involved in the arts.

South Carolina connection: A Columbia native, Dakers serves on the board of the SC Arts Foundation, the Cultural Council of Richland and Lexington counties, the SC Arts Alliance and the Historic Columbia Board of Advocates. She was a two-term president of the Columbia Urban League. In 2000, she was awarded the Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Award, the state’s highest recognition in the arts.

Discover more: Visit the SC African-American Honor Roll website at​06/8/, view a collection of “NatureScene” episodes at​_look_back_at_naturescene/, and see a profile of Dakers’ work in the arts at the SC Arts Commission website,​ide/presenters.shtml.

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