Macon's First Black Female DJ
Passes Away at Age 84
by Amanda Smith
Macon, Georgia's first black female disc jockey, Palmira "Honey Bee" Braswell, passed away on Wednesday, July 11, 2012 at the age of 84.
Braswell was born in Macon, Georgia on March 23, 1928 and grew up in the Pleasant Hill community. She earned her Sociology Degree from what was then Fort Valley State College and began teaching in the 1950s at Ada Banks School on Seventh Street. She served as teacher, Director of the Instructional Materials Center, Elementary Curriculum Director and Director of Staff Development for the Bibb County School system.
One morning while at school, Braswell heard an announcement on WBML that the station was looking for a black female DJ and she decided to give it a try. Station Manager George Patton hired Braswell for an evening slot and she began her dual roles as teacher by day, DJ by night, spinning the hits of B.B. King and others from 9pm until 11pm each evening.
Braswell was recognized by the Georgia Music hall of Fame and WIBB and was selected as Senior Cherry Blossom Queen in 1989. Governor Zell Miller appointed Braswell to serve on the Georgia State Board of Education as a representative from District 8. While in this capacity, she served as Parliamentarian and Vice Chairman of the Board. The State Supreme Court also appointed Braswell to the Unlicensed Practice of Law Committee. She was the recipient of numerous awards and honors including Woman of Achievement in 1997 (Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity); Woman of the Year in 1999 (Keep Macon/Bibb Beautiful & the Cherry Blossom Festival Board); Who’s Who Among Black Americans (1988); one of the Most Influential Black Women -- Middle Ga. Chapter, NAACP (1976, 1981); Most Influential Black Women in Georgia (The informer, 1995 & 2000) and the Extra Mile Award in 2001 (Bibb County Board of Education), among many others too numerous to name.
Braswell was funeralized on Tuesday, July 17, 2012 at Greater Allen Chapel AME Church by the Reverend Billy Graham McFadden and was interred at Woodlawn Memorial Park. Hutchings Funeral Home handled all arrangements.