ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — In just a few days, mourners are expected to gather to pay tribute to a man credited with filling a void in Rochester’s African-American community for fifty years.
James Blount, the co-publisher of about…time magazine passed away September 28, 2023. He was 80 years old. On Thursday, a mentor and mentee of James and his wife Carolyne reflected on their contributions to Rochester.
Dr. Walter Cooper, a retired scientist and educator in Rochester, says he shared a common philosophy with his friends Jim and Carolyne Blount.
“A people without a historical memory are doomed,” said Cooper. He explained that Blount was instrumental in filling a void of critical information that is often missing in African-American communities.
For fifty years, together James and Carolyne have been bringing the accomplishments of well-known and not-so-well-known African Americans to readers in Rochester.
“Jim and I worked very closely, and I was always able to introduce him to people whom I thought the community should know about on the national and international scene,” said Cooper.
Cooper called Jim a very good man and a hard worker who didn’t forget his struggles coming up in Smithfield, Virginia.
In 1970, Blount, a Navy veteran and graduate of Virginia State University moved his family to Rochester to pursue a career at IBM. Soon after, they took over about… time magazine.
Gerda Gallop-Green freelanced at about…time when she graduated from college in 1990. She still has copies of the magazines containing some of her first stories.
“He was very kind and had a great sense of humor and commitment to professionalism, ” she recalls.
Today, Gallop-Green is a writer and editor in the Maryland-DC area who covers biomedical research for the National Institutes of Health. She has fond memories of growing up with the couple’s three children James, Christina, and Cheryl.
“Mr. Blount will be sorely missed,” she said. “They helped me, and I am grateful for the opportunity that Mr. and Mrs. Blount provided me.”
A Celebration of Life and Legacy service will be held at 12 p.m. on Saturday, October 14, at Mount Olivet Baptist Church, located at 141 Adams Street.