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Didi Daniels Peters; Pioneer Black Producer

Didi Daniels Peters, one of the first black women producers in the nation and a jazz and dance aficionado who with her husband, actor Brock Peters, formed the Communications Bridge Institute, a nonprofit program designed to help disadvantaged youngsters develop videotape skills for the workplace, has died of cancer.

A memorial service for Mrs. Peters, who was 59 when she died of cancer Saturday in Los Angeles, will be held at 3 p.m. March 12 at Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills Mortuary.

Both before and after her marriage, Mrs. Peters had spent her life in the arts.

She was among the first black women to break into TV production with her “Jazz Party” series many years ago. The shows were an outgrowth of her involvement with modern music. She once owned radio station WNCN in New York, a pioneer all-jazz station that used such musicians as Nat (Cannonball) Adderly, Duke Ellington and Horace Silver to spin records and provide commentary.

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She also became an assistant publicity director for United Artists records, making her one of the first women executives in the recording industry.

Before moving west she founded the Dance Theatre of Harlem Advisory Board and Guild and was a founding board member of the Museum of African American Art.

In Los Angeles she and her husband founded Maga Link Inc., which spawned Communications Bridge Institute where young people from varied backgrounds and races learn skills for jobs that involve videotape, be they entertainment positions or work in banks, hospitals or any other place that taping is used.

The couple began the program because, as she said in 1983, “It’s very hard for minorities and disadvantaged people to get training. They can’t afford it. And the school system doesn’t concentrate on the media. . . . We didn’t want these students to be locked out of the future.”

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Among her other productions was “The American Tap Show,” a segment of the Los Angeles Olympics Arts Festival in 1984.

In addition to her husband, she is survived by a daughter and a sister.

In lieu of flowers, donations are asked to Maga Link Inc., 1272 S. Bronson Ave., Los Angeles 90019.


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