Bettye Jean Hendricks, 16-year host of the African American Inspiration radio show on WFLT-AM (Flint), heard on Saturday mornings died peacefully at her home on April 19 at age 74.
In a story in MLive, the publication wrote that Hendricks’ impact on the Flint community is hard to describe because it was shown in so many different ways. Her radio show spoke to people young and old about the positive things happening in and around the Flint community.
“There is usually a lot of negativity when people talk about Flint. Even living in Texas, people say ‘Oh my gosh, you are from Flint,’ her daughter Nikki Rochelle Dorsey said. “But what my mom has been able to do is take that negativity and turn it around. She shared what’s going on in the community and got people more involved.”
Dorsey remembered a specific segment on her mother’s program called “Young & Gifted,” which highlighted young people doing interesting things in the community.
“She was very successful because she was able to reach different audiences,” Dorsey said. “She was able to reach out to different colors and different races and different genders within the community.”
Hendricks used her own money to become the founder of the African American Inspiration show.
She graduated from Flint Central High School in the Class of 1964. Hendricks was born in Louisiana and moved to Flint during her childhood, later studying at Michigan State University and the University of Michigan-Flint.
She was recipient of the Courageous Student Award in 2011, Phi Delta Kappa “Hall of Living Legends” in 2012, Quintin L. Marshall Sr. Lifetime Legacy Award in 2021 and served as a board member of Women in Education Foundation for Mott Community College, according to her obituary, which noted Hendricks’ motto: “To Whom Much Is Given Much Is Required.”
Hendricks is survived by her daughter, Nikki Rochelle Dorsey; son, Gilbert Earl Dorsey II; granddaughter, Briella Eliza Rose Robinson; sisters, Donna Hendricks and Debra Hendricks; brothers, Alvin Hendricks and Cornell Hendricks; and, several other family members and friends.
A full funeral service, viewing and family hour took place on April 22 and 23.