Louis Emanuel Lomax was born in Valdosta, Georgia, on August 16, 1922. He was born into a prominent Valdosta black family and became influential on a broad scale himself. Louis Lomax’s grandfather, Rev. Thomas A. Lomax, (b.1863 –d.1944) was a long time pastor of Macedonia First Baptist Church, Valdosta’s first black church, organized in 1867.
His uncle who raised him, Rev. James L. Lomax, (b.1898 – d.1976) was, over the course of his career, the principal of Magnolia High School, Dasher High School, and Lomax Junior High School. These were black student units of the Valdosta City School System before integration. He also was a pastor of Macedonia First Baptist church.
Louis Lomax became the first African American to appear on television as a newsman in the documentary “The Hate that Hate Produced.” The series was presented by Lomax and Mike Wallace on Wallace’s program Newsbeat in five segments from July 13 to 17, 1959. Mike Wallace went on to fame at the CBS television network. Lomax told Wallace about the Nation of Islam earlier in 1959. Lomax, as an African American, was given rare access to the organization.
Accompanied by two white camera operators, Lomax conducted interviews with the Nation’s leaders and filmed some of its events. The program was the first time most white people heard about the Nation, its leader, Elijah Muhammad, or Malcolm X, both of whom were interviewed by Lomax for the program.