Celebrating Black History

Honoring Contemporary Black Women

Network Television

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Soledad O’Brien  

María de la Soledad Teresa O’Brien (born September 19, 1966) is an American broadcast journalist, executive producer, and philanthropist. She is the chairman of Starfish Media Group, a 360-media production company and distributor. O’Brien continues to be a television anchor and correspondent and lists CNN, HBO and their sports news program Real Sports and the Al Jazeera America news program America Tonight,  among a growing list of networks she is working with through her Starfish Media Group. She also serves as executive producer and moderator of the National Geography Bee. In addition to her production and journalism pedigree, O’Brien was recently named a Distinguished Visiting Fellow by Harvard Graduate School of Education and was appointed to the board of directors for the Foundation for The National Archives in Washington, DC. She also chairs the Board of The After School Corp (TASC).

She was the anchor of CNN’s morning news program Starting Point, which premiered on January 2, 2012, until it was announced on February 21, 2013, that she would end that post to start the Starfish Media Group production company.

Her mother, Estella, who is Afro-Cuban, was a French and English teacher. O’Brien is the fifth of six children, who all graduated from Harvard University; O’Brien attended Harvard-Radcliffe College from 1984 to 1988, but did not obtain a degree until she returned in 2000.




Melissa Harris Perry

Melissa V. Harris-Perry 

Melissa Victoria Harris-Perry (born October 2, 1973; formerly known as Melissa Victoria Harris-Lacewell) is an American writer, professor, television host, and political commentator with a focus on African-American politics. Harris-Perry hosts the Melissa Harris-Perry weekend news and opinion television show on MSNBC. She is also a regular fill-in host on The Rachel Maddow Show as well as a professor of politics and international affairs at Wake Forest University, where she is the founding director of the Anna Julia Cooper Project on Gender, Race, and Politics in the South. Prior to this, she taught at Princeton University and the University of Chicago. She is also a regular columnist for the magazine The Nation, and the author of Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America.

Harris-Perry was born to a white mother and black father. She was born in Seattle but grew up in Chesterfield County, Virginia, one of the counties adjoining the independent city of Richmond, Virginia attending Thomas Dale High School. Her father was the first dean of African-American Affairs at the University of Virginia. Her mother, Diana Gray, taught at a community college and was working on her doctorate when they met. She went on to work for nonprofit organizations that provided services such as day-care centers, health care for people in rural communities and access to reproductive care for poor women.

Harris-Perry graduated from Wake Forest University with a bachelor’s degree in English and received a PhD in political science from Duke University. She also received an honorary doctorate from Meadville Lombard Theological School and studied theology at Union Theological Seminary in New York City.




Robin Roberts

Robin Roberts 

Robin René Roberts (born November 23, 1960) is an American television broadcaster. Roberts is the anchor of ABC’s morning show Good Morning America. After growing up in Mississippi and attending Southeastern Louisiana University, Roberts was a sports anchor for local TV and radio stations. Roberts was a sportscaster on ESPN for 15 years (1990–2005). She became co-anchor on Good Morning America in 2005. She has been treated for breast cancer and for myelodysplastic syndrome.

Born in Tuskegee, Alabama, Robin Roberts grew up in Pass Christian, Mississippi. At age 29, Roberts began hosting ESPN’s Sportscenter and, not long after, appearing as a guest reporter on Good Morning America. In 2005, she was hired as a full-time co-anchor of the morning news program. In August 2011, Roberts took a leave of absence from Good Morning America in order to undergo treatment for a rare blood disorder that she contracted after undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer. She returned to the show on February 20, 2013. In early 2014, Roberts officially came out as a gay woman.

The youngest of four siblings and the daughter of a Tuskegee Airmen pilot, Roberts spent her childhood cultivating athletic and academic success, graduating as her high school’s salutatorian. Her sister, Sally-Ann Roberts, became a local news anchor, and Robin followed in her footsteps, earning a journalism scholarship and a degree in communications from Southeastern Louisiana University.

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