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Jemele Hill’s world came crashing down when she called President Trump “a white supremacist”; the White House wanted her fired from ESPN, and she was deluged with death threats. But Hill had faced tougher adversaries growing up in Detroit than a tweeting president. Beneath the exterior of one of the most recognizable journalists in America was a need—a calling—to break her family’s cycle of intergenerational trauma.
Jemele Hill’s life began in upheaval. Born in the middle of a lively routine Friday night Monopoly game to a teen mother and a heroin-addicted father, Hill constantly adjusted to the harsh realities of not only her own childhood but the inherited generational pain of her mother and grandmother. Her escape was writing.
Hill’s mother was less than impressed with the brassy and bold free expression of her diary, but Jemele never stopped discovering and amplifying her voice. Through hard work and a constant willingness to learn, Hill rose from newspaper reporter to columnist to new heights as the anchor for ESPN’s revered SportsCenter. Soon, she earned respect and support—though not always from her bosses—for her fearless opinions and unshakable confidence, as well as a reputation as a trusted journalist who speaks their mind with truth and conviction.
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October 25, 2022
Henry Holt and Co.