Entrepreneur and publisher Monique Greenwood was born on June 22, 1959 in Washington, D.C. Greenwood attended Howard University where she graduated magna cum laude in 1981 with her B.A. degree in communications. In 1989, Greenwood married Glenn Pogue, a broadcast engineer for WNBC-TV.
Greenwood’s family lived in the Washington, D.C. area for several generations. In the 1920s, her grandfather, Benjamin Greenwood, operated a small grocery store in the southeastern part of the city. He later owned the Greenwood Transfer Moving and Storage Company, a business that was eventually listed as one of the United States top Black owned businesses. Greenwood was inspired by her grandfather’s success. His example proved to her that racial discrimination could not stop a person who had the determination to succeed.
Not long after Greenwood’s graduation from Howard University, she began working at Fairchild Publications. Greenwood stayed at Fairchild for fifteen years; among her achievements at Fairchild was the creation of Children’s Business, which was a monthly trade magazine that provided information about children’s apparel and other products. In 1992, Greenwood published her first book Go On Girl! Book Club Guide to Reading Groups. She was also the co-founder of the Go On Girl! Book Club, which is the largest African American book club in the United States.
In 1995, Greenwood and her husband opened their first Akwaaba Bed & Breakfast in Brooklyn, New York. The following year, she started working at Essence magazine, as a lifestyle and style director, where she stayed for five years. In 2000, Greenwood became editor and chief of Essence magazine. In 2001, Greenwood published Having What Matters: The Black Woman’s Guide to Creating the Life You Really Want. After writing her second book, Greenwood realized what mattered most to her, so she resigned as editor and chief of Essence magazine to pursue her passion for inn keeping.
Along with her husband, Greenwood opened four more Akwaaba Bed & Breakfast Inns in New Jersey (2002, 2006), Washington, D.C. (2003) and New Orleans (2005). Greenwood is working on her third book which will be titled Life Under New Management: How to Fire Your Job and Become Your Own Boss.
Greenwood was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on October 11, 2007.