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Renee Poussaint

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Information about Renee Poussaint

Profile image of Renee Poussaint

Profession

Category:
MediaMakers
Occupation(s):
Journalist

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Red
Favorite Food:
Fried Chicken
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Africa
Favorite Quote:
It Is What It Is.

Birthplace

Born:
8/12/1944
Birth Location:
New York City, New York

Profession

Category:
MediaMakers
Occupation(s):
Journalist

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Red
Favorite Food:
Fried Chicken
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Africa
Favorite Quote:
It Is What It Is.

Birthplace

Born:
8/12/1944
Birth Location:
New York City
See how Renee Poussaint is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Journalist Renee Poussaint was born on August 12, 1944. Poussaint received her B.A. degree in English literature from Sarah Lawrence College in 1964; and, in 1970, she graduated with her M.A. degree in African studies from the University of California, Los Angeles. She has also studied at Yale Law School and the Sorbonne in Paris, France.

In 1970, Poussaint began her career in television broadcasting working as a news correspondent at WBBM-TV in Chicago, Illinois. She went on to anchor the ABC Evening News, substituting for Peter Jennings, as well as news segments on Good Morning America. She was a national correspondent for the CBS network, and ABC’s news magazine show Prime Time Live. Poussaint also anchored the local ABC evening news in Washington, D.C. for more than a decade. She has reported from locations around the world including Haiti, South Africa and Uganda, and has interviewed many historic movers and shakers, as well as everyday people whose problems shape our world.

In 2001, Poussaint and Camille Cosby, educator and producer, founded the National Visionary Leadership Project. The project utilizes various educational media to record, preserve, and distribute the stories and wisdom of older generations of African Americans. The entirety of the NVLP collection is archived at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. as a component of the broader “National Visionary Leadership Project Collection.” In 2004, Poussaint and Cosby co-authored a book titled, A Wealth of Wisdom: Legendary African American Elders Speak, which appeared on the New York Times best-seller list.

Poussaint is also founder of Wisdom Works, a documentary production company. The company’s highly-acclaimed documentary, “Tutu and Franklin: A Journey towards Peace,” aired nationally on PBS in 2001, and was filmed at the infamous slave port Goree, Senegal. Her work as a documentary filmmaker has also appeared on Discovery, A&E, and Lifetime. In addition, she taught journalism at the University of Maryland.

Poussaint is the recipient of three national and seven local Emmy awards. As an independent consultant and community activist, Poussaint has worked with nonprofit and community organizations to help them better define their message for a larger audience. Her volunteer activities have included tutoring, mentoring, and reading newspapers for the blind. Poussaint has received honorary doctorates from Georgetown University and Mount Vernon College.

Renee Poussaint was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on January 17, 2013.

See how Renee Poussaint is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Renee Poussaint's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Renee Poussaint lists her favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Renee Poussaint talks about her mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Renee Poussaint talks about her maternal grandparents' arranged marriage
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Renee Poussaint talks about her mother's upbringing and education
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Renee Poussaint shares a story from her mother's childhood
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Renee Poussaint talks about her mother's aspirations and her parents' disapproval of her father
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Renee Poussaint talks about her father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Renee Poussaint talks about visiting Mali and her resemblance to Mali's Fulani tribe
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Renee Poussaint talks about her uncle, HistoryMaker Alvin Poussaint, a well-known psychiatrist
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Renee Poussaint talks about her father's upbringing in Harlem, New York City
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Renee Poussaint talks about her father's aspiration to be a graphic artist
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Renee Poussaint describes how her parents met
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Renee Poussaint talks about her mother's involvement with the Communist Party and her parents' divorce
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Renee Poussaint describes her likeness to her parents
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Renee Poussaint describes her earliest childhood memory
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Renee Poussaint describes the sights, sounds, and smells of growing up in Harlem
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Renee Poussaint talks about her parents' divorce when she was ten years old
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Renee Poussaint talks about going to Catholic school
  • Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Renee Poussaint talks about her childhood love of school and reading
  • Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Renee Poussaint talks about her mother's reaction to her anti-Communist teacher
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Renee Poussaint talks about her mother's involvement with the Communist Party and the NAACP
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Renee Poussaint talks about black identity and her love of dance
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Renee Poussaint describes her childhood neighborhood in Queens, New York City, New York
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Renee Poussaint talks about Andrew Jackson High School and her interest in studying French
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Renee Poussaint describes her lack of interest in the media as a youth
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Renee Poussaint talks about being the salutatorian of Andrew Jackson High School Class of 1962, and being accepted into Sarah Lawrence College
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Renee Poussaint talks about her relationship with her father following her parents' divorce
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Renee Poussaint describes attending Andrew Jackson High School in Queens, New York City, New York
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Renee Poussaint describes attending Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York
  • Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Renee Poussaint talks about studying abroad in Paris during her junior year at Sarah Lawrence College
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Renee Poussaint talks about her favorite writers in college
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Renee Poussaint shares a story about her uncle's visit to Paris, France
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Renee Poussaint recalls wanting to be a civil rights lawyer
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Renee Poussaint talks about attending the March on Washington in 1963
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Renee Poussaint talks about being accepted into Yale Law School and dropping out
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Renee Poussaint talks about meeting her husband, moving and living in Malawi as an African American
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Renee Poussaint talks about the snakes and wildlife in Malawi
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Renee Poussaint talks about her high school trip to West Africa through the Operation Crossroads Africa program
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Renee Poussaint talks about what she learned from African and French women
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Renee Poussaint describes what influenced her to pursue a Master's degree in African Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Renee Poussaint talks about attending the University of California, Los Angeles, and adjusting to life in Los Angeles
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Renee Poussaint talks about her experience as a Master's student in the African Studies program at the University of California, Los Angeles
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Renee Poussaint talks about her experience in the Ph.D. program in Comparative Literature at Indiana University
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Renee Poussaint talks about meeting HistoryMaker Jonathan Rodgers in the Michele Clark Fellowship Program for Minorities
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Renee Poussaint describes how she became a news reporter at WBBM Chicago
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Renee Poussaint talks about her experiences as a correspondent for CBS News pt. 1
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Renee Poussaint talks about her experiences as a correspondent for CBS News pt. 2
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Renee Poussaint talks about her work as a news correspondent in the CBS Midwest Bureau
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Renee Poussaint talks about her marriage and becoming an anchor for WJLA in Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Renee Poussaint describes anchoring for WJLA in Washington, D.C. and viewers' scrutiny of her appearance, pt. 1
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Renee Poussaint describes anchoring for WJLA in Washington, D.C. and viewers' scrutiny of her appearance, pt. 2
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Renee Poussaint talks about the representation of African Americans in television news
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Renee Poussaint describes her dislike of the celebrity of a TV anchor
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Renee Poussaint talks about her job offer from 'Prime Time Live' and winning three Emmy Awards
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Renee Poussaint describes stories she covered for 'Prime Time Live' and the lack of cultural understanding she faced as a correspondent
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Renee Poussaint talks about her production company, Wisdom Works, and her documentary, "Tutu and Franklin: A Journey Towards Peace"
  • Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Renee Poussaint talks about being unable to attend Archbishop Desmond Tutu's installation as Archbishop in South Africa, pt. 1
  • Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Renee Poussaint talks about being unable to attend Archbishop Desmond Tutu's installation as Archbishop in South Africa, pt. 2
  • Tape: 6 Story: 11 - Renee Poussaint talks about covering South Africa around the time of Nelson Mandela's release
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Renee Poussaint talks about her television projects, including "Tutu and Franklin: A Journey Towards Peace" and "Malcom X"
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Renee Poussaint talks about Camille Cosby's contribution toward the documentary "Tutu and Franklin: A Journey Towards Peace"
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Renee Poussaint talks about Dorothy Height, pt. 1
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Renee Poussaint talks about Dorothy Height, pt. 2
  • Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Renee Poussaint describes her admiration for John Hope Franklin
  • Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Renee Poussaint talks about founding the National Leadership Visionary Project
  • Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Renee Poussaint talks about performing oral history interviews for the National Leadership Visionary Project
  • Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Renee Poussaint talks about leaving the National Leadership Visionary Project, and the book of interview excerpts the project inspired
  • Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Renee Poussaint talks about interviewing the first black admiral
  • Tape: 7 Story: 10 - Renee Poussaint shares a story from her interview with Coretta Scott King
  • Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Renee Poussaint talks about Bill and Camille Cosby, and the couple's commitment to advancing the welfare of blacks
  • Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Renee Poussaint talks about the National Leadership Visionary Project's impact on students
  • Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Renee Poussaint describes the National Leadership Visionary Project's criteria for selecting interviewees and performing interviews
  • Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Renee Poussaint describes how the National Leadership Visionary Project and The HistoryMakers complement one another
  • Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Renee Poussaint talks about the current state National Leadership Visionary Project
  • Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Renee Poussaint talks about her love of mentoring youth
  • Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Renee Poussaint reflects upon her life and projects she would like to work on in the future
  • Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Renee Poussaint talks about her hopes and concerns for the African American community and reflects upon her legacy
  • Tape: 8 Story: 9 - Renee Poussaint talks about her family
  • Tape: 8 Story: 10 - Renee Poussaint considers how she would like to be remembered