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Sylvester Monroe

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Information about Sylvester Monroe

Profile image of Sylvester Monroe

Profession

Category:
MediaMakers
Occupation(s):
Author
Newspaper Editor
Magazine Correspondent

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Black
Favorite Food:
Steak (T-Bone)
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Brazil
Favorite Quote:
Some People See Things That Are And Ask Why? I Dream Things That Never Were And Ask Why Not?

Birthplace

Born:
8/5/1951
Birth Location:
Leland, Mississippi

Profession

Category:
MediaMakers
Occupation(s):
Author
Newspaper Editor
Magazine Correspondent

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Black
Favorite Food:
Steak (T-Bone)
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Brazil
Favorite Quote:
Some People See Things That Are And Ask Why? I Dream Things That Never Were And Ask Why Not?

Birthplace

Born:
8/5/1951
Birth Location:
Leland
See how Sylvester Monroe is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Journalist and best selling author Sylvester Monroe was born August 5, 1951 in Leland, Mississippi. Raised by his mother, Hattie Mae Monroe Kelley, in Chicago’s housing projects, Monroe attended John B. Drake and Douglas Elementary Schools. At Phillips High School, Monroe and two friends were introduced by a teacher to the United States Office of Economic Opportunity’s “A Better Chance” program, which led to his enrollment and graduation from the elite college preparatory, St. George's School in 1969. After graduation, Monroe applied and was accepted into Harvard University. During the summers, Monroe interned at Foote, Cone and Belding and Newsweek magazine. Monroe graduated from Harvard University, cum laude with a B.A. in social studies in 1973.

Starting as a full time correspondent in Newsweek’s Boston bureau, Monroe covered the Kenneth Edelin abortion trial and school desegregation in South Boston. He served as Newsweek’sChicago correspondent and from 1976 to 1978, as Deputy Bureau Chief from 1978 to1983 and as Boston Bureau Chief from 1983 to 1985, when he joined Newsweek’s Washington bureau. Monroe won several awards for his reporting on such stories as “Why Johnny Can’t Write”, “American Innovation”, and the three part series “Why Public Schools are Flunking”. Monroe covered Harold Washington’s successful Chicago mayoral campaign in 1983 and Reverend Jesse L. Jackson’s bid for the U.S. presidency in 1984. In 1987, Newsweek featured a cover story about Monroe’s return to Chicago’s housing projects to follow up on eleven of his childhood friends. The story, “Brothers” co-authored with Newsweek senior editor, Peter Goldman, developed into a best selling book, Brothers: Black and Poor—A True Story of Courage and Survival. Monroe joined TIME Magazine in 1989 as a Los Angeles-based correspondent. There, he worked as a principal reporter for post riot coverage of the Rodney King trial, as well as on the 1993 cover story, “Is L.A. Going to Hell?” and a 1994 feature about Minister Louis Farrakhan. Monroe became deputy managing editor of the San Jose Mercury News in 2001, but later that year joined the Atlanta Journal – Constitution as Sunday editor for the National /Foreign Desk. In 2006, Monroe joined the staff of Ebony Magazine as Senior Editor, where he was political editor and covered Barack Obama's presidential campaign. Since leaving Ebony in 2009, he has worked as a freelance editor and writer for several publications including The Root.com and The Defendersonline.com. Most recently, Monroe has been a contract editor and writer on the Corporate Citizenship Team at Oracle Corp. and Oracle Education Foundation.

A former vice president of the National Association of Black Journalists, Monroe served on the board of St. Georges Preparatory School and is a frequently sought after as a public speaker.

Monroe, who still considers Chicago home, has a son, Jason and lives in Atlanta.

See how Sylvester Monroe is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Sylvester Monroe's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Sylvester Monroe lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Sylvester Monroe describes his maternal family history, pt. 1
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Sylvester Monroe describes his maternal family history, pt. 2
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Sylvester Monroe describes his maternal grandfather
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Sylvester Monroe describes his mother's life in Leland, Mississippi
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Sylvester Monroe describes his father
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Sylvester Monroe talks about his father's return to Mississippi after the Korean War
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Sylvester Monroe talks about his mother's family moving to Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Sylvester Monroe describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Sylvester Monroe describes his earliest childhood memory
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Sylvester Monroe describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Sylvester Monroe describes the familial love he received as a child
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Sylvester Monroe remembers his childhood in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Sylvester Monroe details his elementary school education in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Sylvester Monroe describes his elementary and middle school teachers
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Sylvester Monroe talks about the impact of religion in his childhood
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Sylvester Monroe talks about his love of music
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Sylvester Monroe describes his high school years
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Sylvester Monroe describes his interest in reading
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Sylvester Monroe remembers his experience in A Better Chance summer program
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Sylvester Monroe recalls his acceptance to St. George's School in Middletown, Rhode Island
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Sylvester Monroe describes the presence of the Black P. Stone Nation in his youth
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Sylvester Monroe describes his time at Wendell Phillips High School in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Sylvester Monroe remembers arriving at St. George's School in Middletown, Rhode Island
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Sylvester Monroe describes his first night at St. George's School in Middletown, Rhode Island
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Sylvester Monroe remembers being homesick at St. George's School in Middletown, Rhode Island
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Sylvester Monroe describes adjusting to St. George's School in Middletown, Rhode Island
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Sylvester Monroe talks about integration at St. George's School in Middletown, Rhode Island
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Sylvester Monroe describes his decision to attend Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Sylvester Monroe describes the contrast between his school and home environment
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Sylvester Monroe describes his summer jobs in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Sylvester Monroe describes the lives of his friends after A Better Chance program, pt. 1
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Sylvester Monroe describes the lives of his friends after A Better Chance program, pt. 2
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Sylvester Monroe talks about his internship with Newsweek during the 1968 Democratic National Convention
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Sylvester Monroe describes his freshman year at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Sylvester Monroe describes the cultural isolation he felt at Newsweek and Time
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Sylvester Monroe talks about the rise of the black middle class
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Sylvester Monroe describes the revolutionary mindset of the 1970s
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Sylvester Monroe remembers black intellectuals at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Sylvester Monroe talks about interracial relationships in academia
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Sylvester Monroe remembers anxiety around his racial identity at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Sylvester Monroe describes his writing about black students at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Sylvester Monroe talks about African American organizations at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Sylvester Monroe describes his major at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Sylvester Monroe describes his social studies major at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Sylvester Monroe describes his college roommate's struggles, pt. 1
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Sylvester Monroe describes his college roommate's struggles, pt. 2
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Sylvester Monroe describes influential professors at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Sylvester Monroe describes his summer internships at Foote, Cone and Belding and Newsweek in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Sylvester Monroe remembers covering HistoryMaker Kenneth Carlton Edelin's trial for Newsweek
  • Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Sylvester Monroe remembers reporting on school desegregation for Newsweek's Boston bureau
  • Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Slating of Sylvester Monroe's interview, session 2
  • Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Sylvester Monroe describes Newsweek's stance on race during the 1970s and 1980s
  • Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Sylvester Monroe describes his journalistic mission
  • Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Sylvester Monroe recalls important news stories from 1973
  • Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Sylvester Monroe describes his mentors at Newsweek's Chicago bureau
  • Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Sylvester Monroe remembers his childhood impression of Chicago politics
  • Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Sylvester Monroe talks about reporting on the Robert Taylor Homes in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Sylvester Monroe talks about Harold Washington's election as mayor of Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 8 Story: 9 - Sylvester Monroe remembers covering HistoryMaker Reverend Jesse L. Jackson's 1984 presidential campaign
  • Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Sylvester Monroe talks about HistoryMaker Reverend Jesse L. Jackson's 1984 presidential campaign
  • Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Sylvester Monroe describes the controversy around HistoryMaker Reverend Jesse L. Jackson's 1984 campaign, pt. 1
  • Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Sylvester Monroe describes the controversy around HistoryMaker Reverend Jesse L. Jackson's 1984 campaign, pt. 2
  • Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Sylvester Monroe shares his thoughts about HistoryMaker Reverend Jesse L. Jackson's alleged anti-Semitic remarks
  • Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Sylvester Monroe describes the legacy of HistoryMaker Reverend Jesse L. Jackson
  • Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Sylvester Monroe describes Newsweek's reluctance to spotlight stories about African Americans
  • Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Sylvester Monroe describes returning to the Robert Taylor Homes as a Newsweek reporter
  • Tape: 10 Story: 1 - Sylvester Monroe describes the origin and publication of his article 'Brothers'
  • Tape: 10 Story: 2 - Sylvester Monroe describes the creation of his book, 'Brothers: Black and Poor - A True Story of Courage'
  • Tape: 10 Story: 3 - Sylvester Monroe talks about the onset of the crack epidemic in the 1980s
  • Tape: 10 Story: 4 - Sylvester Monroe describes the impact of the crack epidemic in the late 1980s
  • Tape: 10 Story: 5 - Sylvester Monroe describes changes in news media during the 1990s
  • Tape: 10 Story: 6 - Sylvester Monroe talks about the stories he covered for Time magazine
  • Tape: 10 Story: 7 - Sylvester Monroe remembers writing about the Million Man March for Emerge magazine
  • Tape: 11 Story: 1 - Sylvester Monroe remembers interviewing Nelson Mandela after his release from prison
  • Tape: 11 Story: 2 - Sylvester Monroe describes his Emerge story on Nelson Mandela's release from prison
  • Tape: 11 Story: 3 - Sylvester Monroe describes landing an interview with HistoryMaker Minister Louis Farrakhan
  • Tape: 11 Story: 4 - Sylvester Monroe describes his Time cover story on HistoryMaker Minister Louis Farrakhan
  • Tape: 11 Story: 5 - Sylvester Monroe talks about his role as a reporter
  • Tape: 11 Story: 6 - Sylvester Monroe describes his jobs following his departure from Time magazine in 2000
  • Tape: 11 Story: 7 - Sylvester Monroe describes his time as Sunday national editor of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and as senior editor for Ebony
  • Tape: 12 Story: 1 - Sylvester Monroe remembers his time as senior editor at Ebony magazine in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 12 Story: 2 - Sylvester Monroe remembers the election of HistoryMaker President Barack Obama
  • Tape: 12 Story: 3 - Sylvester Monroe talks about writing 'The Africa You Don't Know' for Ebony
  • Tape: 12 Story: 4 - Sylvester Monroe describes his concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 12 Story: 5 - Sylvester Monroe reflects upon his life
  • Tape: 12 Story: 6 - Sylvester Monroe reflects upon his legacy
  • Tape: 12 Story: 7 - Sylvester Monroe describes his family
  • Tape: 12 Story: 8 - Sylvester Monroe describes how he would like to be remembered