Magazine editor and magazine publishing chief executive Tanya-Monique Kersey was born on March 22, 1961 in New York City, New York to Cynthia and Al Smith Kersey. She earned her B.A. degree in political science and sociology from Douglass College at Rutgers University in 1983. Kersey began her entertainment career working as a model. She then transitioned into acting, performing in commercials, voiceovers and industrial films.
Kersey appeared on several soap operas such as, All My Children, Search for Tomorrow and The Guiding Light. In 1990, Kersey published the Black State of the Arts: A Guide to Developing a Successful Career as a Black Performing Artist. This book became a proverbial how to manual for African Americans who are launching a career in the industry. In 1994, she established the magazine Black Talent News that focused on news from film, television, theatre and new media industries. After two years of publication Black Talent News became the first African American trade magazine to be accredited by the Motion Picture Association of America and the Television Critics’ Association. In 1997, Kersey participated in the annual Infotainment Conference. In 1999, Black Talent News launched its website www.blacktalentnews.com, which shares information about the industry via the internet. That same year, Kersey began the Hollywood Black Film Festival, a six day celebration of African American cinema. In 2002, Kersey authored and compiled The Black Film Report and the Black Talent News Resource Directory. Kersey is also a frequent contributor and co-host on the Samm Brown’s for the Record radio, show delivering the Urban Entertainment Report on RPFK radio in Los Angeles, California. Kersey is the executive producer of the entertainment newsmagazine show, Inside Urban Hollywood with Tanya Kersey.
In 2002 Kersey was named a “Living History Maker” by Turning Point Magazine . In this same year, she was also named one of Hollywood’s Urban Movers and Shakers by Daily Variety for her work as publisher and editor-in-chief of Black Talent News , as well as for being the founder and executive director of the Hollywood Black Film Festival. Kersey serves on the marketing advisory board of the Independent Feature Project/West and the Pan African Film and Television Festival of Ouagadougou. She is also a member of the Media Industry Advisory Board at West Los Angeles College.
Tanya- Monique Kersey was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on July 8, 2007.