Five decades of writing about Black lives: theGrio’s ‘Writing Black’ podcast hosts Charlayne Hunter-Gault

Civil rights icon and acclaimed journalist Charlayne Hunter-Gault joins Maiysha Kai to discuss her groundbreaking career and latest book, 'My People: Five Decades of Writing About Black Lives.'

Charlayne Hunter-Gault, My People, Writing Black, theGrio.com
Images: theGrio; HarperCollins
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Civil rights pioneer. Emmy and Peabody Award-winning journalist. Author. Educator. Charlayne Hunter-Gault was a preacher’s kid who became one of two students to integrate the University of Georgia in 1961 — the first female student to do so. Today, a building on the university’s campus is partially named in the veteran journalist’s honor.

Hunter-Gault is widely considered a living legend, but as she explains in her newest book, “My People: Five Decades of Writing About Black Lives,” she is also a steadfast observer who has chronicled the lives of Black people since the civil rights movement she witnessed firsthand.

Charlayne Hunter-Gault, My People, Writing Black, theGrio.com
Images: theGrio; HarperCollins

“The civil rights movement in Atlanta, Georgia put me on a path of reporting stories that focused on the promise of liberty and justice for all, a promise that had been so long denied to my people. The lie of ‘separate but equal’ was still the law of the South, and while not on the books, it was alive and well, even up north, commonly referred to as ‘Up South’ at the time.”

Source: My People: Five Decades of Writing About Black Lives

Hunter-Gault’s reporting would lead her on a remarkable journey; one that would take her from Atlanta to Washington D.C., to Harlem to Africa and beyond, and catapult her to the top of her field. “My People” is a collection of reportage from all over the world that spans 50 years; as Hunter-Gault tells us this week on theGrio’s “Writing Black,” it is both her love letter to journalism and to Black people.

“[T]here’s so much more to us, which is what I tried to show in this book,” she said. “And that’s why I’m hoping that it will have some relevance and resonance.”

Hear more from the incredible Charlayne Hunter-Gault on this week’s episode of “Writing Black,” available on theGrio’s Black Podcast Network or wherever you listen to your podcasts.


Maiysha Kai is theGrio’s lifestyle editor, covering all things Black and beautiful. Her work is informed by two decades’ experience in fashion and entertainment, great books, and the brilliance of Black culture. She is also the editor-author of Body: Words of Change series.


TheGrio is FREE on your TV via Apple TV, Amazon Fire, Roku, and Android TV. TheGrio’s Black Podcast Network is free too. Download theGrio mobile apps today! Listen to ‘Writing Black‘ with Maiysha Kai.

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