Jemele Hill became known as a popular journalist in sports, but she is now one of the clearest voices in the country for social justice. She is a woman of faith and at the same time a fierce critic who asks questions and fights for the marginalized.
UrbanFaith contributor Maina Mwaura sat down with Jemele Hill to talk about her new memoir Uphill where she tells her own story with the depth and clarity she has used to tell other people’s stories for decades. The full interview is above, more about the book is below.
Jemele Hill’s world came crashing down when she called President Trump a “white supremacist”; the White House wanted her fired from ESPN, and she was deluged with death threats. But Hill had faced tougher adversaries growing up in Detroit than a tweeting president. Beneath the exterior of one of the most recognizable journalists in America was a need—a calling—to break her family’s cycle of intergenerational trauma.
Born in the middle of a lively routine Friday night Monopoly game to a teen mother and a heroin-addicted father, Hill constantly adjusted to the harsh realities of not only her own childhood but the inherited generational pain of her mother and grandmother. Her escape was writing.
Hill’s mother was less than impressed with the brassy and bold free expression of her diary, but Hill never stopped discovering and amplifying her voice. Through hard work and a constant willingness to learn, Hill rose from newspaper reporter to columnist to new heights as the coanchor for ESPN’s revered SportsCenter. Soon, she earned respect and support for her fearless opinions and unshakable confidence, as well as a reputation as a trusted journalist who speaks her mind with truth and conviction.
In Jemele Hill’s journey Uphill, she shares the whole story of her work, the women of her family, and her complicated relationship with God in an unapologetic, character-rich, and eloquent memoir