Reflecting On Trayvon Martin: NBC Anchors Lester Holt, Tamron Hall Tell Personal Stories About Race

I love Rock Center with Brian Williams for many reasons—the chief one being that he’s a truth-teller. I adore a reporter who digs down to the meat—who’s not afraid to find the hard stories, ask the hard questions and shine a light on the hard issues. Today, I share this video, produced for Brian Williams’ show, in which NBC’s African American anchors and correspondents talk about their coverage of the Trayvon Martin case, but in a much more personal way. In it, Lester Holt, Tamron Hall, NFL coach Tony Dungee, correspondent Ron Allen, Toure and theGriot.com executive editor David A. Wilson,  detailing their own personal struggles with being racially profiled in stores, while driving, even while reporting stories.

Of course, their experience is not earth-shattering for black folk and other people of color; it’s a way of life for many of us. Still, it may be eye-opening for others who can’t relate to what we average, everyday people go through, but perhaps might think a little harder about it when beloved Today show anchor Lester Holt explains what it’s like to be singled out or have complete strangers make assumptions about him—often negative ones—based on nothing more than his skin color, or when Tamron Hall relays “the talk” her father gave her brother giving him the keys to the car and her personal experience being followed around department stores with “security on my back.” It’s an interesting approach, for sure. Take a look.


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Denene Millner

Mom. NY Times bestselling author. Pop culture ninja. Unapologetic lover of shoes, bacon and babies. Nice with the verbs. Founder of the top black parenting website, MyBrownBaby.

4 Comments

  1. I love brown baby and your honesty. Be blessed.

    • There isn’t a single item in the Trayvon case so far that indicates he was racially profiled in any way. NBC’s Today show edited the 911 call to make it look that way. It’s really important that folks stop letting race baiters twist their minds.

      What NBC Today’s show played:
      “This guy looks like he’s up to no good. He looks black.”

      What he really said:
      Zimmerman: “We’ve had some break-ins in my neighborhood and there’s a real suspicious guy. It’s Retreat View Circle. The best address I can give you is 111 Retreat View Circle. This guy looks like he’s up to no good, or he’s on drugs or something. It’s raining and he’s just walking around, looking about.”
      911 Dispatcher: “Okay. And this guy, is he white black or Hispanic?”
      Zimmerman: “He looks black.”

  2. I saw this video a couple of days ago and showed it to my boys, 10 & 13 yestrerday. I felt I needed to reinforce the challenges they will always have as young black men and I thought showing these highly influential and highly esteemed blacks to them and explaining that no matter where you go to school or how you dressed you will always be percieved a certain way. This video clip was wonderful and I am glad it was done!

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