Charlayne Hunter-Gault, an American journalist and author, lives in Johannesburg, South Africa, and has done so since 1997. I feel an affinity for her since Johannesburg is the first “home” I remember. Some day soon I hope to go back for a visit. I’d love to sit down and have a cup of coffee with her and just chat. OK, who wouldn’t, but I can dream, right?
She is one of the two African American students who integrated the University of Georgia’s school of journalism — and her career as a journalist took off from there.
The University of South Carolina (she was born in SC) has a lovely bio here.
Also an author, her first novel, IN MY PLACE, tells what it was like to grow up black in the 1950’s and 1960’s. Her second, NEW NEWS OUT OF AFRICA, rights some of our anachronistic views on Africa that it’s all about the 4 D’s — death, despair, disease, disaster. Instead, she highlights African countries going through their post-colonial renaissance. It came out a couple of years ago but I completely missed it (I’m ordering it now from my favorite local bookstore, Over the Moon, and I can’t wait to read it!).
From this quote, I can only think she has a positive outlook on people and life:
“If people are informed they will do the right thing. It’s when they are not informed that they become hostages to prejudice.”
But I particularly love this quote:
“Democracy isn’t perfect, it’s a moving thing, and you have to be vigilant to keep it true to its promises.” Here, here!
Thanks, Charlayne Hunter-Gault, for all your writing, your work, and the difference you make on both sides of the Atlantic!