African American

Nationwide protests in 2020 — sparked by the May 25 murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis and fueled by the pandemic’s disproportionate impact on Blacks as well as pervasive racial injustice — powerfully and painfully illustrated that “systemic racism is embedded deep and wide across American society.”

Protests also were held in Salt Lake City in the wake of Floyd’s death and the shooting-death of a local man.

In the light of these local and national conversations about the long overdue racial reckoning, journalism students covered “the” Black/African American community in the Salt Lake Valley during spring semester 2021. They also reported on MLK Week events held at the University of Utah.

The student-journalists were: Hannah Carlson; Harrison Fauth; Justin Galletly; Taesha Goode; Zoe Gottlieb; Mason Hardy; Eric Jensen; Madison Kuledge; Emali Mackinnon; Brynna Maxwell; Sunwhee Mike Park; Brianna Pearson; Catie Quigley; Stephanie RosilesTess Roundy; Leif Thulin; Nina Tita; Kenzie Waldon; Jonathan Wistrcill.

They reported on a variety of topics, businesses, people and issues in the African American community, including: Curly Me!, a resource for families with children of color and specifically Black girls between the ages of 5 and 14; the Utah Black Chamber and its chairman, Steven L. Johnson; the Teacher Recruitment Scholarship, which is a full-ride scholarship designed to bring ethnically diverse educators to Utah schools; and HoneyComb Cafe, an online bakery featuring honey from the owners’ honeybee hives.

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A few of the student-journalists who reported this semester, clockwise from top left: Taesha Goode; Brianna Pearson; Kenzie Waldon; Tess Roundy; Brynna Maxwell; Leif Thulin; Hannah Carlson.


The Rev. Jesse Jackson used call-and-response to inspire the audience. "I am ... somebody," the crowd yelled.
The Rev. Jesse Jackson used call-and-response to inspire the audience. “I am … somebody,” the crowd yelled.

Journalism students covered Salt Lake City’s African American community during spring semester 2013.

Their reporting coincided with Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the campus visit of the Rev. Jesse Jackson and the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation.

Student-journalists were: Talon Chappell; Renee Estrada; Lorien Harker; Alysha Nemeschy; Danealle Plascencia; Trevor Rapp; Gustabo Rodriguez; Christie Taylor; and Alexa Wells.

They reported on a variety of topics, businesses, people and issues in the community, including: the Mahider Ethiopian Restaurant and Market in Salt Lake City; transracial adoptions; Thelina Smith, the reigning Miss Black Utah USA; and overcoming racial restrictions in the Mormon Church.

Students practiced live tweeting during the keynote address by the Rev. Jesse L. Jackson at the U on Jan. 24, 2013.
Students practiced live tweeting during the keynote address by the Rev. Jesse L. Jackson at the U on Jan. 24, 2013. Back row, from left: Lorien Harker, Renee Estrada, Alysha Nemeschy, Alexa Wells. Front row, from left: Danealle Plascencia, Christie Taylor, Trevor Rapp.

Find links to their stories and read their blogs and bios by clicking on a name above, or by selecting Blogs & Bios from the drop-down box, at left. Stories also can be located by clicking on a Tag or selecting a topic such as Education from the Categories box.