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DeNeen L. Brown
Provided by National Geographic.
DeNeen L. Brown has been an award-winning writer for The Washington Post for more than 35 years.
Brown is an associate professor at the Philip Merrill College of Journalism, where she teaches "News Feature Writing" and the "Power of the Writing Voice."
At The Post, Brown continues to report and write, uncovering forgotten stories in Black history and connecting today's news to the histories of Black heroes and sheroes. Her recent articles have included historical narratives about: Fannie Lou Hamer, Harriet Tubman, Ella Baker, Isaac Woodard, Emmett Till, Shirley Chisholm, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr., Ida B. Wells, Annie Lee Cooper, Amelia Boynton, Diane Nash, and Queen Charlotte.
Here's her Washington Post author's page: https://www.washingtonpost.com/people/deneen-l-brown/
Brown has written extensively about the country's history of racial terror lynchings and massacres. After Brown's 2018 story on the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre was published on the front page of The Washington Post, the mayor of Tulsa announced he would reopen the city's search for mass graves of Black victims of the massacre. In October 2020, the city discovered a mass grave that may be connected to the massacre. Scientists will begin examining the remains this summer.
Over more than three decades, Brown has been a ground-breaking reporter, with a strong writing voice uncovering stories about the Black community. At The Post, Brown covered night police, education, courts, politics, arts, theater and culture. She has been a staff writer in the famed Style section of The Washington Post and a staff writer for The Washington Post magazine, where she wrote award-winning narratives.
Brown was a foreign correspondent for The Washington Post, and the first Black woman to cover Canada for The Washington Post.
As Canada Bureau Chief of The Washington Post, Brown was responsible for coverage of the entire country of Canada. She wrote about Canadian elections and the Canadian prime minister's policies. She reported U.S.-Canada relations and about efforts by Quebec to separate from Canada. In Vancouver, Brown's work included a series of stories about missing women.
As a foreign correspondent, Brown traveled throughout the Arctic and the Arctic Archipelago, which consists of 94 islands, to write about climate change and indigenous populations. Many of her stories about climate change, which were first-hand reports about the fragile Arctic and thinning sea ice, are cited in scientific journals throughout the world.
In 1999, Brown won the prestigious national award for Non-Deadline Writing by the American Society of Newspaper Editors.
Brown's award-winning stories and essays are published in "The Best Newspaper Writing of 1999." The chapter presents five feature narratives, including a profile of a school superintendent and a narrative called “The Accused,” about two young boys wrongly accused of murder in Chicago. "The Accused" also won the 1999 Salute to Excellence First Place feature award from the National Association of Black Journalists.
Honors & Awards:
In 1999, Brown was named the winner of the annual prize for non-deadline reporting awarded by the American Society of Newspaper Editors. She received the award for five narratives, including a profile of a school superintendent and a narrative called “The Accused,” about two young boys wrongly accused of murder in Chicago. That narrative also won the 1999 Salute to Excellence First Place feature award from the National Association of Black Journalists. She has won the Maryland-Delaware-D.C. Press Association awards for education reporting, public service and team series. She received a 2005 NABJ Salute to Excellence third-place award for “Tight Corner,” a feature using dialogue to capture the life in a D.C. corner store. In 2006, Brown’s story entitled “Mr. Wonderful” won first place and the Best-in-the-Show Award for daily writing from the Virginia Press Association. The story also won first place in the 2006 Excellence-In-Feature-Writing Contest for Narrative Features from the American Association of Sunday and Feature Editors. In 2007, Brown won first place in the NABJ magazine investigative category for a story in The Post magazine called "To Catch a Killer" unraveling a woman’s quest to find her sons’ killers. Brown was a Washington Post Media Fellow at Duke University.
This year, Brown had the honor of writing about the genius and life of Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul. The story was published in the March 2021 National Geographic Magazine, as the companion piece for the Nat Geo TV scripted anthology series “Genius: Aretha.”
Provided by National Geographic.
Award-winning filmmaker, producer, and mental health/social justice advocate Dawn Porter has emerged in the entertainment industry as a leader in the art of storytelling; directing and producing critically acclaimed projects that have impacted generations of people from all walks of life. In 2020 Porter’s two poignant documentaries, “The Way I See It” (Focus Features) which is a look into two American presidencies, Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama from the lens of official White House photographer Pete Souza, and “John Lewis: Good Trouble” (Magnolia Pictures), the story of the congressman and civil rights icon, have been praised by critics and audiences alike.
“The Way I See It” premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival ahead of a limited theatrical release during the Coronavirus pandemic and a record-breaking release on MSNBC, handing the cable news network its highest-rating Friday night ever. Media raved: “The Way I See It” is “a galvanizing documentary” (Entertainment Weekly), “a welcome reminder of what executive dignity looks like” (The Los Angeles Times), “could carry on being relevant to audiences for decades to come” (Variety), and “impeccably crafted and consistently engaging” (The New York Times). Porter’s award-winning work “John Lewis: Good Trouble” has been met with equal acclaim, being called “bursting with inspiration both powerful and essential” (Film Inquiry), “of importance now more than ever” (Salon.com), and “an intimate homage to both the legend and the man, as spry and lively as Lewis himself” (RogerEbert.com).
Kicking off the 2021 award season, Porter received Mill Valley Film Festival’s prestigious 2020 Mind the Gap Award for Documentarian of the Year, and was awarded with the 2020 Marlon Riggs Award at The San Francisco Bay Area Film Critics Circle Awards. In addition, both of her documentaries received a slew of Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards nominations, with wins for Best Political Documentary (“John Lewis: Good Trouble”) & Best Score (“The Way I See It”), along with a Best Documentary (“The Way I See It”) win at the New York Film Critics Online Awards. Most recently, “John Lewis: Good Trouble” won the 2021 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Documentary (Film).
As a two-time Sundance film festival director, Porter discovered her passion for filmmaking following her time as an attorney. She made her feature directorial debut in 2013 with “Gideon's Army,” which premiered on HBO, was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award and an Emmy, won Best Editing at Sundance, and is now part of the U.S. Department of State’s American Film Showcase. Her 2016 film “Trapped,” which explores laws regulating abortion clinics in the South, won the Special Jury Social-Impact Prize at the Sundance Film Festival, and a Peabody Award (to name a few). Additional film directing credits for Porter include National Geographic’s upcoming special “Red Summer,” PBS’ “Spies of Mississippi” and The Discovery Channel’s “Rise: The Promise of My Brother’s Keeper.” On the television front, Porter directed Netflix’s 2018 four-part series “Bobby Kennedy for President” and is set to direct and executive produce Oprah Winfrey and Prince Harry’s upcoming documentary series on mental illness and mental well-being for Apple TV+.
When she isn’t working on her documentary projects, Porter frequently lectures at universities throughout the nation, a passion she honed during her time as professor and Head of the Documentary Program at the prestigious UC Berkeley School of Journalism.
She currently resides in Massachusetts with her husband and two children, Eli and Will.