About Jeannine


For more than two decades, I've helped people tell their stories. I spent the majority of my career writing for magazines, traveling across the country and around the world reporting on communities in crisis. I've penned more than a dozen award-winning investigative features and delivered scores of insightful health and human interest stories, celebrity profiles and provocative pieces about sex and relationships. In 2014, I transitioned into book collaboration and ghost writing. My most recent work, "Rabbit: The Autobiography of Ms. Pat," published by HarperCollins, is a gripping story of motherhood, crime and redemption. It was voted one of 2017's best memoirs by the editors at Amazon, and nominated for an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literature.


I was born in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where my father was stationed as a foreign correspondent working for Reuters news agency. Our family lived briefly in London, England before setting in Toronto, Canada. My mother, Phyllis, is a retired English teacher, and my father, Arnold, who passed away in 2017, was a renowned figure in Canadian broadcasting, serving as an executive producer at the CBC, and a staunch advocate for the rights of journalists around the world.


I began my journalism career in Toronto, working in radio and print. One of my first published stories was a front page feature in the Toronto Star about racial profiling by local police. In 1992, I moved to New York to attend Columbia's Graduate School of Journalism. After graduating, I wrote for the Village Voice, Essence, Vibe, Mademoiselle, Glamour, the Source and other publications, and went on to hold senior editor positions at both the Village Voice and Vibe.


In 2001, after writing features about everything from the plight of undocumented students in New York City's public schools to racism in Hollywood, I became a mother. Never one to miss a deadline, I gave birth on a Saturday afternoon and turned in a story to my editor first thing Monday morning. In the following years, I freelanced as a sex columnist for BET online and a feature writer for various national magazines. In 2005, I joined the staff of Essence magazine as the publication's only senior writer. While there, I wrote and edited more than two dozen award-winning feature stories.


I've been recognized by the New York Association of Black Journalists for my international series, "Stolen Childhood," about AIDS orphans and child soldiers in Northern Uganda. I also received first place for cultural reporting for my feature "Dirty Dancing," about the exploitation of black women in music videos. I've received six National Association of Black Journalists Salute to Excellence Awards, including for my investigative series on domestic sex trafficking and an international reporting on child marriage in Niger.


My feature stories "Number One with a Bullet," about a Philadelphia family grieving for their murdered son in the nation's homicide capital; "Trouble in Paradise," which explored homophobia in Jamaica; "The Danger Outside," about the murder of Trayvon Martin; and "Your Teens' Secret Sex Life" about middle schoolers and early sex, have all received professional recognition, including Henry R. Luce and Front Page Awards. For a full list, visit this site's "Awards" page.


"The Talk," an opinion piece I wrote for Time magazine about black parents' response to the murder of Trayvon Martin, was excerpted in two books: "Of Poetry and Prose: From Emmett Till to Trayvon Martin," published by W.W. Norton and Company; and "Called to be Free: How the Civil Rights Movement Created a New Nation," published by Time.


When not writing, I work as a media consultant, helping business people, fashion insiders and artists prepare for public speaking engagements and media appearances.



photo by andrew beeton