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Sat, 03.20.1971

Touré, Media Journalist, and Writer


*Touré was born on this date in 1971. He is a Black author, journalist, cultural critic, and television personality. From Boston, MA., Touré Neblett's father, Roy E. Neblett, was an accountant and a member of the personal staff of Boston mayor Kevin White.

Touré's parents met while Roy was studying at Suffolk University Law School, and his mother, Patricia, also worked at the Neblett accounting firm. Touré's paternal grandparents immigrated to Harlem from Barbados and the British Virgin Islands. He attended Milton Academy and then Emory University but dropped out after his junior year. While at Emory, he founded a black student newspaper, The Fire This Time. Touré began his writing career as an intern at Rolling Stone in 1992. In 1996, he attended Columbia University's MFA writing program for one year. His sister Meika also attended Milton Academy and Emory, where she completed her degree in three and a half years and competed in the NCAA Division I Women's Tennis Championship as a freshman before attending Howard University College of Medicine.

In 1992, his junior year at Emory University, Touré dropped out of college and became an intern at Rolling Stone magazine. He wrote record reviews and feature stories. His first feature was about Run-DMC.  In 1996, upset that a feature story he'd written for The New Yorker was rejected, he enrolled in the graduate school for creative writing at Columbia University. He took a fiction writing class and wrote a story about a black saxophonist in Harlem named Sugar Lips Shinehot, who lost the ability to see white people. The second story he wrote was "A Hot Time at the Church of Kentucky Fried Souls and the Spectacular Final Sunday Sermon of the Right Reverend Daddy Love." 

After a year at Columbia, Touré left to write a rapper KRS-One. Since 1997, he has been a contributing editor at Rolling Stone, writing primarily about hip hop. Touré has written three books: The Portable Promised Land (2003), a collection of short stories; Soul City (2004), a magical realist novel about life in a Black Utopia; and Never Drank the Kool-Aid (2006), a collection of his writing from Rolling StoneThe New YorkerThe New York Times, the Village VoiceThe BelieverPlayboyTENNIS Magazine, and others, written between 1994 and 2005.

He also wrote about Dale Earnhardt Jr. In 2004; he became CNN's first pop culture correspondent. In 2005, Touré became a correspondent for Black Entertainment Television (BET). In 2008, he left BET and became a contributor to MSNBC. In 2011 he published Who's Afraid of Post-Blackness, a look at a modern Black identity that includes a forward by Michael Eric Dyson and excerpts from over 100 interviews. Touré hosted Hip-hop Shop on Fuse. He is also the host of On the Record, a one-on-one interview show. His television career began in the late 1990s with occasional appearances on talk shows like The Today ShowDateline NBC, and CNN. Guests ranged from Zadie Smith, Kanye WestNas, Puffy, Cornel West, Lenny Kravitz, and Alicia Keys to Reverend Al Sharpton and Jay-Z. 

Touré has filled in as substitute host of the arts and culture interview program The Leonard Lopate Show on WNYC, New York City's largest public radio station. His show I'll Try Anything Once aired on Treasure HD. The 13-episode, half-hour series featured Touré attempting challenges each week. He has hosted several shows on Tennis Channel.  Touré was interviewed for biographical insight into the life of rapper Eminem on A&E. In 2012, Touré also criticized Piers Morgan's interview with Robert Zimmerman regarding his brother George's shooting of Trayvon Martin.

He stated that Morgan failed to ask Zimmerman challenging questions and provided a platform for deception on Zimmerman's part. After Morgan and Touré traded insults, the two continued their hostilities during the March 30 interview, with Morgan calling into question Touré's journalistic professionalism and Touré arguing that Morgan's relatively short time in the United States made him less empathetic to the American experience. The two continued to feud on Twitter after the show's taping.

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