Story by Ayonlah Carter. Photo from Google Images.
We lost a beautiful soul recently due to cancer. Gwen Ifill is an award winning journalist, television newscaster and author. Gwen passed away from Breast and Endometrial Cancer on November 14, 2016. The announcement of her death was very sad and devastating for her family, friends and fans. This article honors her voice, achievements and strength. It focuses on all the good she has brought into this world and her accomplishments.
Gwen was born in Queens, New York along with five other siblings. With churchly parents bringing her up and with strong values, Gwen graduated from Simmons College. She interned for the Boston Herald America newspaper.
Gwen was inspired by her life experiences to make a difference. One day she discovered a sign on her desk at the Boston Herald that said “Nigger go home”. Gwen was highly horrified and showed it to the other news editors. The sign made them all feel terribly sorry for her. Gwen didn’t want anyone’s pity so she decided to become an activist for black women.
Gwen decided to get another job at Baltimore Evening Sun. She worked there for three years and then she got a job for The Washington Post for seven years. She left when she was told she wasn’t ready to cover news. This didn’t stop Gwen. Gwen persevered to get her voice heard to the media. Her next job took her to The New York Times where she covered The White House from 1991 to 1994. Gwen’s first job in television was NBC, where she was the network’s Capitol Hill reporter.
On October 5, 2004, Gwen moderated the vice-presidential debate. She also moderated the vice-presidential debate in 2008, which she was very excited about because Barack Obama was running and he was an African American. After she completed moderating, she got a whole lot of compliments for doing an amazing job. Gwen felt greatly appreciated and proud her voice was being heard.
Gwen has won many awards and honors such as Women in Film and the Video Women of Vision Award in 2000. She received the Gracie Allen Tribute Award from the Foundation for American Women in Radio and Television and was also awarded a Peabody Award in 2008 for her work on Washington Week. The list goes on-and-on.
Just because someone passes away doesn’t mean that they will be forgotten. It can be a time to honor all the good they have done. Of course someone passing is sad and devastating, but to make yourself feel better you should think about all the good that a person may have done in her lifetime. We honor you Gwen. Thank you for being a voice that brings good to the world and makes it a better place.
Ayonlah Carter is a 7th grade scholar at Friendship Chamberlain Academy.