Tamron Hall Talks Hip-Hop, Domestic Violence and Diversity in the Newsroom

Tamron Hall Talks Hip-Hop, Domestic Violence and Diversity in the Newsroom

The MSNBC host discusses the influences that brought her to the world of journalism and her passions outside the newsroom

Kristin Braswell

by Kristin Braswell, May 23, 2012

Tamron Hall Talks Hip-Hop, Domestic Violence and Diversity in the Newsroom

Tamron Hall

Photo courtesy of NBC

in the Black community in that we have embraced the beauty of hip hop, the real rawness of it, the real fun of it, but we also have to address the damage it has done. We have to look at what it’s done to our black girls, especially when it comes to domestic violence.

EBONY: What is one current news topic that you are constantly coming back to learn more about?

TH: I’m pretty lucky in that we have ranges of topics we are able to cover and we are able to step out of the world of politics. I feel like I am the luckiest girl in the world. We get to talk about the things I’m most interested in, that I feel our viewers would be the most interested in as well. There’s not one single topic, but the Trayvon Martin case has been one we’ve definitely been following. It’s in the hands of the court now, and we’ll learn even more soon.

EBONY:  What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

TH: I’m definitely a foodie. I’ve started taking cooking lessons. Prior to that, it was eating, because I love to eat. I base everything on food. My mom teases me about that because my whole life evolves around planning my meals all day. I also have a great circle of friends that are from different backgrounds and we hang out. I don’t have children so I don’t have to go to 100 soccer games, although that is something I wouldn’t mind doing one day. I try to have a balanced, happy life.

EBONY:  You’re well known for your fierce hairstyle and fashion. Where do you draw your beauty inspiration?

TH: I’ve had the same hairstyle since I was 18. I cut my hair then so that I could look like Anita Baker because my boyfriend at the time liked her. I laugh about it all the time, but, for whatever reason, a lot of people think that I wear a wig. I get emails and tweets about people commenting on my hair being a wig. It’s one of the strangest but most entertaining things I’ve read about myself online. An anonymous person on Twitter once threatened to slap my wig off. [laughs]I was actually more offended that he didn’t think my hair was real than wanting to slap it off. My hair was solely inspired by my college boyfriend, who was in love with Anita Baker at the time.

EBONY: Your show wraps, the lights in the newsroom have dimmed. What do you feel most proud about as you head home?

​TH: I feel absolutely proud to be in this building and to be able to host a show. I’m a kid from a small country in Texas. My grandfather was sharecropper. I was raised by a single mom until I was two years old and she married my amazing stepfather. I tell young people all the time that there’s nothing exceptional about me. I worked hard but I didn’t always get straight A’s. I’m not perfect. Without makeup I look like Bart Simpson [laughs]! 

A lot of times, people think there has to be exception about themselves in order to succeed and I don’t think that’s necessarily true. I’m proud of my hard work. Working hard won’t always lead to the exact things we desire. There are many things I’ve wanted that I haven’t always gotten. But, I have a great satisfaction in the blessings from my mother and father, who instilled a great work ethic in me both personally and professionally.

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