College Dropout to PhD: The Bold & Beautiful Marc Lamont Hill

College Dropout to PhD: The Bold & Beautiful Marc Lamont Hill

One of our youngest public intellectuals on Mumia Abu Jamal, Fox News and, naturally, Fatherhood

dream hampton

by dream hampton, January 07, 2012

College Dropout to PhD: The Bold & Beautiful Marc Lamont Hill

How do you balance parenthood with being a professor, a lecturer and a television show host?

I don't like the term single father. I think that whatever your relationship status, whenever two people are parenting it's co-parenting. I've been fortunate enough to co-parent my daughter in healthy and functional ways. It shows there are multiple ways to raise a healthy child. Because my schedule is demanding my daughter’s mother has been flexible, and I'm grateful for that. Sometimes I have to be creative to make it work. I'm sure my daughter has been to more TV studios and lectures than she'd have liked to be but even those moments create opportunities to bond with her and that means everything. Our children deserve our attention and our love, it's one of those beautiful struggles.

EBONY.COM: Your support of Assata Shakur cost you a job with Fox news. Yet your new book, "The Classroom and The Cell; Conversations of Black Life in America" is a result of a series of phone calls with another convicted cop killer, whom you also believe to be innocent, Mumia Abu Jamal. Why was it important for you to write this book?

I've made a decision to stand on the side of justice. This means taking stances that are unpopular and that force me to pay a price. As much as I enjoyed working at Fox News Channel, Assata Shakur's freedom meant more to me. I wasn't going to run from her or throw her under the bus for any amount of attention or money. Mumia Abu Jamal is my dear friend and my brother. More importantly, he is a wrongfully convicted political prisoner who deserves our support. I love him and will stand next to him, regardless of what happens to me. Our book, The Classroom and the Cell, is a testimony to that commitment, but it's also an opportunity for me to talk to and learn from one of the sharpest minds in the world today. Our weekly conversations, which took place over phone, letter, and in person, have been one of the greatest experiences I've ever had. Through them we've built a bond of brotherhood and friendship, as well as a space for healing and growth. I'm just lucky to be a part of it. 

dream hampton has written about culture for 20 years. She's a mother, an activist and an award-winning filmmaker. She lives in Detroit. Follow her on Twitter @dreamhampton.

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