Media

WCVB’s Nneka Nwosu Faison speaks about experiences with racism working as a Black journalist

“It’s ingrained in your head that you just can’t show any weakness.”

Nneka Nwosu Faison is executive producer of the newsmagazine “Chronicle” on WCVB-TV.

Her first experience with racism on the job occurred right after grad school, but Nneka Nwosu Faison told the Boston Globe the challenges she faced working as a Black television journalist spanned through the years and across multiple broadcast stations.

The executive producer of the newsmagazine “Chronicle” on WCVB detailed a few of the experiences with microaggressions and racist comments she was subjected to through the years in different work situations.

“An agent I sent a tape to once told me ‘Your skin is so dark,’” she said in a Globe op-ed column. “When I got off the phone with him, I cried. He might have been one of the reasons I said OK, I think I’m done being on air. The problem is, and I’m sure every woman feels this way, you’re not judged on how hard you work or how many sources you have. It’s your hair and your weight. People told me to fix my teeth; I fixed my teeth. I can’t really change my skin tone.”

The producer also described for the Globe how she never felt she could turn down assignments or ask for help throughout her career, feeling pressure to “overperform just to be seen as good enough.”

“I’m supposed to be strong,” Faison said. “It’s the trope of the Black woman: You’re angry or you’re strong. I’ve always felt like I had to take the hardest classes and also be the student body president and also play sports, and also go to a good school. It’s ingrained in your head that you just can’t show any weakness. You can’t do anything that would make anybody doubt you.”

Faison shared that she suffered a miscarriage in October, and since then, she has sought to “show all sides” of herself and not be “strong all the time.”

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“My Black life, as well as the life I lost, matter,” she said. 

Read her full account in the Globe.

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