Washington Post Columnist Visits Blair

Oct. 27, 2003, midnight | 20 years, 8 months ago

Donna Britt Shares her Story with Students

By Kiran Bhat

Washington Post Columnist Donna Britt visited Blair Oct 24 to speak about her experiences and to encourage students to pursue their dreams.

Britt, a former feature writer whose column now appears in Style section of the Washington Post, spoke at length about her career as a journalist, her childhood, and her views on politics and race. She also gave advice on how to succeed to Joseph Witherspoon's third period.

Britt arrived at Blair around 9:15 and was introduced by Junior Jack Eisen Markowitz. She grew up in Gary, Indiana, which she described as a predominantly Caucasian town where African Americans had had almost no representation in the media. As a twelve year old in Gary, Britt said that she didn't even fathom becoming a journalist. "It's like you guys dreaming of opening a store on Mars, it just doesn't happen," she said.

After attending Hampton University in Hampton, Virginia, and graduate school at the University of Michigan, Britt got her first job as a journalist with the Detroit Free Press. She went on to work in Los Angeles for USA Today as a Hollywood Correspondent, interviewing stars such as Denzel Washington and Will Smith. She was then offered a job as a feature writer for The Post's Style section, which she called "one of the best feature sections in the country." She readily accepted.

Britt described her favorite published piece as her "Valentine to all Black Men," which she wrote near the beginning of her Post tenure. "It was the most amazing thing I've ever written," she said, adding that she received "over 300" responses to the piece.

Before Witherspoon photographed the columnist with his class, Britt preached about not giving up. "The thing that is going to limit you most in this world is yourself," she said.

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