RECENT APPEARANCES

NWS Presents: An Evening with Rochelle Riley

May 13, 2021
 
Every famous person was once a child who, in some cases, overcame great obstacles to achieve success. That’s the enduring lesson of Rochelle Riley’s “That They Lived,” which features the biographies and photographs of famous African Americans.
 

NWS Presents: An Evening with Imbolo Mbue

March 22, 2021
 
From a sub-Saharan African village to Flint Michigan, the National Writers Series discusses the inspirations for and the creation of Imbole Mbue’s newest book, “How Beautiful We Were.” With guest host Rochelle Riley, the director of Arts and Culture for the city of Detroit, and an award-winning former columnist for the Detroit Free Press.

Rochelle appears at the Northwest African-American Museum

February 28, 2021
 
Join author Rochelle Riley and Brenda Leaks, Head of Seattle Girls’ School, for a riveting conversation about Riley’s newest book “That They Lived.”

Detroit ACE: Source Booksellers

February 27, 2021
 
Join author Rochelle Riley, Alice Randall, and Detroit mayor Mike Duggan. 

Witness to History: Les Payne and the search for Malcolm X

February 25, 2021
 
Les Payne, The late Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist for Newsday made it his life’s work to uncover the man behind the legendary Black Muslim minister and activist. Payne’s thirty-year journey led him to pen “The Dead Are Arising: The Life of Malcolm X.” Recently published following his death in 2018, Les Payne’s daughter Tamara joins his friends and colleagues to discuss the National Book Award winning biography, the author and the responsibility of Black journalists like Payne to chronicle history as it is.

Detroit Arts Culture and Entrepreneurship Official Discusses Art Healing Society and Her New Book

February 17, 2021
 
Rochelle Riley, Director of Arts and Culture at the Office of Arts, Culture and Entrepreneurship for the City of Detroit and Author of “That They Lived” talks about her new book, as well as the importance of arts and culture to the City of Detroit and as an ambassador for the motor city.

A Zoom Talk with Rochelle Riley

February 11, 2021
 
Author Rochelle Riley discusses her newest book “THAT THEY LIVED –
African Americans that Changed the World”

Pages Bookshop Virtually Presents Rochelle Riley

February 11, 2021
 
We are thrilled to have author Rochelle Riley back at Pages virtually for her latest book “That They Lived” a book that fills in gaps in the history that American children have been taught for generations. For African American children, it will prove that they are more than descendants of the enslaved. For all children, it is a book that shows that every child can achieve great things and work together to make the world a better place for all.

Ferndale Library Podcast Interview with Rochelle Riley

February 4, 2021
 
Rochelle Riley recently ended a 20-year career as a nationally-syndicated, award-winning Detroit columnist in 2019 to become the City of Detroit’s Director of Arts and Culture. In 2018, she published ‘The Burden: African Americans and the Enduring Impact of Slavery,’ and she’s just followed that up with a new book, ‘That They Lived: African Americans Who Changed the World.’

New Kids Book By Former Free Press Columnist Highlights Accomplishments Of Black Americans

February 3, 2021 | Published on WKAR.org
 
As part of Black History Month, WKAR’s Scott Pohl talks with Riley about “That They Lived: African Americans Who Changed The World”.

That They Lived: African Americans That Changed The World

February 2, 2021
 
MLK, Jr Birthday Committee and the Teaneck Public Library Present “That They Lived: African Americans That Changed The World” –An Interview with Author Rochelle Riley.

Rochelle Riley interviews Elizabeth Atkins, Stephanie Williams on telling black stories

February 2, 2021 | Published on detroitmi.gov
 
Rochelle Riley interviews Stephanie Williams of Wayne State University Press and Elizabeth Atkins, CEO of Two Sisters Writing and Publishing about helping more African American authors tell their stories. It’s a part of the Undefeated campaign to celebrate Detroit’s contributions to American excellence in arts and culture.

Detroit Kicks off a Yearlong Celebration of Arts and Culture With Black History Month Programs

February 2, 2021 | Published on hourdetroit.com
 
The city’s Undefeated initiative will showcase local artists and performers with digital events.

City of Detroit showcases artists as kickoff to Black History Month

January 31, 2021 | Published on ClickOnDetroit
 
Yearlong celebration of arts and culture will showcase Detroit’s creativity and contributions.

Stand for Something: Martin Luther King Jr. Day Panel Discussion

January 18, 2021 | Streamed live on YDetroit
 
The YMCA of Metropolitan Detroit presented this panel with Rochelle Riley on Monday, January 18th 2021 from 10:30 to 12:pm on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

The Dead Are Arising: The Life of Malcolm X Author Talk

October 30, 2020 | Streamed live on YouTube
 
Source Booksellers hosted this interview full of insights on the life of Malcolm X.

How Do I Do That? with Rochelle Riley and Lisa Sauve

September 29, 2020 | CultureSource
 
Public arts projects, whether large or small scale, can feel incredibly daunting. So how do they get done? Tune into a series of 30-minute conversations with innovators and leaders in local and national public arts where we’ll race the clock to hear about their work and how do it.

Women in #Activism

September 12, 2020
 
Video from the Women in #Activism: Steps to Take Everyday to Make Change #DetroitTogetherDigital Panel.

Rochelle Riley, Director of Arts & Culture for the City of Detroit

June 3, 2020
 
Rochelle Riley, the Director of Arts & Culture for the City of Detroit and the former columnist at the Detroit Free Press, joins Seth and Becky to talk about the protests in the wake of the killing of George Floyd.

Columnist Rochelle Riley: On Race, Journalism, and Healing

June 2020 | Hannah Davis on Facebook Live
 
Rochelle Riley is an award winning columnist with a career spanning nearly 40 years. Her book, The Burden, explores the enduring legacy of slavery in American society. Link to her book here!

Former Dallas Morning News Writer Reflects on Race in Latest Book

June 2020 | NBCDFW
 
Rochelle Riley has dedicated much of her life to finding and writing about the truth, NBC 5’s Laura Harris reports.

Former Dallas Morning News Writer Reflects on Race in Latest Book

June 2020 | NBCDFW
 
Rochelle Riley has dedicated much of her life to finding and writing about the truth, NBC 5’s Laura Harris reports.

Views On The Pandemic From 3 Swing States

May 10, 2020 | npr.org

NPR’s Don Gonyea discusses how the pandemic has affected politics in three battleground states — Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan — with Charles Franklin, Salena Zito and Rochelle Riley.

Rochelle Riley’s acceptance speech for NC Media and Journalism Hall of Fame

Apr 23, 2019 | Detroit Free Press

The North Carolina Media and Journalism Hall of Fame at the University of North Carolina inducted the Free Press’ Rochelle Riley. Watch her speech.

Rochelle Riley, ‘The Burden’

Nov 13, 2018

Columnist Rochelle Riley spoke at the 2018 Southern Festival of Books on a panel about race in America.

PRESS COVERAGE

How Do You Mourn a Pandemic? See How Artists Around The World Are Building Monuments to Those Who Died of COVID-19

March 12, 2021 | artnet

As the world continues to battle the spread of disease, artists and architects are helping memorialize those we lost.

10 Women Innovating Local Government

March 8, 2021 | John Hopkins University

Whether it’s addressing the many crises of the global pandemic or tackling preexisting challenges, female city leaders have been key to developing, executing, and scaling up some of the most impactful innovations of the past year.

In honor of International Women’s Day, we’re celebrating 10 women who’ve made big strides for their communities.

‘Black Bottom Saints’ playing cards to celebrate Detroit’s Black culture, history

February 27, 2021 | The Detroit News

New York Times best-selling author Alice Randall announced that the images of icons with Detroit ties will be featured in a set of playing cards called “Black Bottom Saints,” named after her latest book.

Randall joined Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and the city’s Arts, Culture and Entrepreneurship Director Rochelle Riley for a virtual presentation Saturday afternoon.

Detroit launches Undefeated, a yearlong effort to celebrate arts and culture

February 11, 2021 | Detroit Free Press

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and the city’s Office of Arts, Culture and Entrepreneurship (ACE) have launched a creative initiative titled Undefeated, which is being billed as “a yearlong celebration of Detroit arts and culture.”

Children portray icons like Aretha Franklin and Frederick Douglass in new photo book

February 10, 2021 | Detroit Free Press

There is a wonderful close-up photo of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. speaking from a podium, holding on to it firmly as if he is leaning in to the enormous task ahead.

In the new book “That They Lived: African Americans Who Changed the World,” that photo is paired with a portrait of Rochelle Riley’s grandson, Caleb, then 8, who is wearing a similar suit and tie and copying the civil rights icon’s pose with an intensity beyond his years.

That They Lived: African Americans Who Changed the World by Rochelle Riley and Cristi Smith-Jones

February 1, 2021 | Wayne State University Press

In February 2017, Rochelle Riley was reading Twitter posts and came across a series of black-and-white photos of four-year-old Lola dressed up as different African American women who had made history. Rochelle was immediately smitten. She was so proud to see this little girl so powerfully honor the struggle and achievement of women several decades her senior. Rochelle reached out to Lola’s mom, Cristi Smith-Jones, and asked to pair her writing with Smith-Jones’s incredible photographs for a book. The goal? To teach children on the cusp of adolescence that they could be anything they aspired to be, that every famous person was once a child who, in some cases, overcame great obstacles to achieve.

Award-winning journalist writes book about African Americans who changed the world

February 1, 2021 | The Oakland Press

Riley came up with the idea in February 2017 when, scrolling through Twitter, she saw a series of photos of then 5-year-old Lola Jones recreating historical photographs – like Rosa Parks’ mug shot. Riley reached out to Lola’s mother, Cristi Smith-Jones, and asked to feature her photos in a book she was writing. 

In an interview with CNN, Smith-Jones said, “Since it’s a heavy topic, we wanted to find a way to make learning about black history fun for (Lola). … Her ability to emulate them is uncanny.”

 

As Rochelle Riley leaves the Free Press, readers lament losing her fierce voice

May 19, 2019 | Detroit Free Press

For two decades, Rochelle Riley’s words have made things happen, and for about half of that time, as a Free Press columnist, she told stories, exposed truths and stimulated action.

“I am proud to be a journalist,” Riley said during her induction into the North Carolina Media and Journalism Hall of Fame at her alma mater, the University of North Carolina. “I am leaving the newsroom behind — I’m in my last month of work at the Free Press — but, I will never give up that mission, and none of us should.”

Racism, Discrimination And Calling The Police On Black People

July 19, 2018 | nprillinois.org

Disturbing stories this summer about white people calling the police on black people for cutting the grass or using the swimming pool. Guests Rochelle Riley with Paul Butler, professor of law at Georgetown University and author of “Chokehold: Policing Black Men.” (@LawProfButler) and Steven Brown, associate at the Urban Institute, doctoral candidate in sociology at Harvard University. (@KregSteven).