TODAY’s Sheinelle Jones talks Black History Month, what it means to her
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - In honor of Black History Month, WSFA 12 News reporter Bethany Davis sat down with TODAY anchor Sheinelle Jones, one of the first black women in her position.
“Now that I’m an adult, I realized how fortunate I was,” Jones said.
She described that history has always been a part of her present, and she’s thankful for those in her life who made sure she always understood the trailblazers, the changemakers, and the sacrifices they made before her.
“I think that growing up learning about my history gave me a pride and self-esteem and self-worth all of these things that were kind of the building blocks to who I am,” said Jones.
Jones recognized how that paved the road to becoming a pioneer herself, a woman of color in a very high-profile position.
“I’ve often just been the only one, the only person of color. With that, to me comes not a burden, but a responsibility that I feel,” Jones described. “I remember I was working in Philadelphia and Morning News, and I had a young girl write me, a young girl of color. She would say, you know, I admire you and I, whatever color you’re wearing on the show, I’m going to wear this I wear to school. I’m not doing it for myself. I’m doing it for my community. I’m doing it for my family like it just feels bigger than me,” she explained.
She’s careful to make sure that the bigger picture is always focused, especially in her work.
“I had a chance to highlight the first woman of color to play the lead role is Christine on Broadway and Phantom of the Opera,” said Jones. “And so and the rest of the show still stays the same, you know, things aren’t taking away, you know, it’s just, she just happens to be someone who’s brown and the impact that’s had.”
As a mom of three, Sheinelle Jones will tell you her soft spot is with young people.
“For Black History Month this year, I sat down with a group of middle schoolers,” she explained. “I talked to kids from all around the country and it was really interesting to hear what’s on their minds and what they want to learn.”
She’s learning through them, a lesson we can all take to heart.
“We are Better Together,” Jones added.
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