Jemele Hill on her new memoir, guns in Hip Hop, and politics: ‘My activism is through journalism’

Hill's memoir, 'Uphill' is available now
Jemele Hill
Photo credit Robin L Marshall/Getty Images

Jemele Hill dropped by Audacy and V-103's The Big Tigger Morning Show with Shamea and Ms.Pat for an intense conversation discussing her new memoir, Uphill, where she tackles drug abuse, abortions and more.

LISTEN NOW: Jemele Hill discusses new memoir with V103’s ‘The Big Tigger Morning Show’

While the memoir may seem heavy on a surface level, Hill shared that “it gets lighter the deeper you get.”

Hill explained how important it was for her to tell her story in her own way, “rather than let somebody else control my narrative, I was gone tell all my business.”

And telling all of her business is exactly what she is doing.

In the memoir she dives into her career journey and her experience with ESPN, where she worked for nearly 12 years before she departed after an incident between her and former President Donald Trump via Twitter.

She shares in Uphill and with the The Big Tigger Morning Show that she has had an abortion, not because something traumatic happened but because she did not want kids at the time. Hill believes that conversations of abortion are oftentimes framed around traumatic experiences but argues that “nothing traumatic has to happen to me to have this right.”

She advocates that “it’s important as women that we take ownership of our bodies.”

Tackling the topic of substance abuse, Hill is very transparent when sharing that both of her parents suffered from drug addiction while she was growing up. She shared that this may have been the most challenging topic to write about because it forced her to ask her mother questions about the lowest points in her mother’s life. Yet, it opened her eyes to understand who her mother was before she came along.

From the storytelling of her mother and father’s substance abuse she hopes that one of the biggest takeaways for people who read the memoir is that “while your people are still here, ask them about their lives.”

While not in her memoir, Hill did share her sentiments about the recent and consistent killings of rappers and how she believes “it's the guns.”

The city of Atlanta mourned the loss of Migos rapper, Takeoff, as his funeral service was last Friday at the State Farm Arena.

Growing up during the era of Tupac Shakur and The Notorious B.I.G, Hill thought that “would be the last time that we’d have to see anybody who was that important to Hip Hop culture be killed.”

Hill believes the issue relates back to having too many guns in this country. “The gun culture here is something different.”

Comedian, Ms. Pat asked Hill when she would run for congress or senate and she jokingly laughed it off to then say “Nah… it's crazy though because I’m always encouraging black people to run for office.”

She believes that it is important that politicians are relatable to the people that they are serving, however, “we have unfortunately too many politicians that are not relatable,” Hill said.

“There is nothing in your life right now that politics doesn’t touch,” Hill said while advocating the importance of voting and the power it holds.

Although she refused to run, she believes that her “activism is through journalism,” and it’s important to her to expose people to issues and help keep them aware of what is going on in the world." However, people may be able to look forward to Jemele Hill running for a school board position.

Her new memoir, Uphill, can be found wherever books are sold but Hill does encourage people to buy from black-owned bookstores as many of them have been struggling as a result of the pandemic. Listen to the full interview with Jemele Hill above.

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Featured Image Photo Credit: Robin L Marshall/Getty Images