Rising media star, Tulane political science professor and Wake Forest alumna Melissa Harris-Perry (’94) makes her debut with her own television show on MSNBC from 10 a.m. to noon ET on Feb. 4. It will air Saturdays and Sundays.
MSNBC President Phil Griffin said in a news release this week, “Melissa’s thoughtful analysis has been an incredible addition to our primetime programs and I’m thrilled to have her join our expanded weekend line-up.”
In the news release Harris-Perry called it “an extraordinary opportunity….All I’ve ever wanted to be is a teacher. Phil Griffin and MSNBC are giving me the chance to have a much bigger classroom.”
Harris-Perry’s show has no name yet, which prompted a flurry of tweets among the professor’s 57,647 Twitter followers to help her name the show. “Since we follow ‘Up w/Chris’ I’ve been lobbying for ‘Uppity w/Melissa,’” she joked in a Tweet. (Chris Hayes will continue to lead weekend programming with his “Up” show, airing from 8-10 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.) Among the Tweets in which followers offered names: “Making the Grade,” “News Lockdown,” “Get Schooled,” “Chalk Talk w/MHP” and “Who Dat? It’s Melissa,” with its distinctly New Orleans flavor, lit up the Twitter accounts. I particularly liked the Tweets that said “Class — fine for a teacher and your approach” and “‘Melissa’s News Hootenanny.’ You don’t see enough hootenanny in politics.”
Harris-Perry has been a frequent guest commentator and stand-in host on MSNBC. Aside from teaching at Tulane, she is the founding director of the Anna Julia Cooper Project on Gender, Race and Politics in the South and the author of “Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America,” her newest book, which Yale University Press published last year.
Wake Forest Magazine also featured her in Lisa Kline Mowry’s (’82) article “Teaching It Forward” about distinguished professors nationally who recalled how their undergraduate days inspired them in their profession.
All best wishes to Professor Harris-Perry as she leads a national political discussion in what promises to be a hootenanny of a presidential election year.