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Alumni Spotlight: Ericka Blount Danois

February 28, 2014

UntitledIn the spring of 1994, Ericka Blount Danois graduated from The University of Pennsylvania with a BA in English and an African American literature focus. After making a decision between attending Spelman College and Penn, Danois spent part of the summer after her senior year of high school participating in the Africana Studies Summer Institute. When she arrived at Penn in the fall, she was working toward becoming a medical doctor. It did not take her long to realize that was not the best fit for her. With time, she soon realized that her interests resided in the arts, which led Danois’s decision to major in English major.

While in school, Danois convinced the editor of The Philadelphia Tribune to give her a position as a Penn correspondent. Danois was also very involved on campus during her time at Penn; she was a member of the Black Student League, African Rhythms Dance and Drum troupe, and the Gamma Epsilon Philadelphia City Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated. Danois also held a job with public safety and during her tenure at Penn, she studied abroad in Ghana.

After leaving Penn, Danois continued to work in journalism for magazines such as the Source, Vibe, The City Sun, and The Wall Street Journal.  She earned a masters degree in journalism from Columbia University several years later. In 2009, she began working on her recently published book entitled, “Love, Peace, and Soul,” which looks critically at the wildly popular television series Soul Train. When speaking about her career path and the qualms she once had about studying  English in college, Danois stated, “If you do good work, the money will come.” Her life is certainly a testament to that principle and current undergraduate and graduate students alike can look to her as an example of what hard work and passion can manifest.

Rachel Palmer Wharton’16

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