Rachel Maddow Show enthusiasts and other MSNBC fans got some wonderful news via the Twitter machine yesterday. Frequent sub for Rachel, MSNBC contributor, award-winning author, mother of one, and all around bad-ass Melissa Harris-Perry announced that she is getting her own two-hour show starting February 4th. The Tulane professor of political science tweeted that her 10 a.m to noon show will follow Up With Chris Hayes on Saturday and Sundays.
In a virtually unprecedented and very smart move by MSNBC, Melissa will be the first progressive feminist woman of color independently hosting her own television show on a corporately-owned news platform. The Huffington Post writes that Melissa’s new professional endeavor is noteworthy given how few women of color we encounter on our news outlets:
Harris-Perry’s ascension is also notable in an industry often derided for its lack of diversity. She is now one of two black women, and three black hosts anchoring programs on MSNBC.
As a frequent guest and stand-in on The Rachel Maddow Show as well as The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell, Melissa has already gained quite the fan base as a sharp and incisive voice on politics, particularly in regards to race and women’s rights. She has also established herself as an authority in national political discourse with consistently poignant commentary as a columnist for The Nation.
And talk about work life balance — Melissa tweeted that despite her new regular TV spot, the always articulate pundit plans to maintain her professorship at Tulane University living in New Orleans with her husband and daughter during the week. Melissa will also reportedly maintain her monthly column “Sister Citizen” for The Nation.
But this academic and newly minted TV host isn’t sitting down quite yet. BET tells us that she will still be promoting her latest book Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America, released just last year by Yale press.
Melissa’s show is currently untitled but with Twitter hashtags popping up like
#NameMHarrisPerrysNewShow, fans can freely bounce their ideas off MSNBC’s latest host. “Melissa Explains It All” or “Uppity With Melissa” may be a month off, but professional women everywhere would do well to set their DVRS and take note of this momentous moment in media.