Jeneé Darden is a superhero who finally removed the “S” off of her chest and hopes other Black women do the same. She’s a an award-winning journalist, documentarian, public speaker, mental health advocate and proud Oakland native. She has reported for NPR, Time, Ebony, Refinery29, The LA Times and more. Jeneé hosts KALW’s arts segment Sights & Sounds, and is also their East Oakland reporter. Watch her documentary Where is East Oakland.
She has interviewed many artists including screenwriter Malcolm Spellman, painter Paul Lewin, authors Gabby Rivera and Aiden Thomas, and former U.S. Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith.
Her first book When a Purple Rose Blooms (Nomadic Press) is a womanist collection of poetry and essays. She writes about her personal experiences with love, sex and mental health as a Black woman. Jeneé also writes about these issues in her blog Cocoa Fly.com. She is published in the books Previously on X-Men: The Making of an Animated Series and We’ve Been Too Patient: Voices from Radical Mental Health.
Jeneé is active in the literary community. Let Her Tell It! is a reading about Black women and mental health that she curates. She’s a former National Book Foundation summer writing fellow. Read her master’s thesis “Under the Covers: The Popularity and Debate Over Black Erotic Literature.”
Jeneé holds a BA in ethnic studies from UC San Diego and a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Southern California. When her pen is down, Jeneé enjoys reading, dancing, traveling, hiking, watching superhero films and most recently Star Trek: The Original Series.
Check out Jeneé’s work: her book, When a Purple Rose Blooms; her documentary, Where is East Oakland; and her artist interviews. Find Jeneé on her website, her blog, Cocoa Fly, and on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram at @cocoafly.