Ericka Blount Danois, an award-winning journalist, writer, editor, and professor began her career as a stringer at the Philadelphia Tribune with a cover story on the king of Philadelphia International Records, Kenny Gamble.

Ericka graduated from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism and has worked as a staff writer, editor, freelancer, and stringer for a number of publications including: Spin, The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, ESPN The Magazine, Sports Illustrated, Heart and Soul, Uptown, The City Sun, City Paper, Vibe, Wax Poetics, The Source, and online publications such as AOL and Newsone.com. She teaches at the Philip Merrill School of Journalism at the University of Maryland. 

She has interviewed cultural figures such as Cuban President Fidel Castro, Andy Rooney, Ed Koch, Andre Harrell, Zane, and Johnnie Cochran and film and television provocateurs such as David Simon, Ed Burns, and Ernest Dickerson. She’s interviewed reformed criminals like “Little Melvin Williams,” celebrity athletes like Patrick Ewing, Bernard Hopkins, Ryan Howard, Oscar De La Hoya, Dominique Wilkins, Sugar Ray Leonard, and Caron Butler, and ordinary people doing extraordinary things, like Jason Pipoly, who swam the English Channel as a paraplegic adult, after failing to cross it as a swimmer as an able-bodied child.

She has covered race, culture, politics, and music producing feature and cover stories on musical luminaries such as The Roots, Tricky, Damien Marley, Nas, Olu Dara, Jay-Z, Quincy Jones, LL Cool J, Rakim, Tupac, Earth, Wind & Fire, Anthony Hamilton, R. Kelly, Run DMC, Horace Silver, De La Soul, The Fugees, Talib Kweli, Jennifer Hudson, Sweet Honey in the Rock, Ann Nesby, Jackie McLean, and James Mtume, among others.

Her cover story on Earth, Wind and Fire was selected to appear in the annual series, the book, “Best Music Writing of 2012,” with guest editor Questlove.

She has contributed essays to books, such as the “The Regional Guide to Hip Hop,” where she focused on regional style, fashion, and lyrics of Queens born hip hop artists. 

Her first book, “Love, Peace and Soooooouul!” The Behind the Scenes Story of America’s Favorite Dance Show, will be published in 2013 by Backbeat Books.

As a journalist, she’s examined public and private school education, the crime beat in Atlantic City and Brooklyn, covered rape trials of celebrities, the plight of black farmers, health disparities in the black community, world renowned architects, women in porn, boxing matches, restaurant food in exotic locales, and birthday parties for DeShawn Stevenson and Gilbert Arenas. She has won awards from the Society of Professional Journalists, New Jersey newspapers, and Deadline Scholarship club from Columbia University. To view her CV click here.

Last, but not least, she has dabbled in “acting” (as an extra on The Wire. That’s her in the winter white outfit at 3:06 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QImOZJ2nTN8). She lives in Baltimore, MD, and can be reached at erickablount@aol.com.