Five Caribbean Roots US Television Personalities You Should Know

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Kendis Gibson of MSNBC was born in Belize.
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News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. June 7, 2019: It’s another Caribbean American Heritage Month and while many Caribbean nationals and Caribbean roots nationals remain largely hidden as part of the black or Asian ethnic groups of the US, millions are part of the fabric of these United States, including appearing on U.S. mainstream television. Here are five you should know:

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1: Kendis Gibson

Kendis Gibson started as a weekend anchor on MSNBC this past January 2019, after a stint at ABC News. He is the latest hire by the NBCUniversal cable-news network as it continues to emphasize live news programming on Saturdays and Sundays with Live Weekend.

Gibson was born in Central America, Belize City in Belize to parents Alrick Gibson, who was a cabinet maker in the city of Belize and his mother Hortense Gibson, a simple homemaker.

His parents moved the family to the United States in the 1980s where he completed his high school education and proceeded to the State University of New York, Oswego where he studied Political Science, earning a degree in the discipline in 1994. Having graduated, Gibson sought work in journalism. He applied and got a job at the NBC station in Rochester in New York and spent three years as a news reporter for the station, delivering the news to the ears of New Yorkers before he moved to Philadelphia and joined WTXF as a morning anchor and news reporter.

There he two Emmy Awards for Outstanding News Reporting and Sports Feature. A completed stint at Philadelphia meant a return to New York for the New York-raised Belizean turned American. He became a lead reporter for the WNBC News Channel.

He joined ABC News in 2014 and served as anchor of “World News Now” and “America This Morning,” an early-morning program.  At ABC, he was the first network correspondent at the Santa Barbara oil spill; reported on the FIFA scandal in Switzerland and covered the shooting of an unarmed black man by a white police officer in South Carolina.

Gibson has also worked for CBS News’ Newspath; for CNN and its sister network, HLN; and for Washington D.C.’s WJLA, among others.

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2: Abby Phillip

Abby Phillip joined CNN in 2016 and covers the Trump Administration. Before CNN she worked at the Washington Post, where her roles included national political reporting and general assignments.

She was born to Trinidadian parents, June C. Phillip and Carlos W. Phillip, and grew up in Bowie, Maryland. Phillip later attended and graduated from Harvard University in 2010 with a degree in government.

Phillip began her journalism career as a White House reporter and blogger for POLITICO covering campaign finance issues and lobbying.

She also worked at ABC News, where she was an ABC News Fellow as well as a digital reporter in New York City.

Philip appears occasionally on Washington Week with Robert Costa, on PBS. She lives in Washington D.C. with her fiancé Marcus Richardson before they married in May 2018.

3: Yamiche Alcindor

Yamiche Léone Alcindor is the White House correspondent for the PBS NewsHour and a political contributor to NBC News and MSNBC. She was born in Miami to Haitian parents.

When she was in high school, she was an intern at the Westside Gazette, a local African-American newspaper, and the Miami Herald (2005) She would go on to earn a bachelor’s degree in English and government with a minor in African-American studies at Georgetown University in 2009. She would go on to work as a reporter for USA Today, Newsday and The New York Times.

In 2015, Alcindor received a master’s degree in “broadcast news and documentary filmmaking” at New York University. In January 2018, she was named White House correspondent of the PBS NewsHour, replacing John Yang, who was named the NewsHour’s national correspondent. In this position Alcindor covers the Trump presidency.[

4: Rachel McNeill

Born in Jamaica, Rachel McNeill currently anchors the Today in AZ weekday mornings from 4:30 – 7 a.m. in Arizona and the Today in AZ Facebook Live After Show at 7:30 a.m.

An Emmy-Award winning journalist, she joined 12 News in April 2019 from KPRC 2, the Houston NBC affiliate, where she anchored and reported for over 17 years. McNeill moved to the Houston-area when she was 6-years old, after living in Galveston for two years.

Earlier in her career, she worked in the New Orleans, Raleigh, and Midland markets.  A proud graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, McNeill earned her degree in Broadcast Journalism.

During her career, Rachel has covered everything from the Newton School shootings, 2013 Presidential Inauguration, and Sochi and Rio Olympic Games.

Committed to community service, Rachel volunteers her time with at-risk youth, and works closely with Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, and Dress for Success.

She relocated to Arizona at the beginning of 2019 with her husband, Dr. Wayne Franklin, the Co-Director of the Heart Center at Phoenix Children’s Hospital, and their two sons, Hudson and Lionel.

5: Marlie Hall

New York-born, Haitian American Marlie Hall is currently a morning anchor at Early Today on NBC, News.

Hall earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from St. John’s University and also has an M.B.A. from Dowling College.

Skilled in front of and behind the camera, Hall began her career in broadcast journalism as an anchor and correspondent for News 12 The Bronx. She was a general assignment reporter for WCBS-TV; hosted her own show, Recipe for Success, and several specials on the Food Network; and was a news anchor and correspondent for Cablevision’s HDNews.

Hall has also worked for PHL 17 in Philadelphia, One Caribbean Television and Cablevision’s HDNews where she earned a Bronze Telly Award for her commentary on Haiti’s healthcare crisis.

 

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