Detroit native, former ESPN anchor Jemele Hill talks childhood, career in candid interview

Kimberly Gill sits down with star who got her start in the Motor City

DETROIT – Detroit native sports journalist Jemele Hill is not afraid to speak her mind, and has never shied away from controversy.

The former ESPN anchor is opening up even more in her new book “Uphill,” where she dives into her personal life and explains how growing up in Detroit helped shape her into the woman she is today.

Local 4′s Kimberly Gill sat down with the Mumford High School graduate to discuss it all, from challenges and trauma from her childhood, to finding herself at the center of controversy when she called former President Donald Trump a white supremacist in a tweet -- and the White House responded by calling for ESPN to fire her.

“Mumford is kind of where that passion for journalism started,” Hill said. “I wrote for the Mumford Times high school newspaper and it wound up intersecting in what was a monumental summer for me. I applied for an apprenticeship program at the Detroit Free Press, and that same summer, the (Detroit chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists was founded).”

Jemele Hill graduates from Mumford High School in Detroit. (Jemele Hill)

Hill spoke candidly with Local 4 about her relationship with the city of Detroit, her career and what it all means to her now. “Uphill” is a story of resiliency and perseverance, and emphasizes that no matter how bad your circumstances are, they do not have to dictate the life you envision for yourself.

Watch the interview in the video player above.

About the Author:

You can watch Kimberly Gill weekdays anchoring Local 4 News at 5 p.m., 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. and streaming live at 10 p.m. on Local 4+. She's an award-winning journalist who finally called Detroit home in 2014. Kim has won Regional Emmy Awards, and was part of the team that won the National Edward R. Murrow Award for Best Newscast in 2022.