Charles Blow

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  • Op-Ed Columnist, The New York Times and CNN Contributor
  • New York Times Bestselling Author, 'Fire Shut Up in My Bones'
  • Author of 'The Devil You Know: A Black Power Manifesto'
  • Advocate for Social Justice, Income Equality, and Racial Equity



Columnist, New York Times bestselling author, and CNN commentator Charles Blow fearlessly tackles today’s most pressing issues with depth, nuance, and tremendous insight. Now an Op-Ed columnist at The New York Times, Blow previously served as the paper’s Graphics Director, leading The Times to significant awards. He has also worked as the Art Director of National Geographic Magazine and for The Detroit News. Blow is the New York Times bestselling author of Fire Shut Up in My Bones, which won a Lambda Literary Award, the Sperber Prize, and appeared on numerous “best of” lists. A memoir, the book was called “searing and unforgettable” by People Magazine and was adapted into a critically-acclaimed opera with a groundbreaking run at The Metropolitan Opera – the first performance of an opera there by a Black composer. His second book, The Devil You Know: A Black Power Manifesto, draws on both his personal experience and observations of society to call for an end to systemic racism. Blow is a prolific and insightful commentator on politics, public opinion, and social justice, often challenging those in power with clarity and candor.

Heralded for his forward-thinking coverage of American politics and society, as well as his skill in graphic design to create powerful narratives with compelling visuals, Blow is also an in-demand speaker and gifted moderator. He has appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, SalonTV, CBS News, and regularly as a commentator on CNN, and has been featured in The Washington Post, The Ringer, Oprah Daily, and more about his highly acclaimed work. An advocate for social justice and racial equity, Blow speaks about income inequality, xenophobia, and mental health, generating impactful conversations that resonate with audiences of all kinds.

 

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Rave Reviews About Charles Blow
Charles Blow was amazing and delivered an informative and compelling opening address to our audience. Long after his morning session ended, we heard our collective of attendees singing his praises. He delivered his address with regal authority and shared information on voting suppression and election coverage and data with a rich clarity that everyone could understand. He was a master at tailoring his speech and panel questions precisely to fit the topic we were addressing. I have to say, too, that as the coordinator, Charles was such a pleasure to work with. He was friendly, kind and warm to the staff and audience members. After his session ended, he greeted nearly every audience member that came up to say hello and treated them with a special dignity and grace. In addition, he showed up early and ready - which helped to put our staff at ease and win their confidence. If I knew how to say thank you in every language I would.

A Sample of the Groups That Have Hosted Charles Blow
  • The Ford Foundation
  • University of Idaho
  • Austin African American Book Festival
  • 92Y
  • Metropolitan College of New York
  • Chicago Humanities Festival
  • New York State Office of Victim Services
  • Larchmont Mamaroneck Human Rights Committee
  • Dalton State College
News Commentary - Charles Blow: The Supreme Court Is Not Equipped To Police Itself | MSNBC The Last Word [6:45] - Get Sharable Link
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Today's Social and Political Issues

As a New York Times columnist known for his fearless brand of political and social commentary, Charles Blow has become a familiar face on TV and a frequent target for conservative critics. His column typically features charts, but it's mainly his words, written and spoken, that continue to spark con ...

As a New York Times columnist known for his fearless brand of political and social commentary, Charles Blow has become a familiar face on TV and a frequent target for conservative critics. His column typically features charts, but it's mainly his words, written and spoken, that continue to spark conversation and debate about social and political issues of the day. As a speaker, Blow fearlessly tackles contentious issues, such as racism, childhood obesity, life in large cities, acceptance of gays in society, and the current administration. Blow has recently spoken on topics such as: income inequality, xenophobia, teen pregnancy, education and the relationship between journalism and justice. 

Mental Health: Facing Adversity and Finding Peace

Columnist, New York Times bestselling author, and CNN commentator Charles Blow shares with poignant vulnerability his experiences with grief and depression, speaking to a universal need to speak openly about mental health issues. Blow fearlessly tackles today’s most pressing issues with depth, nuanc ...

Columnist, New York Times bestselling author, and CNN commentator Charles Blow shares with poignant vulnerability his experiences with grief and depression, speaking to a universal need to speak openly about mental health issues. Blow fearlessly tackles today’s most pressing issues with depth, nuance, and tremendous insight, blending personal anecdotes with profound takeaways.

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<p><strong>Charles Blow gave a riveting talk at the Ford Foundation and received an incredible review</strong></p>

Charles Blow gave a riveting talk at the Ford Foundation and received an incredible review

Columnist, commentator, and New York Times bestselling author CHARLES BLOW joined The Ford Foundation for an event focused on how the media covers elections and received an incredible rave review. Heralded for his fearless, forward-thinking coverage of American politics and society, Blow was a perfect choice for the engagement, garnering the following glowing praise from the host:

“Charles Blow was amazing and delivered an informative and compelling opening address to our audience. Long after his morning session ended, we heard our collective of attendees singing his praises. He delivered his address with regal authority and shared information on voting suppression and election coverage and data with a rich clarity that everyone could understand. He was a master at tailoring his speech and panel questions precisely to fit the topic we were addressing. 

I have to say, too, that as the coordinator, Charles was such a pleasure to work with. He was friendly, kind and warm to the staff and audience members. After his session ended, he greeted nearly every audience member that came up to say hello and treated them with a special dignity and grace. In addition, he showed up early and ready - which helped to put our staff at ease and win their confidence. 

If I knew how to say thank you in every language I would. For now, I hope this email can suffice.”

Watch Charles Blow on CBS Sunday Morning >>

Watch Charles Blow on MSNBC >>

<p><strong>Renowned commentator and columnist Charles Blow is a powerful advocate for mental health</strong></p>

Renowned commentator and columnist Charles Blow is a powerful advocate for mental health

Known for his highly-regarded Op-Ed column in The New York Times and frequent commentary on CNN, CHARLES BLOW candidly talks about his own battle with depression in his Wall Street Journal Op-Ed piece ‘Death Changed My Life’. He shares with poignant vulnerability about the passing of his brother and the depression he experienced in his grief. Juxtaposing his public exterior as an acclaimed author and highly-regarded CNN commentator with his private mental health struggles, Blow speaks to a universal need to speak openly about mental health issues – especially during the ongoing pandemic and reckoning with systemic racism – to create visibility, connection, and share messages of resilience. He blends personal anecdotes with profound takeaways, writing: ”I have come to see things clearly again — things that seem so simple to me now, but that somehow I couldn’t see then: that life is a series of peaks and valleys, and it is a fool’s errand to try to flatten them out. That beauty is in the connections we make, to self, to family, to friends, to the earth. That we don’t judge the quality of a life by the volume at which we live it. That I deserve to be kind to myself.”

<p>Charles Blow shares a powerful manifesto in his latest talks, calling audiences to action to end systemic racism</p>

Charles Blow shares a powerful manifesto in his latest talks, calling audiences to action to end systemic racism

Readers of CHARLES BLOW’S New York Times Op-Ed column know him as a prolific and insightful commentator on politics, public opinion and social justice, often challenging those in power with clarity and candor. His book The Devil You Know: A Black Power Manifesto, is his response to the social unrest and inequality in America, and draws on both his personal experience and his observations of society to call for social change and an end to systemic racism. He has recently been featured in The Washington Post, Oprah Mag, CBS News, Time Out, Town & Country, DateBook, The Bakari Sellers Podcast, and more about his highly acclaimed work. He also spoke to Salon in a video call, explaining his plan to fight white supremacy. Blow has spoken to audiences about race and social justice issues in the past, but his latest talks focus on how to make true, concrete change when so many attempts have fallen through. After giving a talk there, Dalton State College shared "Charles was amazing to work with throughout the entire process... [D]uring the performance, he wooed the crowd through his visionary speech that detailed some of his past experiences through reading excerpts from his book, “Fire Shut Up in My Bones.” Overall, I was in awe of where he’d been and how much he’d accomplished. He has a very compelling story that everyone needs to hear."

<p><strong>Charles Blow addresses one of the most pressing questions of our time on OWN’s <em>Where Do We Go From Here? A Conversation led by Oprah</em></strong></p>

Charles Blow addresses one of the most pressing questions of our time on OWN’s Where Do We Go From Here? A Conversation led by Oprah

Op-Ed columnist at The New York Times and CNN commentator, CHARLES BLOW participated in a recent discussion on OWN’s Where Do We Go From Here? A Conversation led by Oprah, addressing the current climate America. His work throughout the years has been purposeful, focusing on the progress and promise of a people. Blow’s recent columns in the Times, include Allies, Don’t Fail Us AgainNo More Lynching!, and Destructive Power of Despair all looks to make sense of the times, offer solutions, and call all people of good will forward to move us closer to our vision of a more perfect union.  When he speaks on any subject, people are simply moved, "Charles was amazing… he wooed the crowd through his visionary speech." (Dalton State College) “ His presentation exceeded ALL of our expectations.” (New York State Office of Victim Services) "Charles Blow's presentation was informative, important, and inspiring. it was even better than expected, which is saying a lot! He was personally gracious and witty." (Larchmont Mamaroneck Human Rights Committee).

Just weeks before the civil unrest in response to George Floyd’s murder, Blow appeared on the Tamron Hall Show, to discuss the impact of the coronavirus on people of color.  He was also sought-out for multiple virtual engagements including the New York Times new virtual chat series, in which he discussed the coronavirus' disproportionate effect on vulnerable communities; as a moderator for a virtual town hall at Gambler State University; and as a correspondent for Diddy's virtual town hall "State of Emergency: The State of Black America and the Coronavirus." Let’s close with how we opened. With all that’s going on in the world, where do we go from here?

<p>Charles Blow's column in The New York Times</p>

Charles Blow's column in The New York Times

CHARLES BLOW is an Op-Ed columnist at The New York Times, where his column appears on Mondays and Thursdays. Mr. Blow’s columns tackle hot-button issues such as social justice, racial equality, presidential politics, police violence, gun control, and the Black Lives Matter Movement. 

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Biography

Charles M. Blow is an Op-Ed columnist at The New York Times, where his column appears on Mondays and Thursdays. Mr. Blow’s columns tackle hot-button issues such as social justice, racial equality, presidential politics, police violence, gun control, and the Black Lives Matter Movement.

Mr. Blow is also a CNN commentator and was a Presidential Visiting Professor at Yale, where he taught a seminar on media and politics.

Mr. Blow is the author of the critically acclaimed New York Times best-selling memoir, Fire Shut Up in My Bones. The book won a Lambda Literary Award and the Sperber Prize and made multiple prominent lists of best books published in 2014. People Magazine called it “searing and unforgettable.” His second book, The Devil You Know: A Black Power Manifesto, was named a "most anticipated book" by the San Francisco ChronicleO, the Oprah MagazineTime OutTown and Country, and Lithub.

Mr. Blow joined The New York Times in 1994 as a graphics editor and quickly became the paper’s graphics director, a position he held for nine years. In that role, he led The Times to a best of show award from the Society for News Design for The Times’  information graphics coverage of 9/11, the first time the award had been given for graphics coverage.  He also led the paper to its first two best of show awards from the Malofiej Infographics World Summit for work that included coverage of the Iraq war.  He then went on to become the paper’s design director for news before leaving in 2006 to become the art director of National Geographic Magazine. Before coming to The Times, Mr. Blow had worked at The Detroit News.

He graduated magna cum laude from Grambling State University in Louisiana, where he received a B.A. in mass communications, and he holds an honorary doctorate from Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston. He lives in Brooklyn and has three children.