Touré (journalist)

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Toure portrait photo 2014.png
Touré in 2014
BornTouré Neblett
(1971-03-20) March 20, 1971 (age 47)
Boston, Massachusetts, United States [1]
OccupationTelevision host, novelist, journalist, critic
Rita Nakouzi(m. 2005)

Touré (born Touré Neblett; March 20, 1971) is an American writer, music journalist, cultural critic, and television personality. He was a co-host of the TV show The Cycle on MSNBC. He was also a contributor to MSNBC's The Dylan Ratigan Show , and the host of Fuse's Hiphop Shop and On the Record. He serves on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Nominating Committee. [2] He taught a course on the history of hip hop at the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music, part of the Tisch School of the Arts in New York. [3]

A cultural critic is a critic of a given culture, usually as a whole and typically on a radical basis. There is significant overlap with social and cultural theory.

MSNBC is an American pay television network that provides news coverage and political commentary from NBC News on current events. MSNBC is owned by the NBCUniversal News Group, a unit of the NBCUniversal Television Group division of NBCUniversal. MSNBC and its website were founded in 1996 under a partnership between Microsoft and General Electric's NBC unit, hence the network's naming. Although they had the same name, and MSNBC maintained separate corporate structures and news operations. was headquartered on the Microsoft campus in Redmond, Washington while MSNBC operated out of NBC's headquarters in New York City. Microsoft divested its stakes in the MSNBC channel in 2005 and in in July 2012. The general news site was rebranded as, and a new was created as the online home of the cable channel.

<i>The Dylan Ratigan Show</i> television series

The Dylan Ratigan Show is an American television program on MSNBC hosted by Dylan Ratigan, formerly of sister CNBC's Fast Money. It aired weekdays from 4pm to 5pm Eastern Time. The show was previously known as Morning Meeting with Dylan Ratigan and aired from 9am to 11am weekday mornings. It initially launched on June 29, 2009 as part of sweeping changes to MSNBC's daytime weekday programs along with a revamp of the channel's graphics and its launch in high definition.


Touré is the author of several books, including The Portable Promised Land (2003), Soul City (2005), Who's Afraid of Post-Blackness? What It Means To Be Black Now (2011) and I Would Die 4 U: Why Prince Became an Icon (2013). He is also a frequent contributor at The Daily Beast. [4]

Soul City: A Novel is a 2005 American novel written by Touré.

Prince (musician) American singer, songwriter, musician, record producer, and filmmaker

Prince Rogers Nelson was an American singer, songwriter, musician, record producer, actor and filmmaker. A prominent music figure of the 1980s, Prince was known for his eclectic work, flamboyant stage presence, extravagant fashion sense and use of makeup, and wide vocal range. A multi-instrumentalist, he was considered a guitar virtuoso and was also skilled at playing the drums, percussion, bass, keyboards, and synthesizer. Prince pioneered the Minneapolis sound, which is a subgenre of funk rock with elements of synth-pop and new wave, in the late 1970s.

Early life

Touré was born Touré Neblett in Boston on March 20, 1971. [5] [6]

He attended Milton Academy, [7] and then Emory University but dropped out after his junior year. [8] In 1996, he attended Columbia University's MFA writing program for one year. [9]

Milton Academy Preparatory school in Milton, Massachusetts

Milton Academy is a coeducational, independent preparatory, boarding and day school in Milton, Massachusetts consisting of a grade 9–12 Upper School and a grade K–8 Lower School. Boarding is offered starting in 9th grade.

Emory University private research university in Druid Hills, Georgia, United States

Emory University is a private research university in Atlanta, Georgia. The university was founded as Emory College in 1836 in Oxford, Georgia, by the Methodist Episcopal Church and was named in honor of Methodist bishop John Emory. In 1915, Emory College moved to its present location in Druid Hills and was rechartered as Emory University. Emory maintained a presence in Oxford that eventually became Oxford College, a residential liberal arts college for the first two years of the Emory baccalaureate degree. The university is the second-oldest private institution of higher education in Georgia and among the fifty oldest private universities in the United States.

Columbia University private Ivy League research university in New York City

Columbia University is a private Ivy League research university in Upper Manhattan, New York City. Established in 1754, Columbia is the oldest institution of higher education in New York and the fifth-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. It is one of nine colonial colleges founded prior to the Declaration of Independence, seven of which belong to the Ivy League. It has been ranked by numerous major education publications as among the top ten universities in the world.


Writing career

While a student at Emory University, Touré founded a black student newspaper, The Fire This Time. [10] Touré began his writing career as an intern at Rolling Stone in 1992. [11] He has contributed essays and articles to Rolling Stone, [12] [13] [14] [15] Essence , [16] The New Yorker , [17] The New York Times , [18] Playboy , [19] Time , [20] The Village Voice , [21] Vibe , The Washington Post [22] and Ebony . [23] His Rolling Stone article, "Kurt is My Co-Pilot," about Dale Earnhardt Jr. was included in The Best American Sports Writing 2001. [15] [24] His writing has also been featured in the collections Best American Essays of 1999, the Da Capo Best Music Writing of 2004 and Best American Erotica of 2004. [25]

<i>Rolling Stone</i> American magazine focusing on popular culture, based in New York City

Rolling Stone is an American monthly magazine that focuses on popular culture. It was founded in San Francisco, California in 1967 by Jann Wenner, who is still the magazine's publisher, and the music critic Ralph J. Gleason. It was first known for its musical coverage and for political reporting by Hunter S. Thompson. In the 1990s, the magazine shifted focus to a younger readership interested in youth-oriented television shows, film actors, and popular music. In recent years, it has resumed its traditional mix of content.

<i>Essence</i> (magazine) magazine

Essence is a monthly magazine for African-American women between the ages of 18 and 49. First published in 1970, it is the only magazine that focuses on reaching an audience of black women, revolves around the black woman experience, and has remained for a long period of time. The magazine covers fashion, lifestyle and beauty, with an intimate girlfriend-to-girlfriend tone, and its slogan "Fierce, Fun, and Fabulous" suggests the magazine's goal of empowering African-American women. The topics the magazine discusses range from celebrities, to fashion, to point-of-view pieces addressing current issues in the African-American community. A number of its readers engage closely and personally with the publication, and it claims to be the magazine "for and about Black women".

<i>The New Yorker</i> Magazine on politics, social issues, art, humor, and culture, based in New York City

The New Yorker is an American magazine featuring journalism, commentary, criticism, essays, fiction, satire, cartoons, and poetry. It is published by Condé Nast. Started as a weekly in 1925, the magazine is now published 47 times annually, with five of these issues covering two-week spans.

Touré has written five books. In 2002, his short story collection Portable Promised Land was published. He also wrote a novel, Soul City (2004), [26] set in an African-American utopia, according to The Washington Post. [27] His 2006 essay collection, Never Drank the Kool-Aid, included the personal essay, "What's Inside You, Brother?", which was considered for inclusion in Houghton Mifflin Harcourt's Best American Essays of 1996. [28] In 2012, Touré published Who's Afraid of Post-Blackness?: What it Means to be Black Now, a book on race in modern America based on a collection of interviews Touré conducted with over 100 prominent African-American icons. [29] [30] Who’s Afraid of Post-Blackness? was named one of the most influential books of 2011 by both The New York Times and The Washington Post , and the book earned Touré a nomination for an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work in Non-Fiction. [31] In 2013, Touré published I Would Die 4 U: Why Prince Became an Icon, a biography of Prince that discusses the pop artist's works and legacy in a religious context. [32] The book is based on a series of lectures Touré delivered at Harvard University in 2012. [33]

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt publisher

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt is a publisher of textbooks, instructional technology materials, assessments, reference works, and fiction and non-fiction for both young readers and adults.

<i>The New York Times</i> Daily broadsheet newspaper based in New York City

The New York Times is an American newspaper based in New York City with worldwide influence and readership. Founded in 1851, the paper has won 125 Pulitzer Prizes, more than any other newspaper. The Times is ranked 17th in the world by circulation and 2nd in the U.S.

<i>The Washington Post</i> Daily broadsheet newspaper published in Washington, D.C.

The Washington Post is a major American daily newspaper published in Washington, D.C., with a particular emphasis on national politics and the federal government. It has the largest circulation in the Washington metropolitan area. Its slogan "Democracy Dies in Darkness" began appearing on its masthead in 2017. Daily broadsheet editions are printed for the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia.


Toure interviewing DJ Spooky at the 2009 Brooklyn Book Festival 9.13.09DJSpookyToureByLuigiNovi1.jpg
Touré interviewing DJ Spooky at the 2009 Brooklyn Book Festival

In 2002, Touré appeared opposite Paula Zahn on CNN's American Morning [34] and was later featured three times a week on a panel called "90-Second Pop." [35] He was subsequently hired as CNN's first pop culture correspondent. [36] In 2005, BET hired Touré to cover BET News and Public Affairs programming. [37]

He also hosted the series Community Surface on Tennis Channel [38] and MTV's Spoke N' Heard, [39] and was interviewed on the life of Eminem for the rapper's A&E Biography episode. In 2008, he hosted the reality show I'll Try Anything Once, in which he tried a variety of jobs and activities, including rodeo clowning and lumberjacking. [40]

Hosts of The Cycle in 2013: Ari Melber, Krystal Ball, Toure and Abby Huntsman The Cycle (TV program), Ari Melber, Krystal Ball, Toure, Abby Huntsman-2013.jpg
Hosts of The Cycle in 2013: Ari Melber, Krystal Ball, Touré and Abby Huntsman

From June 25, 2012, to July 31, 2015, he co-hosted The Cycle on MSNBC with former congressional candidate Krystal Ball, moderate Republican Abby Huntsman, and The Nation correspondent Ari Melber. [41] The Cycle's key demographic was initially made up of Generation X viewers, and its success in this age bracket was attributed to the engaging personalities of its unusually young hosts. [42] Touré often introduced race theory into political discussion on the show. [43] On July 24, 2015, media outlets reported that MSNBC was restructuring its television lineup to eliminate shows such as The Cycle due to disappointingly low ratings. [44] MSNBC confirmed the cancellation on July 30.

Touré criticized and debated with Piers Morgan over the latter's March 2012 interview with George Zimmerman's brother, particularly over what Touré saw as Morgan's lack of response to Robert Zimmerman's problematic replies. [45] [46]

In August 2012, as part of a discussion on The Cycle, Touré claimed Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney had engaged in racial coding by calling President Barack Obama "angry," and referred to this as "niggerization." Touré apologized for using the word the next day. [47]

In May 2014, Touré drew criticism from the Simon Wiesenthal Center for implying Holocaust survivors succeeded in the U.S. after the Second World War because they were white: a blogger from the website Yo, Dat's Racis'!! tweeted at Touré, "My family survived a concentration camp, came to the US w/ nothing, LEGALLY, and made it work" to which Touré replied, "the power of whiteness." Touré later apologized for his comment, saying, "In an attempt to comment on racism in post World War II America, I used a shorthand that was insensitive and wrong." [48] [49]

Personal life

On March 19, 2005, Touré married Lebanese American novelist and pop culture commentator Rita Nakouzi. [50] Rev. Run from Run-DMC was the officiant and Nelson George served as the best man. Touré and his wife live in the Fort Greene neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York. [51] They have a son named Hendrix and a daughter named Fairuz. [50] On January 11, 2019 Touré was accused of workplace sexual harassment by a former colleague. [52]


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