PRESS PASS ID: 910010
Bankole Thompson spends his professional time asking the hard questions and seeking the right answers. He served as editor of both Detroit’s two black newspapers: the Michigan Chronicle and the now defunct Michigan Citizen.
Thompson, a respected and multidimensional journalist is currently an opinion columnist at The Detroit News where he writes a twice-a-week column on politics and culture. His column appears on the Op-Ed page on Mondays and in the Think section on Thursdays. His column “Flint is Michigan’s Katrina” was one of the columns to directly compare the crisis to Hurricane Katrina citing race and class. Thompson also writes for ebony.com about urban policy and politics in Michigan.
In recognition of his journalistic work, the University of Michigan Bentley Historical Library, one of the premier depositories in the world, in 2015 established the “Bankole Thompson Papers” to preserve his writings, books, speeches, manuscripts and papers and to make them available to students and scholars from around the world researching the socioeconomic and political history of Detroit and Michigan. The Bentley Historical Library also houses the papers of every Michigan governor, and retired Dean of Congress Congressman John Dingell, Senator Carl Levin etc.
Thompson is the author of two books on President Obama, “Obama and Black Loyalty,” which deals with the president’s relationship with black America across a myriad of issues and “Obama and Christian Loyalty,” which deals with the president’s faith posture, black theology, race and the politics of the religious right. The books are the culmination of a series of exclusive sit-down interviews with Obama.
He is a former senior political analyst and host at WDET-101.9FM (Detroit Public Radio) for five years where his work influenced programming around issues of multicultural diversity and racial justice.
He also served for six years as a political analyst on the weekly “Obama Watch” Sunday evening 90-minute broadcast on WLIB-1190AM New York, and simulcast in New Jersey and Connecticut and as a correspondent for Inter Press Service (IPS) North America bureau in New York during the historic 2008 presidential campaign.
A sought after speaker, moderator, political and cultural commentator Thompson, has appeared before many diverse audiences as keynote and featured speaker including the American Jewish Committee Distinguished Leadership Dinner, Providence Rhode Island NAACP Freedom Fund Dinner, Jewish Council for Public Affairs Leadership Council, Federal Bench and Bar Conference for the Eastern District of Michigan, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission etc.
In 2015, the Jewish Community Relations Council of Metropolitan Detroit, the public affairs voice of the Jewish community in Michigan honored him with a special leadership award called “Tzedakah” at its Annual Meeting at the Max Fisher Federation Building in Bloomfield Hills for being a voice for racial justice and bridge building.
His community service includes the “The Bankole Thompson Fund for Veterans and Teen Moms,” established and owned by the Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries (DRMM) to support the cause of veterans and needy teenage mothers in metro Detroit.
Follow him on Twitter @bankieT and firstname.lastname@example.org