Black female presenters have graced the television industry for decades, from the stage to the host chair. With the presence, beauty, and strength that is unmatched by others in the game, America and the United Kingdom have benefitted from the personality of these women.
The role of television presenter befits the character and personalities of the women in these lists. From Angellica Bell to Keke Palmer, these women helped shape and define the job. Many of them paved the way for others, breaking numerous barriers and stereotypes along the way.
Black Female Presenters From the UK
Many black female TV presenters from the UK deserve to be on this list. However, in this limited time and space, there are only a few we can thoroughly and meaningfully discuss.
These are the black female TV presenters from the UK who changed how TV presenters did the job.
Barbara Blake-Hannah came from a family of Television personalities. Her father founded the Press Association of Jamaica, where Blake-Hannah was born in 1941.
In the 1960s, Blake-Hannah moved to Britain and quickly began writing for weekly British newspapers like The Sunday Times and even Cosmopolitan.
Blake-Hannah got involved in television presenting in 1968. She made a for herself interviewing prime ministers and actors on a London station before moving to a smaller broadcasting station in Birmingham.
Eventually, Blake-Hannah took her talents back to Jamaica, where she ultimately starred in television and wrote a book.
Born in Greenwich, London, in 1980, Charlene White has been a reporter and television presenter since beginning her career in London.
She worked as a senior broadcast journalist for three separate BBC programs and hosted her late-night talk show.
She moved to radio news in the early 2000s but continued to work as a broadcaster on television at the same time.
White made headlines when she became the first black woman to present the ITV News at Ten in 2014.
By 2020, she acted as a guest presenter on the British talk show Loose Women. In 2021, the show moved her to regular host on the show, where she still works.
Born in London in 1976, Angellica Bell is known for various talents that translate to her work as a radio and television presenter.
Bell got involved with the Children’s BBC (CBBC) channel in the early 2000s and quickly became known for her work as the primary anchor for various shows. She worked for a time on the BBC travel program, making her mark on British television.
Because of her hard work and dedication, Bell has created a name for herself around Britain. She works on multiple television projects, showcasing her talents as a consummate professional.
Ronke Phillips has worked as a journalist and television professional in the United Kingdom for over 20 years. Her career has taken her to regional and national television stations in the UK and worldwide.
Phillips hails from Nigeria, but her residency is in the UK. She made her name known and won an award for her coverage of the Damilola Taylor trial. She has worked with various BBC radio stations and ITV London News, where she still works as a senior correspondent.
Phillips was an award-winning television presenter in the UK, known for receiving the Royal Television Award in 2002, the Amnesty International UK Award in 2012, the Amnesty International Nations & Regions Media Award in 2013.
The beautiful and multi-talented Diane-Louise Jordan was born Diane Johnson in Hackney, London, in 1960. She was known for her role as the first black presenter for Blue Peter, a children’s tv show in England in the 1990s.
Jordan’s presenter career ranged throughout the 1990s and 2000s. She worked on multiple children’s programs, showing her heart for youth. Sticking to that theme, she now sits as the vice president of Action for Children, a UK organization that works with kids in need.
Jordan still works as a television presenter on BBC One. She primarily works on Songs of Praise, a religious program that the station produces.
The story of Floella Benjamin all started with a smile. Born in 1949 in Pointe-á-Pierre in Trinidad and Tobago, Floella Karen Yunies Benjamin moved to Britain in 1960 to be with her father, who had immigrated there not long before.
Benjamin got her start as an actress, appearing in renowned productions such as Jesus Christ Superstar. She also worked as a television presenter a singer and eventually became an author.
Benjamin was introduced in the House of Lords in 2010, a woman of many talents, nominated by the Liberal Democrats. She is a remarkable woman with a fantastic story that lends itself to the power of determination and positivity.
If there is something that Brenda Emmanus has not done, it’s hard to say what that is: she is truly a woman of exceptional talent in an industry and a champion of the arts.
Emmanus has been a consistent presence on national television in the UK for years. Her passion is for developing stories on current affairs, travel, fashion, and culture. She works with the BBC as a correspondent on arts and entertainment.
She is a renowned television presenter and has interviewed some of the most famous people in the world. Her portfolio includes sitting down with the likes of Daniel Craig, Robert Redford, and Clint Eastwood.
Emmanus continues to work devotedly for the expansion of arts and culture. Her passion for her work seeps into everything she does, making her one of the best in the business.
Born in Newport, Wales, in 1972, Josephine d’Arby got an early start in the arts when she attended the Anna Cher Theatre in London. Going by the name Josie d’Arby, she started presenting in 1994 while she was still a student.
As a presenter, d’Arby did quite well for herself. Soon, her name was well-known around the UK. Most recently, she presented on multiple music programs hosted by BBC channels.
Never one to limit herself, d’Arby has also had an active stage career. She wrote and directed a play herself, which met great success in 2012.
American Black Female Presenters
Hopping back across the Atlantic, there are a number of vibrant black female presenters to discuss. Many of these American black female presenters have had significant impacts on the television industry.
Born in Tuskegee, Alabama, in 1960, Robin Roberts got her start as a sports anchor on local television and radio. She went on to work for ESPN, Good Morning America, and became a guest host on the game show Jeopardy! following the death of Alex Trebek.
Roberts has been a steady presence in American broadcasting for over 30 years. She started with ESPN in 1990 and moved to ABC News in 1995. She quickly became a renowned presenter, known around the world for her quality and professionalism.
As a black woman in television, Roberts gained a reputation for being a pioneer in the industry. Many of her roles were the first of their kind, and she gained recognition for her excellence.
When Roberts joined the Good Morning America team, she helped boost the program’s ratings. She is an award-winning broadcaster and television presenter, most recently winning the 2018 National Association of Broadcasters Distinguished Service Award.
Oprah Winfrey is perhaps the best-known name in American broadcast television. Born in Kosciusko, Mississippi, in 1954, Oprah is most known for her talk show that ran from 1986 to 2011.
Oprah got her start working in radio at a young age. By 19, she was a co-anchor for some local news channels. She was an instant success, and it wasn’t long before she had her own show.
The Oprah Winfrey Show made Oprah a superstar. For a long time, she was considered one of the most influential women in the world. And by many, she’s regarded as the greatest black philanthropist.
Oprah is an award-winning television presenter. In addition, she works as a motivational speaker and author, and her influence has made her one of the most famous women in America.
From television presenter to ministry operator and motivational speaker, Cynthia Garrett has done a little bit of everything. She is an activist, a political commentator, an author, a television host, and a self-proclaimed evangelist.
Born in California, Garrett got her start as a law student. She studied at the University of Southern California and Oxford University in England.
Her career began with MTV Networks, where she got the opportunity to host the Grammys, the Billboard Awards, the Emmys, and so much more.
She worked as a host of her own show on NBC and eventually began her ministry work that teaches and empowers women who want to speak about their faith.
Garrett’s exceptional career has made her one of the most recognizable faces on television. Her diversity of interest and ability to adapt make her a successful, inspiring woman.
Born Caryn Elaine Johnson in New York City in 1955, Whoopi Goldberg is an award-winning television personality and presenter. Her accolades range from successes in comedy to the theater to books.
It all began in 1983 when she starred in a one-woman show that eventually ended up on Broadway. Ever since, she has paved the way for her career to flourish.
Goldberg’s success as an entertainer has translated into Emmy Awards, Grammy Awards, an Academy Award, and a Tony Award. She is one of just a handful of artists to achieve this distinction.
Goldberg was a long-time co-host of the show The View, and she has hosted the Academy Awards on multiple occasions.
Tyra Banks was born in Inglewood, California, in 1973. She started acting on the hit show from Will Smith, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. She went on to star in films and on the Disney Channel.
Apart from acting, Banks is known as a television personality, a model, a producer, and a writer. She has done a little bit of everything, and she has done it well.
Banks is perhaps best-known for creating the television series America’s Next Top Model. She worked as both the producer and the presenter for the entirety of the series.
Banks famously worked as the host for America’s Got Talent in 2012 and Dancing with the Stars in 2020.
Banks has consistently been ranked as one of America’s most influential people. Her work across various industries has made her one of the most popular entrepreneurs of the modern era.
Sherri Shepherd is more than just a television presenter. She’s also an actress, a comedian, an author, and a well-known television personality.
Born in Chicago, Illinois, in 1067, Shepherd got her start as an actress on a failed television show in 1995. The end of the performance hit her hard, but she was able to pick herself up and was soon recognized for her talent and brought onto The Jamie Foxx Show.
From there, Shepherd soon became something of a legend. She earned recurring roles on popular television sitcoms while also pursuing a career as a television personality.
Shepherd hosted the Daytime Emmy Awards in 2008, for which she received critical acclaim. She became a regular contributor on ABC’s The View, where she eventually became a permanent co-host until 2014.
Although Shepherd’s role with The View sparked much controversy over the years, she and the other co-hosts won a Daytime Emmy Award for Oustanding Talk Show Host in 2009.
Born Dana Elaine Evans in Newark, New Jersey, Queen Latifah has been active in the entertainment industry since 1989, when she signed her first record deal.
Ever since, Queen Latifah has been a steady presence in the arts. Her work as a television presenter has been overshadowed by her success as an actress and a singer. In fact, many consider her the Queen of Rap.
Queen Latifah’s presence on the screen has made her one of the most beloved figures in American television.
Best Black Female Presenters, Final Thoughts
Throughout the long history of television, many influential people have left their mark on the industry. In the United Kingdom and the United States, many of the most influential people have been black women.
Black female presenters have changed the game of television for the better. These women made history with excellence, presence, and grace and continue to play active roles in fighting for culture and greatness.