Bankole Thompson

Columnist, The Detroit News

February 22, 2017

My Perspective on Detroit

About the speaker

Bankole Thompson is a respected journalist, author and cultural critic. He is an opinion columnist at The Detroit News where he uses his twice-a-week column on politics and culture to prick the conscience of the powerful. Like a surgeon, he performs on the maladies of the body politic by examining and breaking down the impact decisions and policies carried out by those in political power, have on the masses of people.

His column appears on Mondays and Thursdays and directly challenges political power by demanding answers as well as solutions to the issues shaping the debate in the public domain.  

In writing his columns, Thompson, relies on his wide and diverse experience covering the struggles of everyday people to interviewing today’s powerful figures including former president Barack Obama, with whom he conducted a series of sit-down interviews.

He is the host of the public affairs program Redline on 910AM weekdays 12-2pm ET and also writes about urban policy and politics for, the nation’s magazine on black life.

Thompson wrote a pair of books on President Obama. The first book “Obama and Black Loyalty,” published in 2010 surveyed the president’s commitment on a myriad of burning issues in black America from criminal justice reform to the crisis of public education in urban centers. His second book, “Obama and Christian Loyalty,” released in 2011, examines the intersection of Obama’s faith posture and black theology and the politics of the religious right as it relates to the black presidency.

Thompson, is the former editor of the Michigan Chronicle.

The Eisenhower Foundation in Washington D.C. described Thompson as a "courageous voice on behalf of the dispossessed and disenfranchised, a shining example of journalism for the public good."

The University of Michigan Bentley Historical Library in 2015 established a collection called the "Bankole Thompson Papers," to preserve his work for students and scholars researching the socioeconomic and political history of Michigan.

Thompson is a multidimensional journalist who has appeared as a speaker before the Providence, Rhode Island NAACP Freedom Fund Dinner, American Jewish Committee Distinguished Leadership Dinner, Federal Bench and Bar Conference for the Eastern District of Michigan, Jewish Council for Public Affairs leadership conference, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Morehouse College, University of Michigan Law School MLK Day, University of Iowa etc.

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