Leonard Pitts Jr. joined The Miami Herald in 1991 as its pop music critic. In 1994, he began writing a column on pop culture and social issues. Working out of Washington, D.C., Pitts continues to defend and define American culture in unique and interesting ways.
He is the author of several books, including “Freeman,” “Before I Forget,” and “Becoming Dad: Black Men and the Journey to Fatherhood.”
Pitts began writing as a freelance music critic for Soul magazine in 1976 at 18. In the years since, Pitts’ work has appeared in Musician, Spin, TV Guide, Reader’s Digest and Parenting.
In addition, Pitts wrote, produced and syndicated “Who We Are,” an award-winning radio documentary on the history of black America, and has written and produced radio programs on subjects as diverse as Madonna and Martin Luther King Jr.
Pitts is a four-time winner of the American Association of Sunday and Feature Editors’ Award for Excellence in Commentary, a five-time winner of the National Headliners Award given by the Press Club of Atlantic City, and a six-time winner of the Green Eyeshade Award given by the Society of Professional Journalists. The Florida Society of Newspaper Editors, the National Association of Black Journalists, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, the American Society of Newspaper Editors, Editor & Publisher magazine and GLAAD Media, among others, have also honored him. In 2002, the National Society of Newspaper Columnists named Pitts Columnist of the Year, and in 2004 he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for commentary.
As a general rule, I don't curse a lot. I've found that I can usually express myself effectively enough without it. And it's always seemed to me that foul language, used ubiquitously, loses its primary value, i.e., its ability to... Read More
On the last night of the Republican National Convention in 1988, the candidate sought to impart to the country a vision of the America it could be. "Some," he said, "would say it's soft and insufficiently tough to care" about troubled children. Read More
I said it before, I'll say it again. "As this country becomes blacker, browner, gayer, younger, more Hispanic and more Muslim, it is increasingly the case that the GOP cannot win if all voters vote. It cannot win, in other words, without cheating." Read More
The United States is composed of 329 million people spread over 3.8 million square miles. In population and landmass, it's a pretty big place. But those are not the only criteria that matter. Morality matters, too. And on Sunday... Read More
"All life is interrelated." -- Martin Luther King Jr. "Imagine all the people, sharing all the world." -- John Lennon A few words about "us" and "them." It is, of course, the baseline division of human existence, probably dating... Read More
So Georgia voters decided against Stacey Abrams as their governor. Maybe. With all the shenanigans perpetrated by Republicans in that state, we'll never know for sure. Had they not passed a restrictive "exact match" law... Read More
So now Michelle Obama finally tells her truth. There has always been about her a sense that she did, indeed, have a truth of her own and that it was, if not at odds with the one her husband expressed with high-flown... Read More
"The fact that a man is a newspaper reporter is evidence of some flaw in character." -- Lyndon Johnson "They are a sort of assassins..." -- John Quincy Adams "I look forward to these confrontations with the press to kind of balance up the nice and pleasant things that come to me as president." -- Jimmy... Read More
"What are these politicians going to do for us?" A guy in Texas asked that question a few weeks back on "Full Frontal with Samantha Bee," by way of explaining why he won't be voting in the most important midterm election... Read More
A word for young people, people of color and, in particular, young people of color: The Republicans are scared of you. Maybe you find that hard to believe. Maybe you wonder how the party can be scared of you -- or of... Read More
The other day, a woman confessed to me that she's a Republican. Republicans may bristle at the verb, but it's used advisedly. The lady admitted her party affiliation the way you would some personal failing. "I don't tell a . . . Read More
Let's get something straight: Men are not the victims here. It is a foolish and offensive line of reasoning, so naturally it has caught traction on the political right. Indeed, for some, it is an article of faith as the... Read More
Gina Sosa is not impressed by attempted rape. "What boy hasn't done this in high school?" she asks. "Please, I would like to know." Since she asked so nicely, I went on Twitter... Read More
"Judge not, and ye shall not be judged." Jesus preaches that in the book of Luke. But then, Jesus never had Twitter. Or, for that matter, Instagram or Facebook. He never had, in other words, one of the social media platforms on which millions of us routinely judge other people every day. It's a habit we might do well to reconsider. Read More
Ari Fleischer wants to know if we’re being fair. “How much in society should any of us be held liable today when we’ve lived a good life, an upstanding life by all accounts, and then something that maybe is an arguable issue, took place in high school? Should that deny… Read More
"Where have you gone, Bob Woodward? Our nation turns its lonely eyes to you." I asked that question in January, repurposing a Paul Simon lyric to implore the dean of American political reporters to help us make sense of the mess that is the Trump White House. On Tuesday, Woodward finally came through. Read More
When the history of this era is written, when future generations wonder how a mostly educated and largely literate nation became mired in "truthiness," when they ask how we became so mentally muddled that we lost the ability to identify facts and the capacity to care, they'll find many culprits. Read More
Colin Kaepernick is staring at you. It's a black-and-white image, a portrait taken from a distance that feels painfully close, even intimate. Read More
For a man who places such a premium on loyalty, Donald Trump inspires remarkably little. Bad enough his administration is a sieve, embarrassing accounts of bungled phone calls with foreign leaders and cheeseburger-fueled rants with cronies regularly showing up in the news. Bad enough top aides keep fleeing his White… Read More