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Leonard Pitts

Leonard Pitts

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.

Readers may contact him via e-mail at [email protected].

Recent Work

February 1, 2022
by Leonard Pitts
Achieving Diversity Requires Intentionality

We don’t even know the woman’s name yet. In fact, we don’t know much of anything about her except that... Read More

We don’t even know the woman’s name yet. In fact, we don’t know much of anything about her except that she is Black. That’s not a lot, but it’s more than enough for some people. Ever since last week, when Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer announced... Read More

January 12, 2022
by Leonard Pitts
He Was the Only One We Had

These days, we have Denzel Washington. We have Viola Davis, Kevin Hart and Jamie Foxx. We have Octavia Spencer, Regina... Read More

These days, we have Denzel Washington. We have Viola Davis, Kevin Hart and Jamie Foxx. We have Octavia Spencer, Regina King and Samuel L. Jackson. We have Idris Elba, Lupita Nyong’o, Taraji P. Henson, Michael B. Jordan, Mahershala Ali, Tiffany Haddish and Will Smith. We have,... Read More

December 2, 2021
by Leonard Pitts
'True Compassion is More Than Flinging a Coin to a Beggar'

Abraham could have asked for anything. The Make-A-Wish folks stood ready to make a dream come true for the 13-year-old... Read More

Abraham could have asked for anything. The Make-A-Wish folks stood ready to make a dream come true for the 13-year-old boy, who has aplastic anemia, a life-threatening blood disorder. But Adeola “Abraham” Olagbegi didn’t ask for a PS5 or a day with LeBron James. No, he... Read More

November 30, 2021
by Leonard Pitts
The Social Covenant has Shattered

Why would they do this? That question rises inevitably from a new wave of so-called flash-mob robberies, thieves by the... Read More

Why would they do this? That question rises inevitably from a new wave of so-called flash-mob robberies, thieves by the dozens invading retail stores to simply take what they want. It’s happened in California, Illinois, Minnesota and Maryland. Retailers ranging from Nordstrom to 7-Eleven have been... Read More

November 11, 2021
by Leonard Pitts
How Young is Too Young to Teach White Kids About Race?

Isabella Tichenor killed herself a few days ago. She was 10 years old. Her mother, Brittany Tichenor-Cox, said last week... Read More

Isabella Tichenor killed herself a few days ago. She was 10 years old. Her mother, Brittany Tichenor-Cox, said last week that her daughter — she called her “Izzy” — had been the target of ongoing racist abuse from classmates at her school in North Salt Lake,... Read More

October 26, 2021
by Leonard Pitts
Power Unrestrained Serves Only Itself

As police misbehavior goes, it was a small thing. No one was killed, or shot, or even arrested. But in... Read More

As police misbehavior goes, it was a small thing. No one was killed, or shot, or even arrested. But in a sense, that gives it all the more impact. Shorn of the distracting emotionalism of bloodshed or false arrest, last week’s video recording of an incident... Read More

October 21, 2021
by Leonard Pitts
Condoleezza Rice Wants to Move on

Condoleezza Rice wants to move on. She concedes that what happened on Jan. 6 was “wrong.” It was, she told... Read More

Condoleezza Rice wants to move on. She concedes that what happened on Jan. 6 was “wrong.” It was, she told the hosts of “The View” last week, an “assault on law and order, and an assault on our democratic processes.” And Rice, a former national security... Read More

August 12, 2021
by Leonard Pitts
Skepticism Can Make You Blind

They told them they had bad blood. What they actually had was syphilis, but the U.S. Public Health Service never... Read More

They told them they had bad blood. What they actually had was syphilis, but the U.S. Public Health Service never shared that diagnosis with the almost 400 African American men, most of them poor and under-educated sharecroppers, they recruited for a secret study at Tuskegee Institute... Read More

August 10, 2021
by Leonard Pitts
Too Stupid to Live

“Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.” — Martin Luther King Dr. King didn’t... Read More

“Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.” — Martin Luther King Dr. King didn’t know the half of it. Those words, after all, are from 1963. Back then, the idea of U.S. citizens and lawmakers attacking their own democracy would... Read More

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