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Viewer tells anchor with Africa pendant to ‘be proud’ of being American 

Charisse Gibson of WWL-TV in New Orleans shared an email from a viewer implying that she lacks patriotism.

Charisse Gibson, an anchorwoman for WWL-TV in New Orleans, shared on Twitter last week an email she received from a viewer who took umbrage at a piece of jewelry she was wearing on air. 

“If you persist in wearing a medallion of Africa, please know that I will change channels,” the viewer wrote Thursday via email, according to a screenshot Gibson posted in the tweet. “You are an American first and should be proud of that.”

New Orleans anchorwoman Charisse Gibson recently shared an email she received from a viewer who took umbrage at the medallion of Africa she was wearing on-air. (Photo: Screenshot/Twitter)

The medallion in question is a small pendant shaped like the African continent on a chain necklace. Gibson also shared a photo of herself wearing it in the tweet. 

Unmoved by the viewer’s comment, she captioned the photos: “Nah.” 

Nah. pic.twitter.com/ur3tBMgg0T

— Charisse Gibson (@OkayCharisse) February 4, 2022

In an interview Friday with Nola.com, Gibson said that as a Black woman, she regularly gets criticism from viewers yet keeps it to herself. “I typically don’t like to share it,” she said, but Thursday’s note, “I wanted people to see.”

Gibson, a native of New Orleans, says her family is from Louisiana’s St. John the Baptist Parish and also from Mississippi. She told the outlet that she, like many African Americans, can’t trace their ancestry back to Africa because of the American slave trade. 

She noted that history may be triggering to some because it “is a reminder of that erasure, of that original sin.” 

Gibson made clear she is both of African ancestry and an American.

“I’m African-American. It’s what I’m rooted in,” she said, “and where I came from helped build this country.” Not surprisingly, Gibson will not be removing her pendant. “I’m not arguing this,” she said. “I’d never deny my culture.”

Gibson added that, unlike the viewer, she enjoys learning about the culture of fellow Americans. 

A national Murrow Award and Emmy Award nominee, Gibson is president of the New Orleans Association of Black Journalists. She began her career with WWL as a desk assistant in 2010, working at several other stations in other markets before returning in 2019, per her online bio. Gibson’s career has also taken her to markets in Cincinnati and Shreveport. 

WWL released a statement of support for the anchor.

“We fully support anchor Charisse Gibson,” Executive News Director Keith Esparros said. “At WWL, we embrace diversity in the people we hire, the stories we tell, and celebrate the diversity of all New Orleanians. We will continue to support Charisse and continue to celebrate diversity and inclusion.“

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The post Viewer tells anchor with Africa pendant to ‘be proud’ of being American  appeared first on TheGrio.

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