Roland Martin

By Michael McLendon

NASHVILLE, TN (TSU News Service) — Acclaimed journalist and political commentator Roland Martin will deliver the commencement address when Tennessee State University holds its fall graduation ceremony on Saturday, Dec. 7.

The commencement will take place in the Howard C. Gentry Complex on the main campus, beginning at 8 a.m. Five hundred and eighty-one undergraduate and graduate students are expected to receive degrees in various disciplines.

Martin serves as host and managing editor of #RolandMartinUnfiltered, the first daily online show in history focused on news and analysis of politics, entertainment, sports, and culture from an explicitly African-American perspective. He has interviewed multiple U.S. presidents, as well as numerous elite athletes and entertainers in Hollywood over the course of his journalistic career.

A 1991 graduate of Texas A&M University, he spent 13 years at TV One Network, where he played an integral role in building the black-owned network. He began in 2005 by doing commentaries and ultimately became the host and managing editor of NewsOneNow, the first daily morning news show in history targeting African Americans, from 2013 to 2017.

He spent six years as a contributor for CNN, appearing on numerous shows and earning accolades near and far for his no-holds honesty, conviction and perspective on various issues.

Ebony Magazine has named Martin one of the 150 Most Influential African-Americans in the United States four times. Jet Magazine readers voted him “King of the Hill” in 2012, in terms of who they turn to on issues of concern to African-Americans, and named him as the number one black pundit in the country.

Martin is the former executive editor and general manger of the Chicago Defender, former founding news editor for Savoy Magazine, former founding editor of, and a former contributor on the BET Sunday morning news program, Lead Story.

He is the author of three books: Listening to the Spirit Within: 50 Perspectives on Faith; Speak, Brother! A Black Man’s View of America; and The First: President Barack Obama’s Road to the White House as originally reported by Roland S. Martin.