It's been nearly four months since Andria Hall [photo, left, with me, her friend and colleague], an Emmy Award-winning newscaster whose career included stints at WNBC-TV in New York and CNN in Atlanta, passed away from breast cancer.
On a bitterly cold January evening, an emotional and uplifting memorial service for Andria at the Bethel Baptist Church in Crown Heights drew a diverse crowd of people from a broad range of endeavors – including the faith community, politics, the arts, media, and the tourism industry. Born in North Carolina, Andria grew up in Brooklyn – where she literally and figuratively developed a spiritual connection to the borough. Her father, Reverend Willie J. Hall, was a longtime pastor at Bethel Baptist.
Full of humor, grace, compassion, and generosity, Andria was also deeply inquisitive, insightful, indefatigable and irrepressibly youthful – the actress Holly Robinson Peete bares a striking resemblance.
It was at CNN when I first met Andria. She took the craft of journalism seriously, valued her career, and was the consummate professional despite the pressure-packed pace of the newsroom. I knew that her family positively impacted her life. But it wasn't until after our CNN days when I fully discovered what drove her so very deeply.