About Jeneé

Jeneé Darden is an award-winning journalist, author, public speaker and mental health advocate. She grew up in a diverse, working-class neighborhood in Oakland, Calif. and learned so much about life, people and culture from her community. The greatest gift she ever received was a journal her mother gave her at seven years old. She hasn't stopped writing since.


Jeneé has reported for NPR, The Los Angles Times, Ebony, Marketplace, Refinery 29 and many other outlets.  In 2005, she contributed reporting on the London 7/7 transit bombings for Time magazine’s Europe edition.


Listen to her on KALW 91.7 FM where she hosts the arts segment Sights & Sounds, and is their East Oakland reporter. Her first short documentary Where is East Oakland was screened at the Oakland International Film Festival and has won awards. 


When A Purple Rose Blooms (Nomadic Press) is a collection of poetry and essays about Jeneé's experience with Black womanhood. Jeneé is a former National Book Foundation summer writing fellow.


Jeneé speaks and writes about mental health. She's featured in the anthology We've Been Too Patient: Voices from Radical Mental Health (Penguin Random House). She curates a reading on Black women and mental health called "Let Her Tell It!" Before reporting for KALW she worked in the media department  of a peer-run nonprofit that educates marginalized communities about mental health stigma and recovery. There, Jeneé began sharing her story as the creator and former host of the award-winning podcast Mental Health and Wellness Radio


 “Sharing my story of living with depression and anxiety liberated me, but I also saw it helped others who were carrying stigma," says Jeneé.

Jeneé blogs at CocoaFly.com where she gives her thoughts on issues related to Black women, wellness and much more. Cocoa Fly features Jeneé’s thesis “Under the Covers: The Popularity and Debate Over Black Erotic Literature.” 

She has been interviewed/featured by BBC, Access Hollywood, Inside Edition, NPR, Marie Claire, Daily Beast, KTVU, BlackGirlNerd.com and the book Swirling

Jenee enjoys dancing, reading, performing her poetry, watching superhero films, the beach and traveling. 

The daughter of former O.J. Simpson prosecutor Christopher Darden, Jeneé holds a BA in ethnic studies from UC San Diego and a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Southern California. 

Public speaker Jenee Darden

"I've learned that when life happens, so can healing. "

Short Bio

Jeneé Darden is an award-winning journalist, author, public speaker and mental health advocate from Oakland, Calif. She hosts the weekly arts segment Sights & Sounds and covers East Oakland for public radio station KALW 91.7 FM. Jenee has reported for NPR, Marketplace, KQED, KPCC, The Los Angeles Times, Ebony, Refinery29 and other outlets. In 2005, she reported on the London transit bombings for Time magazine. She is the author of When a Purple Rose Blooms (Nomadic Press), a collection of essays and poetry about her personal journey through Black womanhood. She curates the reading Let Her Tell It! about Black women and mental health. Jenee holds a BA in ethnic studies from UC San Diego and a master’s in journalism from the University of Southern California.