Starting Your Dreams Later In Life and Embracing the Detour

I know it's been a while since I've posted anything but that's because of my job. I'm working as a reporter covering Oakland and I host an arts segment on the radio where I get to interview amazing artists from around the Bay Area. Plus I'm publicizing my book and building my speaking career! 
You know what's funny? I thought this would all happen by the time I was 27-30.  Nope. That wasn't God's plan for me. I'm finally beginning to do the things I've wanted to do and I'm almost 40 years old. Some people reading this who are 40 will say 40 is still young. But some younger people reading may think 40 is nearly ancient. But I'm writing this post for those who like me, thought their career and personal dreams would come true much early in life. I'm here to tell you not to give up. 
You know, death inspires life. A number of my relatives and friends have passed away, ranging in age from 20's to 80's. Actor Luke Perry, my middle…

About Jeneé Darden


Jenee Darden's headshot “The greatest gift I’ve ever received was a journal my mother made for me when I was seven,” says award-winning journalist, author and CocoaFly.com host Jeneé Darden. The Oakland, Calif. native hasn’t stopped writing since. Jeneé has reported for National Public Radio, Time magazine, Los Angeles Times, EbonyMarketplace, Huffington Post, KQED, KPCC, KALW and the Southern Poverty Law Center's Teaching Tolerance magazine.  In 2005, she contributed reporting on the London 7/7 transit bombings for Time magazine’s Europe edition.

Her first book When A Purple Rose Blooms ,from Nomadic Press,  is a collection of poetry and essays about Jeneé's experience with Black womanhood.

Jeneé is passionate about African-American erotic art and women's sexual empowerment. She wrote a groundbreaking thesis on black erotic literature called Under the Covers: The Popularity and Debate Over Black Erotic Literature. Jenee interviewed New York Times best selling author Zane and editors of the groundbreaking anthology Erotique Noire. In “Under the Covers” Jeneé explores black erotica and the impact of race on black sexuality. She also looks into the genre’s impact on black authors and the publishing industry.

Another passion of hers is mental health awareness. She is the former host of the podcast Mental Health and Wellness Radio which earned her a New America Media Award for Outstanding Community Reporting-Radio.   

Jeneé blends her passion for journalism and hip voice on her website and podcast Cocoa Fly —a new flavor in news for women. Jeneé launched the site after becoming frustrated with the lack of diverse stories on women and people of color. She covers, women, race, sexuality, wellness and much more. Cocoa Fly features Jeneé’s thesis “Under the Covers: The Popularity and Debate Over Black Erotic Literature.”

Before Cocoa Fly, Jeneé Darden was a producer for NPR's News and Notes hosted by Farai Chideya and Marketplace Money. In her short and exciting career Jeneé has interviewed and/or produced segments on a host of newsmakers and entertainers including: best-selling authors Iyanla Vanzant and Eric Jerome Dickey, U.S. Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith, music executive Matthew Knowles, rapper and Oscar winner Common, Oscar-winning director Bill Condon, singer Kelly Rowland, civil-rights leader Myrlie Evers-Williams, former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, CNN commentator Van Jones, Grammy-winning blues artist Fantastic Negrito and everyday people making a difference in the world.

Jeneé has been interviewed/featured by BBCAccess Hollywood, Inside Edition, NPR, Marie Claire, Daily Mail, Daily BeastKTVU, BlackGirlNerd.com, BeyondBlackWhite.com, the book Swirling. She was mentioned in the hit FX miniseries The People v. O.J. Simpson.

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. She is a member of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Inc. and the National Association of Black Journalists. Jeneé loves creative writing as well. The National Book Foundation awarded her a summer writing fellowship in 2003. Jeneé Darden is available for interviews and speaking engagements. Email her at jenee@cocoafly.com.