Annette John-Hall

Keystone Crossroads Reporter

Annette John-Hall is the WHYY reporter for Keystone Crossroads, a statewide public media initiative focused on the problems facing Pennsylvania's cities and possible solutions.

Before WHYY, Annette was an award-winning metro columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer, where she sat down with President Obama, asked Allen Iverson about his cornrows and ate sweet potato pie with civil rights icon John Lewis.

She also helped build a writing program in West Philadelphia and promoted accessible higher education at the Community College of Philadelphia before returning to journalism in 2017.

Annette holds a journalism degree from San Francisco State University and is a native of Berkeley, Calif., where protest is encouraged but not mandatory.

Ways to Connect

Pennsylvania has the largest full-time legislature in the country.
Matt Rourke / AP Photo

A long-awaited study out of the Pennsylvania General Assembly offered a scathing assessment of the state’s capital punishment system this week, saying the death penalty comes at a high cost to state taxpayers without deterring crime.

Malcolm Kenyatta, who won the Democratic nod for the 181st district in the Pa. Legislature, cheers during the first night of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia in 2016.
Kimberly Paynter/WHYY

The Pennsylvania Legislature is poised to soon make history as it welcomes its first openly gay lawmaker of color.

Malcolm Kenyatta won the Democratic nomination for Philadelphia’s 181st District during last week’s primary, and, given the city’s voter registration numbers, is strongly favored to assume the seat.

For the 27-year-old, who grew up in the projects, the idea of being a role model is appealing.

James Earl Davis, a Professor of Urban Education at Temple University and his golden doodle, Baldwin, pictured in his home in East Germantown.
Brad Larrison for WHYY

Temple University education professor James Earl Davis and his partner moved into their stately 150-year-old Victorian home in East Germantown in 2001, at a time when the neighborhood was, well, iffy.

“The car was broken into around 2002 because there was money and CDs on the front seat. They broke the window and got those, but that was kind of an urban novice error,” Davis recalled with a knowing laugh.

Claudia Sherrod (left) and Haley Dervinis (right) both live in Point Breeze. Although Dervinis is a newcomer, she's also wary of the rapid change.
Emma Lee / WHYY

Debbie Bell knows what it is to be made to feel like an afterthought.

She’s a lifelong resident of Point Breeze, a historically low-income African-American neighborhood in South Philadelphia that’s seen a lot of change lately.

To hear longtime neighbors like Bell tell it, Point Breeze used to be about pride. It was mothers cooking collard greens. People pulling together to help each other make the rent when times got hard. It was friendly competitions to see who had the tidiest block.

It was about community.

Harrisburg capitol building with roses.
Matt Rourke / AP Photo

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