• One page about June Cross.

    Filmmaker. Educator. Writer.

    June Cross is a writer and documentary producer who covers the intersection of poverty, race and politics in the United States.  She has been a Professor of Journalism at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism in New York since 2006.  There, she founded a program in documentary there that is celebrating its eighth year.


    She recently finished Wilhemina’s War, a documentary about women caring for those living with HIV in South Carolina.  It aired on PBS' Independent Lens in 2016.   Her last documentary, “The Old Man and the Storm,” followed an extended New Orleans family as they struggled to rebuild their homes after Hurricane Katrina.  It aired on PBS’ “Frontline” in early 2009.


    She has been a fellow at Columbia’s Institute for Research in Afro-American Studies, at Carnegie-Mellon University’s School of Urban and Public Affairs and the W.E.B. DuBois Institute for Afro-American Studies at Harvard.  She lives in New York City with her partner, the jazz drummer Mike Clark.  She received an honorary doctorate of Humane Letters from Knox College in Illinois in 2015

  • From the written word to the moving image

    Cross began her reporting career at The Press of Atlantic City, and was a freelancer for The Boston Globe before beginning her career in television at WGBH-TV in Boston. She moved to PBS’ NewHour, where she became a producer/correspondent and won her first Emmy for her coverage of the 1993 invasion of Grenada. She joined CBS News in 1986, and was a producer for West 57th, Face to Face with Connie Chung, and the CBS Evening News. She then joined PBS’ Frontline, where she produced eight documentaries and served as senior producer for five others.


    “Secret Daughter,” an autobiographical film that she directed while at Frontline that examined how race and color had impacted her own family, won an Emmy and a duPont-Columbia Journalism in 1997. That film became the basis for a book, “Secret Daughter” published by Viking in 2006. She left Frontline in 1999 to join the storied Blackside, Inc., creator of “Eyes on the Prize. There, she became an executive producer for “This Far by Faith,” a six-hour series on the African-American religious experience that aired on Pubic Television in 2003, and which led to the founding of her own non-profit production company, The Faith Project, Inc.


  • What I've Done.

    Wilhemina's War

    Living HIV Positive in the Rural South

    Most Americans think of AIDS as long conquered, but the South is now the epicenter of the epidemic. “Wilhemina’s War” tells the story of a Southern grandmother’s struggle to destigmatize HIV. Over the course of five years, I, a Northern reporter who covered AIDS in the eighties, watch as Wilhemina, her daughter Toni, and her granddaughter Dayshal all struggle to live HIV positive lives. The obstacles they face are institutional and personal. When a group of advocates from the South Carolina HIV/AIDs Council tries to help, it’s an open question whether their efforts will be enough.


    Learn more.

    The Old Man and the Storm

    Coming Back from Hurricane Katrina

    Six months after Hurricane Katrina slammed into New Orleans, I met 82-year-old Herbert Gettridge working alone on his home in the lower Ninth Ward, a neighborhood devastated when the levees broke in August 2005. Over the next two years, I documented the story of the extended Gettridge clan -- an African-American family with deep roots in New Orleans -- as they struggled to rebuild their homes and their lives. The moving personal story of Mr. Gettridge and his family reveals the human cost of this tragedy, the continued inadequacies of government's response in the aftermath of Katrina, and how race, class, and politics have affected the attempts to rebuild this American city.


    Learn more.

    This Far by Faith

    African-American Spiritual Journeys

    For three centuries, ordinary men and women have searched their souls to rise above the circumstances of their lives. Their faith renewed the idea of America. These are their stories.


    Learn More http://www.pbs.org/thisfarbyfaith


    Secret Daughter

    A Mixed-Race Daughter and the Mother Who Gave Her Away

    When I was four, my white mother left me to be raised by black friends of hers in Atlantic City, New Jersey. I spent the rest of my life hopping back and forth between two worlds. Read the book, watch the documentary.

    Interview with June Cross by Chico Colvardhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YGYOkA28CDA

    Done shortly after I joined the faculty at Columbia Journalism School

    Chico Colvard, now at UMass Boston, interviewed me about making films and being a black filmmaker.

    The Moth

    "I was a secret because I was black."

    June Cross was born to a white mother and black father and was asked to keep her two different worlds separate - and secrethttps://themoth.org/stories/secret-daughter.