At 36 years old, longtime television journalist Demarco Morgan says he is “fulfilling a dream” with his recent appointment as a correspondent for CBS News in New York City. His journey to his dream however was filled with trials and doubt and it was faith, he says, that kept him going.”
“I am fulfilling a dream,” Morgan told Atlanta’s Saporta Report weeks before he started his new job in November 2015. “I must follow God’s will. He heard my prayers.”
Morgan who is a graduate of Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism is a familiar face in a number of major media markets. He previously worked as a reporter and co-anchor of WXIA TV in Atlanta as well as a weekend anchor for WNBC TV in New York. He also teaches broadcast writing and reporting at Morehouse College and Clark Atlanta University according to New England One.
In an interview with Black Men’s Dossier last summer however, he explained that at some of the most pivotal points in his quest to become a journalist, he faced obstacles that should have made him quit on the dream he has had since the first grade.
“When I was attending Columbia University, when I first started, there were hundreds of people who applied to get into that school and that year I believe they only accepted 211. I got accepted when I was $26,000 short and I don’t come from a family with money,” Morgan told Black Men’s Dossier.
“I remember calling home and telling my mom I don’t have any money. And the director of financial aid at the time said ‘we have some money to put you back on the plane and send you home but this may not work out for you.’ And I remember crying and crying and crying and it is at that moment my mother said ‘now it is time for you to find God for yourself and know He can do anything.’ And she said, ‘before I get off the phone with you, I want you to pray but I want you to remember these words.’ And she said, ‘when God brings you to a cliff, you’ve got to trust Him fully and let go. And either one or two things will happen, he will catch you when you fall, or He’ll teach you how to fly.’ And from that moment to where I am today, I am still flying,” explained Morgan.
The newsman said he grew up in Tulsa, Oklahoma and his mother raised him alone after his father died when he was just 10 years old on Father’s Day.
“It was tough for me but he was so instrumental in my life it really didn’t have a horrible effect on me. It had a bigger impact on my brother who ended up going off and selling drugs, being locked up. In and out of gangs, just a whole horrible story…because he was much older,” said Morgan.
His mother he said was able to shield him from the negative impact of his father’s death because he was younger.
He said he went to Booker T. Washington High School where he graduated at the bottom of his class and failed English in his senior year. His English teacher he said, advised him that he would be better off finding something to do with his hands because “in order to be on TV, you have to know how to write well and speak well and you can’t.”
“That almost crippled me and broke my spirit, I remember not telling my mom because anybody who knows anything about a black mom, you don’t mess with her child,” said Morgan.
He said he applied to about nine or ten different colleges and universities at the end of his high school education but was rejected by all of them except one – Jackson State University in Mississippi. And that is where he did undergraduate studies.
Morgan excelled at Jackson state and after he graduated and later got accepted to attend the prestigious Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in New York City which for him was almost an impossibility.
“It was not supposed to be my story,” he said.
He was later invited back to his high school to be commencement speaker where he came face to face with the English teacher who had discouraged him from chasing his dream.
“I know for a fact that I am not supposed to be doing what I’m doing but it’s by the grace of God that I am where I am and I don’t take it lightly and because of that, throughout my entire life, my entire career, my mother has always said ‘to whom much is given, much is required.’ We all know that verse in the Bible,” he said.
Morgan says he teaches because it is a way of giving back. He gets the opportunity to connect with students to teach them things beyond academics such as workplace politics which can be difficult to navigate.
He says at most television stations “you are always tested and challenged, just to see if you fit, if you belong.”
“Most of my life that has been my story. Does he belong? Does he deserve to be where he is? I’ve had a number of challenges. Everything from wanting to anchor when I never had the opportunity to do so. Wanting to write and tell these compelling stories that sometimes feel limited because somebody has more seniority than you do.
“I’ve had obstacles where I’ve been passed up on opportunities where I felt like I deserved to go and at those moments I knew that was a time when I did want to quit,” he said.
“I think people, especially in our community, we don’t share that we are going through, that we’re having suicidal thoughts that we are wanting to give up, that there is some stage of depression because it’s embarrassing. You don’t want to feel vulnerable,” he continued.
“You don’t want your mom to worry about you. You don’t want your best friends to second guess you. And when people are looking up to you especially in my case when you have people in all these cities, all these markets…you don’t want to let anyone down but who do you talk to? Who do you trust in that moment?
“That was years ago, that was a one-time thing. Like I said I wasn’t gonna do nothing. I just had those thoughts. I am very grateful that happened to me. Sometimes you need to go through just to know whose you are and who you are,” he said.
That’s the spirit, Demarco! A remarkable career in journalism awaits you. Keep on being dedicated, persistent, smart, honest, humble and true to your calling. I look forward to watching your newscasts on CBS.
After seeing your story today on CBS Evening News, I wanted to know more about you. I’m grateful I found this article. Continue to fly! God speed
This was an awesome story. I watched you anchor with Brenda and you did a great job. God bless you on your new appt. And never let his hand go. He has greater things yet for you to concur.
After reading this story, I couldn’t believe what I read. Mr. Morgan is a role model .
I’m so proud of you Demarco i also remember that day when you came into my office crying because of what that teacher had said put look at God, it’s been my pleasure to know you keep up the good work and i love you much. Mama T.Booker T. Washington High School
I’M so proud of you Demarco i to remember that day but look where God has brought you what i awesome person you are stay blessed
Mama T. Booker T. Washington High School.
Wow! Incredible story. Faith is all it took. Look where god has bought you from. May god, continue to bless u on your journey. It’s not over because big and better things are just ahead of u.
I’m proud to say that I remember this young man while I myself was attending Jackson State University. I did not know him personally, but I just knew by his presence he was destined to do great things…..
As a HS guidance counselor, I always encourage colleagues to be mindful of their words. I also tell students that high school is a moment in time. Those who are not doing well are reminded that their struggles today are not indicative of inability. I tell them to try their best and provide guidance to help them reach their goals. I am happy you did not go
through with those ideations. As you stated, that is a topic that isn’t truly discussed in some cultures. Your courage and willingness to share may have saved someone’s life.
I look forward to
watching you on Ch. 2 CBS in NYC. God uses us as messengers.
We just need to keep our faith. He is amazing. Thanks for
PS. Remember, You are EXTREMELY
Demarco, Thank you for sharing your journey! I also thank God for your mother,
for imparting in you her words of wisdom! My Pastor just shared with us “Your Words Have Power.” I will share this article with many others!
May God continue to bless you!
Just saw you reporting on the CBS news at noon here in NJ. Also, just finished watching your video online. What a trooper you are. Your journey literally brought tears to my eyes. So glad you kept your faith in God. Through him, all things are possible. Keep up the good work. You are a fine example of what one can accomplish through faith, focus and determation. May God continue to guide and bless you. Sour like an eagle.
Just saw Mr. Morgan an anchoring CBS Weekend news. I do not recall seeing him before, but was extremely impressed with his delivery, professionalism, and all that — but what really came through was incrediable presence. After reading a little about him, I realize he has paid his dues, is an adept newscaster, and a strong presence. For CBS to put him front and center is smart, and nervy. Powerful, personable and smart black men front and center? It is about time!
I have always thought that he is from a humble beginning
We missed you so much in GA (11 alive)
God bless you in all your endeavors
These are the compelling true stories that need to be heard. You are indeed a true example to be celebrated and looked up to, a voice that needs to be heard by the countless youths who have been told not to reach for dreams thought impossible by people who lacked imagination. I am proud to know you and I hope that your story is told so that others can be encouraged by your example. Thank you for sharing my friend.
HBCU!PRIDE! GOD FIRST! THAT’S WHAT’S UP!! MOTHERS KNOW! BELIEVE IN ONES SELF! NO MATTER THE STRUGGLE IF IT’S HIS WILL, NO MATTER WHAT, WHEN AND HOW YOU WILL MAKE IT! PEACE AND BLESSINGS BROTHER!
Gary,God offers salvation to all. He tells everyone that they must believe in his son and repent to be saved. That invitation is open to every man on the planet.BUT, every person on this planet, without God’s grace and election, would continue to reject him. He’s told people what they must do, and they ignore him. Therefore, men are relnepsibso. God isn’t doing anything to PREVENT them from responding. He’s giving an extra nudge to some, if you will.Does that work for you, or is that still just semantics?
What a joy to read and hear about your life Professor Morgan.
We look forward to hearing your Commencement Address and message to the students and faculty at Jackson State University this weekend.
My Fellow Jacksonian.
Having a wonderful foundation is so very important in our struggle. God, family, and good character will continue too serve you well in your journey through life. The support that I received at Jackson State has served me well domestically and abroad. You knew what you wanted and went after it.
Welcome to the northeast and continue to walk in the light. Faith will always serve you well.
God is so Good ! Peace and blessings to you , way to lead