David Dennis Jr., a freelance journalist, educator and commentator based in Atlanta, Ga., has joined The Undefeated full-time as a senior writer covering music for the culture vertical of the ESPN multimedia content initiative on sports, race and culture. A frequent contributor to The Undefeated, Dennis will also write long- and short-form pieces on other topics at the intersection of race, culture and sports.
Dennis will begin his new role with The Undefeated on Monday, June 21.
“With David officially joining the team, we are fast-tracking the continued expansion of our Culture vertical,” said Raina Kelley, Vice President and Editor-in-Chief, The Undefeated. “David is at home within The Undefeated brand and will continue to deliver the brilliant and thought-provoking stories he’s well known for. That he’s starting during Black Music Appreciation Month is an absolute bonus.”
Dennis joins The Undefeated after ten years as a critically-acclaimed and award-winning writer whose work has appeared in The Atlantic, The Washington Post, Atlanta magazine, HuffPost, Medium, and more. His articles for The Undefeated ranged widely, from a sweeping history of the Black community’s involvement in social media to an assessment of rapper Kanye West’s career and a look at actress Halle Berry’s filmography after the debacle of Catwoman.
This year, Dennis received the 2021 American Mosaic Journalism Award for his work, including an Atlanta magazine story “Ahmaud Arbery Will Not Be Erased” – a reflective piece about the young Black man killed while jogging in Brunswick, Ga. Based on confidential nominations from about 150 entries, a panel of 10 journalists from top-tier media outlets – NPR, NBC News, CBS News, Telemundo, The Boston Globe, The Wall Street Journal, and Oxford American – selected Dennis and his work for the prize.
“It’s been such a delight working with The Undefeated team as a freelancer for years and I’m so excited to join the team full-time,” added Dennis. “I can’t wait to tell the stories I’m passionate about with writers and editors I admire so much. I’m so excited for you all to see what we have in store next.”
In addition to his work as a journalist, Dennis served as a visiting professor of Journalism and Social Justice at Morehouse College, the prestigious Historically Black College and University in Atlanta. He was a faculty advisor for the school’s newspaper, The Maroon Tiger.
Dennis is currently working on his first book, The Movement Made Us, scheduled for publication by HarperCollins in 2022. The book tells the story of his father, civil rights activist David Dennis Sr., a CORE field secretary in the 1960s and was a member of the Freedom Riders.
A 2008 graduate of Davidson College in Charlotte, N.C., Dennis majored in English and ethnic studies. He later obtained a master’s degree in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism, Media and Integrated Marketing Communications at Northwestern University in Chicago.