Blackwell was class president of his high school graduating class at Milford Mill Academy in 1999. He earned a B.A. in Broadcast Journalism from Howard University in Washington, D.C. While in college, he worked at Howard University’s public television station WHUT-TV. After college, Blackwell worked as a reporter and fill-in anchor at WHAG-TV in Hagerstown, MD. He also worked as a reporter and weekend anchor at WTLV/WJXX in Jacksonville, Florida. Blackwell was the first black main anchor at WPBF in West Palm Beach, Florida. Blackwell joined CNN in 2012 as a correspondent, based at CNN’s southeast bureau. In 2013, Blackwell’s exclusive reporting on the mysterious death of Georgia teenager Kendrick Johnson led to investigations by the Office of Secretary of State of Georgia and the US Attorney for Georgia’s Middle District. In January 2014, Blackwell was promoted to co-host of New Day Saturday and Sunday with Christi Paul.
Blackwell was a contestant on an episode of Wheel of Fortune which aired on February 2001. He placed third, winning $3,350.
Awards and honors
In 2009, Blackwell received a Regional Emmy Award for Outstanding Feature Reporting. He was also nominated for a Regional Emmy in 2007, 2008, and 2011. Blackwell also received a Regional Edward R. Murrow Award for his reporting on the Stop Snitchin’ phenomenon and its impact on inner-city crime. Blackwell received the Unity Award from the Radio Television Digital News Association in 2007 for his reporting on the high school graduation rate of black boys.
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