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It was announced Monday morning that television journalist Tamron Hall will be joining the “Today” show’s third hour, making her the first black woman to co-host the popular morning show.

A regular fill-in host on “Today,” Hall has hosted several special reports for MSNBC and NBC News, including “Debating the Black Agenda.” She also served as correspondent for the NBC News special “The Inauguration of Barack Obama.” Ans she is, of course, is the host of  MSNBC’s NewsNation with Tamron Hall.

Also See: Media Does Poor Job Covering Race Issues

Ahead of the announcement, Hall spoke with Essence.com about the significance of the moment.

“How could I not be walking on cloud nine,” she asked. “Just the other day I was reading about Meredith Vieira being the first woman to host the primetime Olympic shows. Of course, I knew what was happening with my negotiations behind the scenes and I thought, wow, these big moments at NBC News and now I’m a part of this for women, for Black women, for all of us. And I’m just taken aback by it. I can’t even describe to you how it feels.”

She added, “I called my mother and she called everyone in Luling [Texas] and Austin. And everything in between. I have three incredible nieces, and a nephew who’s going off to college. To hear them say they’re proud of me left me in tears.”

How else did the anchor celebrate the big moment? Hall says she stopped for a moment to reflect on an iconic black actress who motivated her.

“One of the things that a lot of people don’t know is I own a couple of items that belonged to Lena Horne, that I bought at her estate auction. I have a jacket and a bracelet that belonged to her and when we finished the deal I put them on and posed in the mirror. I just stood there in the best Lena Horne pose ever. She was such an inspiration to me.”

And fans of Hall’s “NewsNation” don’t have to worry about missing her in the middle of the day. The show is moving to 11 a.m. and she’ll continue to host “Deadline: Crime with Tamron Hall” on Investigation Discovery.

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