By: Joanna Wolper The Wall Street Journal

As an Afro-American, I have a special insight into my community, says The Wall Street Journal's Angelo Henderson. "Some reporters shy away from the idea of being ghettoized in the newsroom. But the story I did was not about race. It was about robbery."
Henderson, who won the Pulitzer in the feature category, talks passionately about covering the urban environment. "I always wondered what it was like to kill someone," he says. "Do you go to dinner afterward? Do you go to work the next day?"
Then he heard about a white pharmacist who killed a black robber and went after the story.
"The pharmacy was such an intimate place," Henderson recalls with awe. "The pharmacist had been there for years and knew all his customers by their first names. He delivered prescriptions. And he was defiled by crime. I wanted to know how that felt."
Henderson's winning story turned out to be about two lives that collided one day in that Detroit drugstore.
"The bottom line was that the pharmacist didn't kill the robber because he was black," Henderson says adamantly. "He reacted when he saw him threaten his black pharmacy assistant."
After the interview with the pharmacist, Henderson visited poor and crack-ridden neighborhoods, searching for anyone who might have known the robber fearing for his own life in the process.
Eventually, Henderson found the robber's mother in Chicago. A spiritual man, Henderson believes it was by divine intervention that while he was interviewing the mother, the brother of the robber showed up and told his mother about the painful secret life of her dead son.
The 36-year-old reporter has dreamed about winning the Pulitzer ever since he attended the National High School Institute in Journalism at Northwestern University. "I was thinking about becoming a lawyer until I went to Northwestern for the summer and discovered how great journalism was. The next year I was in a minority journalism program at the University of Kentucky. The high school programs were real turning points to me. I can't say enough about how important it is to expose urban kids to careers."
He graduated from the University of Kentucky in Lexington and began his career at the St. Petersburg Times. He joined The Courier-Journal in Louisville in 1986 and moved to The Detroit News in 1989 where he became a business writer and columnist. In 1995 he joined The Wall Street Journal as a reporter in Detroit and in 1997 was named deputy bureau chief. He is presently a senior special writer reporting to the page-one desk in New York.
In 1992, Henderson received the National Association of Black Journalists Award for outstanding coverage of the black condition.
Finalists were Tom Hallman Jr. of The Oregonian of Portland for his profile of a man recovering from a brain injury and Eric L. Wee of The Washington Post for his account of a Washington lawyer whose postcard collection helps him remember his childhood.

?(Editor & Publisher Web Site:http:www.mediainfo.com) [Caption]
?(copyright: Editor & Publisher April 17, 1999) [Caption & Photo]


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