Tiffani “Hot Chocolate” Hall. Rising above Jim Crow laws and flourishing cotton fields in her hometown of Forrest City, Arkansas, Tiffani Hall set a shining example for her seven younger siblings. Leaving the south for better opportunities, she landed in St. Louis, MO. Wanting more than a high school education, Tiffani became the first woman and the first African-American to graduate from Brown Institute in Minneapolis, MN.
Armed with a First Class license in broadcasting and engineering, Tiffani returned to St. Louis. Pinning the name “Hot Chocolate”, Tiffani began working as a radio personality for WESL Radio in neighboring East St. Louis, Illinois. Beating out most of her male personalities, a 1974 Arbitron survey rated her “the most listened to voice in the metro-east area.” Later on, she was promoted to Chief Engineer for the station. After turning down an offer to work for a nationally syndicated radio station, Tiffani embarked on a television career.
Paving the road for reigning hosts, Oprah, Mo’Nique, Tyra and Wendy Williams, Tiffani hosted her own talk show in 1974. “Proud” was a show of Black perspectives that included celebrity interviews. Tiffani gave back to her community through volunteering. She received rave reviews for her rendition of “The Creation”. As keynote speaker for countless engagements, she encouraged children and adults to rise above their circumstance, empower themselves with an education and be “Black & Proud”, the anthem of that day. She dazzled audiences with interpretive and belly dances, was crowned first place winner of the Miss A.P.A. (Academy of Performing Arts) beauty pageant and could kick things into high gear with her karate training. In addition, she protected and served her community as an officer for the St. Louis County Bureau of Civil Defense Police Department, at a time when African-Americans and women on the force were few and not graciously accepted.
Tiffani has been featured in a host of periodicals and newspapers, most notably, Jet and Ebony magazines. She won an Emmy for her work as an Engineer at KPLR-TV in April 1978. Never far from her roots, Tiffani moved back to Arkansas after retiring as the first female engineer for KPLR-TV and Hugo Wholesale Jewelry Company.
Today Tiffani enjoys speaking engagements, volunteering and working with the Entre Nous Club, the oldest Black nonprofit organization in Hot Springs, AR.