Dear Black Entrepreneur: You Are Enough

I was sitting here drafting a Black History Fun Fact about the first black-owned TV and radio stations but as I read I noticed a disturbing trend. A trend we can still see present today. To start, I was researching WGPR-TV, first black-owned television station in the U.S. and W.E.R.D., first black-owned radio station in the U.S. WGPR-TV was run and operated in Detroit and W.E.R.D. was based in Atlanta. We’ll go deeper into their history in a separate post but both stations became a platform for black artists, from Jazz and Blues musicians to Dr. Martin Luther King Dr. using it to broadcast his sermons and later, Civil Rights announcements. There are two things I noticed associated with each of these companies as the inspiration to today’s post:

  • Jesse Blayton, founder of W.E.R.D., also taught accounting at Atlanta University and tried encouraging young black people to enter the field. He was unsuccessful because the students knew that no white-owned accounting firms would hire them and Blayton’s, the only black-owned firm in the South, was small and had few openings.

 

  • WGPR-TV was successful from my perspective but because it failed to reach a wider audience, it was eventually sold to CBS. WGPR-TV ran from 1975 to 1995 under its black leadership.

With, black-owned businesses, I notice a disturbing mindset among many of my people in the African-American community that success is synonymous with white support and that, without it, we aren’t as successful as we could be. Society has deceived many of us into thinking unless they have included us in the mainstream public eye, we are unsuccessful. I compare it to publishing in the sense that Traditional Publishing is still seen as a more successful route than Independent Publishing. It is still seen as a sign of prosperity to be signed to a publisher than to be your own publisher through the Self-publishing route because of the exposure. Although many Self-Publisher’s are making far more money, unless the Self-Publisher can look like a celebrity, he or she has not made it (whatever that means). This is flawed thinking and causes many to chase the temporary pleasures of money and fame over integrity.

The Oscars is a great example of this and for the record, I admire Spike Lee and Regina King most especially. The talent comprised in these two people is beyond words. However, the black community’s reaction to their Oscar win is a great example of how we do not often see ourselves as being enough. Spike Lee and Regina King are and have always been two powerful artists. What Spike Lee has done with Crooklyn, Four Little Girls, Mo Beta Blues, Do the Right Thing, He Got Game, Malcolm X and more is nothing short of genius work. That Regina King can simultaneously bring to life two characters in Huey and Riley Freeman is nothing short of genius work. Not only did she capture the personas of two little boys but two little black boys. Whether that is Poetic Justice, Boyz N the Hood, Friday, Enemy of the State or Down to Earth, King’s roles are always down to earth. She’s got this skill that allows her to be relatable in any role. She‘s hilarious and you feel she can easily be your sister.

My point here is this: Lee and King did not need to win Oscars for me to recognize their brilliance. Yet, as a community, we champion this as the official ceremony to which we have received a piece of the pie. We have a track record of doing this, in which we do not see ourselves as successful except that we are integrated into mainstream societies expectations of what that success is supposed to look like. Angela Basset does not need an Oscar to be great.

There is nothing wrong with receiving support across all nationalities and nations of people. However, it is important for the black entrepreneur to know and understand that to be young, gifted, and black is also a success by itself and on its own terms.

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Yecheilyah’s Book Review Awards 2017

Guys!!

I have an idea!

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I want to do something special for the authors who are featured on this blog.

Yecheilyah’s Book Review Awards – a virtual event in which 5-star rated authors on The PBS Blog are honored with promotion, culminating in a Book Review Award gifted to the author whose book stood out to me the most.

To up the stakes, I would like to give this author an actual award. Not a virtual certificate, not a blog award, and not a badge but something tangible he or she can sit on his or her desk and be proud of! (Of course, I’m not a rich woman so I’ll be looking for something reasonable, but nice.)

This means I will have to decide on the best place (I do have one in mind) and get a logo made!!

Of course, since I read the books and reviewed them I would be the only judge of this contest and there would only be one winner whose book beat the others in all areas:

  • Book Cover Art
  • Editing
  • Character Development
  • Plot Movement / Strength
  • Thought Provoking 

The book in which I have given a five-star review that has beat the others in these areas will be the winning book of the year and will receive the prize from me.

Naturally, to participate I would have had read your book and given it five-stars before the excitement begins.

 

Which is, err, I don’t know yet. I am thinking December? Make it an end of the year thing. What do YOU think?? Should we do this?!

 

Again, this would mean that if you’ve been reviewed by me and I gave you five-stars, you are automatically drafted into the competition! And by December, I should have reviewed a lot more of you.

Of course, I’ll need help with this! If you want to help me to  organize something special for your fellow authors of excellence, please send me an email so we can discuss details. (Ohh. I like the sound of that, “Authors of Excellence”. Has a nice ring to it. Hmm.)

The PBS Blog Podcast Ep 3 – Keep Being Excellent

Inspired by Nicole Walter’s periscope video, today’s podcast is about being excited about your accomplishments big OR SMALL. Whatever it is that may seem, in the grand scheme of things, less significant, celebrate it anyway. We tend to downplay a lot of good in our lives because of other’s expectations or perceptions (people thinking we’re doing something bad or wrong) when we should be rejoicing in everything GOOD that we achieve no matter what. Notice all growth because it’s all part of the process. Keep being excellent!

I’ve created a new page for the podcast that you can now find on the sidebar HERE. Go here anytime you want to catch up on an episode.

Episode 3 – Keep Being Excellent

(Don’t forget to subscribe on Soundcloud for notifications of new episodes)

 

Writer’s Quote Wednesday – Dedication

For this week’s episode of Writer’s Quote Wednesday, hosted by Colleen of Silver Threading (although I must warn you that her website has been recently hacked into by some guy. I think his name is Ron something. Anyway, I won’t tell Silver if you won’t because he’s doing an excellent job in there. I just hope there’s food left in the fridge), I want to talk about investing in your best, and dedication:

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Lisa discovers writing is not so easy

I don’t know who the author is behind this quote. It didn’t come from a book or google search. I was actually watching the Venus and Serena documentary on Netflix the other day and I heard someone say it. Immediately I pressed rewind and typed it down in the notepad on my phone. This quote struck me abruptly. I’ve been thinking a lot of my need to perfect my skill and my sometimes obsessive outlook on writing in general so I found these words refreshing. I know that I have to continue to improve on my skill so yes, I will say that I’m a perfectionist. I believe strongly in the power of excellence and putting forth my best. If I put forth my best, what else can I ask of what I reap? I love to write and to do so by any means necessary. This I feel is necessary to keep the creativity flowing so that I can be in a consistent vacuum of tuning and editing and re-editing and evolving. If I’m going to improve then I must persistently act. Sometimes my action leads to failure but even that is worth it. No one ever truly succeeds until they first know what it means to fail. In short, this quote stood out to me because I’m so this person!

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My level of concentration on anything that I’m doing has got to be tight. My dedication has got to, in some ways, exceed the norm in order for me to really be satisfied with what I have accomplished. I have to at the very minimum try. Putting my everything into a project and what comes from that I am satisfied with. What more can I ask for if I’ve done everything I can? What more can you do if you’ve done your best? That’s it. There’s the answer. I pace myself but I also sincerely believe in investing in my best. Why thump out 2,000 words Lisa when you have it in you to do 20,000? Don’t get me wrong, your best doesn’t have to be the top, sometimes it’s the bottom. Sometimes its crawling. Sometimes it’s just starting. Sometimes your best is getting up out the bed this morning and writing a paragraph. Heck, sometimes your best is getting out of bed! It is liable to change from day to day and you just gotta work with what you have that day. Needless to say I found this quote especially inspiring for me personally.

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Until next week, yall be great.

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