Several weeks ago a member of Black TV Film Crew said that she was happy with the year 2020 even with the police brutality being exposed as well as COVID-19. I couldn’t wrap my mind around her statement or be happy with the deaths that have come from COVID-19. I responded, “A lot of people would still be here if it weren’t for the pandemic.” Nonetheless, she stood firm in her position and simply replied, “The things that we’re seeing now, they were happening before. We needed to do something about them.” The truth in her words felt like a strong left hook. Could she be right?
Whenever someone’s truth stuns me, I step back, look in the mirror and begin to ask myself some questions. The question here: “What did I need to do about anything?”
I immediately thought about my businesses. I’m a screenwriter and TV producer in the day time. Prior to the pandemic I focused on my TV producer work but didn’t focus as much on my Black TV Film Crew brand. When I thought about my colleague’s statement, I knew I needed to make some changes. I realized that I wasn’t as purposeful with my businesses in 2019 as I have been in 2020. So, here are the 5 ways 2020 has made me a better person and a better entrepreneur.
1. Make Time for My Businesses Every Day
When the pandemic gave me more free time (3 weeks off,) I started to think about my businesses—their impact, profitability and reach. I started to ask myself, “What can I do better?” The answer: Make time for my Black TV Film Crew brand every single day. Don’t make excuses. Even on days when I’m tired, I will contribute to make Black TV Film Crew a brand I’m proud of.
2. Learned Something That Other People Use A Lot
When George Floyd’s death hit national headlines, my crew member’s question slapped me in the face again. This time the question: “With all that I have been blessed with, what can I do to help Black activism?” How can I help the fight against police brutality and move the culture forward in a real activist type of way? That question motivated me but woke me up in the morning like I had caffeine cursing through my veins. 2020 forced me to learn how to do 30 second IG videos to get an activism message across to the masses. I decided I wanted to be part of the solution, so I taught myself.
3. Learned New Ways To Hustle
I’ve been watching so many webinars on a variety of subjects. I’ll type in something on Google then go and watch it. I’ve learned new skills that I know will help further my businesses. If not for COVID-19, if not for George Floyd’s death stirring something deep in my soul, I wouldn’t feel such a sense of urgency to learn more and to be better. Taking new actions made me feel like a better person.
4. Stepped Out of My Comfort Zone
There are so many new things that I’ve learned during 2020 which I am now trying out with my businesses. Whether its posting a social media video or promoting a Black culture activism initiative, these are all very new to me. I’m nervous about them, but I believe my actions are for the greater good and so I’m happy no matter the response. In other words, I don’t need 1,000 likes to feel like I’ve hit a homerun.
5. Accepted myself and my unique skill set
If I were to honestly criticize myself, I would probably say that I don’t spend enough time celebrating my talents while thinking the grass is greener on the other side. But, 2020 has given me the time to utilize my talents in a variety of ways. Using my talents at the highest level has given me both courage and confidence. How many writers can say they’ve written 10+ books, helmed a marketing company, produced an Emmy award winning show, run a Black culture brand with an audience over 250k, and spoke in front of an audience of 5k at the Essence Music Festival. The point is, now, I accept myself. I don’t have to be anyone else in order to be happy. I’m me. And that’s enough. I certainly feel like I’m a better person as a result.
Family, we’ve cried too many tears, we’ve sang too many church songs, we’ve worn out our knees praying and not a thing has changed. So, with the help of some crew members, I’ve compiled numbers to call to fight for justice for George Floyd, to fight against police brutality. There are numbers to call in case of unlawful arrests while protesting, petitions to sign and action items. We are not taking this lying down anymore. It’s time for change. Use your cell phone and make some noise. And every time you can vote in an election, vote your conscience. Vote for what is going to help the Black community. Here’s your list of what you can do to fight police brutality and keep the heat on:
Call DA Mike Freeman in Minnesota (612.348.5550) and demand prosecution for:
Derek Chauvin (Badge #1087) and Tou Thoa (Badet #7162)
Text FLOYD to 55-156; Text JUSTICE to 66-8336; Text ENOUGH to 55-165
Leave a message for Louisville Mayor and demand justice for Breonna Taylor. The Mayor’s number is 502.574.2003.
Numbers to Call in case of unlawful arrests at protests:
Register to vote and vote in every election. People often think the presidential election is the most important one, but the president doesn’t change laws the other legislators do. That’s why we need to vote in smaller elections.
When possible, don’t travel alone. We need witnesses. Too many of these incidents have happened when Black people have been by themselves. Try to travel in pairs at least.
Record everything. Everything. How many of these tragedies would we have missed if it weren’t for some person recording? Everybody has a responsibility to our community to record everything.
Get a Dash Camera for your vehicle. Yes, we need those because people will take your phone.
Have a burner phone that has a camera—for backup recording. Keep this burner in your glove box or the arm rest and turn it on to record if you get stopped by police.
Support activists and organizations helping our community. We were particularly impressed with Tamika D. Mallory. We wanna support what she’s doing. People with boots on the ground need our support.
Donate monies to justice organizations working with people who need legal fees paid and for people who have been wrongly convicted. We like the Innocence Project. There is much work to be done.
Here are a few dash cameras rated on Amazon. Dash cameras record a stop from inside your vehicle. Many of them come with their own memory cards. It’s just another way to record what happens to us. If you purchase the dash camera through our link, we’ll get a small commission. The price for you won’t change, but it’ll help us with our work over here so we thank you in advance.
At a protest rally for George Floyd who was killed by a police officer in Minneapolis, activists gathered and spoke about the culture of police brutality and violence in America. Activist Tamika Mallory spoke passionately about how looting and violence were behaviors taught in the very fabric of America. Please watch.
Activism for George Floyd from Color of Change
“It happened again. His name was George Floyd, and on May 25th he was murdered by Minneapolis police officers.
George Floyd was a Black man, who was murdered in broad daylight after a grocery clerk called the police thinking he was writing a bad check. For seven minutes, George laid on the street while officers Derek Chauvin and Tou Thao held their knee on his neck as he was struggling to breathe. He lost consciousness and yet they continued to strangle him. Numerous bystanders pleaded with the police officer to let him go, while Floyd said the words “I can’t breathe,” several times, but the officer refused to remove his knee from Floyd’s neck.
After the murder, officers called his death a “medical problem.” And it wasn’t until the video was released clearly showing them choking him, did we finally see the truth. This was a blatant and disgusting coverup to prevent accountability for their brutal act of police violence.
This is incomprehensible. His life was taken in a senseless act of violence at the hands of the Minneapolis Police Department, all for being “suspected” of writing a bad check.
Police continue to hunt down Black folks in cities across Americaand we refuse to sit silent. It was not too long ago we heard Eric Garner utter the same last words, “I can’t breathe.” And just months ago, officers stormed Breonna Taylor’s home and murdered her in a botched investigation.
On May 26th, officers Derek Chauvin and Tou Thao, and two other officers who were present, were fired from the Minneapolis Police Department. This is a step in the right direction to hold the officers accountable for murdering George Floyd but more action must be taken. We are calling for further action from Mayor Jacob Frey and County Attorney Freeman.
Mayor Frey must 1) block the officers from receiving their pensions and 2) ban them from ever becoming police officers again. And County Attorney Freeman must immediately charge the officers with murder.”