by Latoya Peterson
It was only 9:30 AM, and I was already dreading my decision. A gray dress and curly hair amid a wave of business suits and salt and pepper goatees, I had already started to feel a bit out of place at the Federal Communications Commission and their big, shiny, moneyed interior. Listening to the assembled speakers go on and on about IPOs, spectrum, and other terms that I couldn’t quite grasp, I felt a rising sense of panic. I looked down at the three names I was supposed to meet with, and felt hideously small. How the hell did I get here?
I suppose it all started when Mike Green asked me about the big picture for Racialicious – what was our long term goal? If we could wave a wand, what would happen?
My initial response, which seems concrete to me, doesn’t seem to work for a business profile: It would be good to be obsolete. Failing that, it would be good to reorganize, to not need this niche, since the world has stopped being racist on a systemic level.
But since that’s a few years in the works, a more attainable long term goal would be to grow into some kind of culture influencer, like a media company. Why? As I told Mike:
[T]here’s not enough minority-controlled media. There just isn’t. There aren’t that many spaces controlled by minorities, controlled by women that have the power to push back and have the power to discuss issues that are critical to us. To look at things through a different lens. There’s tremendous power in that. In being able to have a stage and to use it for what you will.
So I found myself shifting a bit. At first, my goals were to be financially comfortable, eek out a living and have a job I didn’t hate that was flexible. And now it seems like there’s a bigger responsibility in that I’ve been able to acquire this huge platform and grow it. Now I’m asking, “OK, What can we really do with this?”
Can we provide people with the job training they need? Because that’s one of those things people are up against. They don’t have experience. They don’t have training. They don’t have their first published clips. Can we be that for some people? Can we grow this into something larger? Can we grow this into a media company?
So, I think that’s the direction we’re moving. What does this new media marketplace look like? What does entrepreneurship in media look like online? I feel like there’s tremendous potential in this space to do it. Continue reading