The Founders Letter: Helping HBCU Pulse Grow In 2019

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When I started HBCU Pulse, I didn’t know it would grow to the heights it did in 2018. I never knew that something that I created would impact so many people in a year. I was told true success isn’t instantaneous. I was taught that it was a slow process that only yielded dividends years down the line. This year, HBCU Pulse has smashed expectations! I learned so much about the HBCU community that I serve and curate content for that I’ve finally found my purpose!

I started writing books four years ago! I knew that I wanted to spark conversation in our generation that could be the catalyst for change. I wanted to change the way we felt about ourselves, the way that we treated and challenge the ways that we looked at the world. Tens of thousands of people had read my first book “The Diary of Aaliyah Anderson” on the story sharing website Wattpad. I got thousands of comments from people inspired and entertained by the book. However, I felt a void. Even when I was able to secure a publishing contract at the age of 16, I still felt a void. I see now that the void that I felt was tied to my misplaced value system.

I thought making money would complete me. I thought that getting the adulation of my peers, especially the women I encountered, would make me feel whole. I thought that accolades, awards and praise would make me feel better. It hasn’t. It doesn’t. What’s made me feel better is having purpose. When I enrolled at Fort Valley State University I grew a sense of purpose. However, when I stepped into the responsibility my life became repurposed. I was put on this earth to tell the story of our generation. I’m here to celebrate our triumphs, reaffirm the inner and outer beauty of black women and confront the problems of generation so we can come up with solutions.

I believe in 2018 we’ve started to do this. We created the first comprehensive media  projects about Royal Court and student elections at HBCU’s in our documentary “Election Season: The Story Of True HBCU Queens” and “A Queen’s Pain”. “A Queen’s Pain” is the first fictional account of Royal Court life. Our coverage of the AKA and Delta probates at FVSU have generated hundreds of thousands of views. Our syndicated coverage of Albany State University’s Fall 2018 probate where Mr. Albany State University came out as a brother of Phi Beta Sigma got tens of thousands of views instantaneously on Twitter. Our original web series “How To Dance with Kreyoncé” received critical acclaim and aided in the establishment of the Dance Club as an accredited organization on FVSU’s campus. Yet, we’ve only touched the tip of the iceberg in how HBCU Pulse served it’s purpose.

 

 

 

We were one of the first media outlets to report on the heroics of Tennessee State Alumnus and Alpha man James Shaw Jr. hours after the mass shooting at the Antioch, Tennessee Waffle House this past April. We covered the inauguration of FAMU Alumnus and Delta woman Keisha Lance Bottoms. We interviewed trailblazing Georgia Gubernatorial candidate and Spelmanite Stacy Abrams. I got a chance to interview Michael Baisden, a man that literally changed the course of my life when I started listening to his syndicated radio show back in 4th grade.

Now, we’re sharing the beauty, intelligence, swagger and stories of of our campus queens. We’ve started to spotlight the intelligent bravado of our campus kings and how they are countering the narrative that society places on black men. We’re fighting to save Bennett College as they push to raise money to maintain accreditation and keep their historic doors open. This is important. This was us walking in our purpose.

We’ve seen exponential growth to round out 2018. As I write this, we’ve eclipsed 1,400 followers on the way to 1,500 by the end of the month. We had 742 to start November. I pledge that we won’t stop our coverage of HBCU and millennial life. We can’t stop. We must stay consistent if we want to continue our growth. So, I ask for your help. You all are more than followers on a page, customers or viewers on a video. You all are our family; stakeholders in our future. In 2019, we aim to:

  • Release our books “A Queen’s Heart” (Valentines Day 2019) and “A Queen’s Reign” (Fall 2019)
  • Launch “In The Spotlight”, a national podcast covering HBCU Life and interviewing dynamic personalities in the HBCU Community. Also showcasing music from HBCU Artists
  • Give coverage of the upcoming Spring probate and election season
  • Continue doing student takeovers, highlighting the beauty of HBCU Student Life and highlighting dynamic student leaders
  • Give our audience exclusive news and content from all HBCU’s

Plus, so much more that we have in the works. With your help, we can make this a reality! I urge you to keep up with the brand of HBCU Pulse as we grow even more going into 2019. Turn on notifications for our social media outlets. Check our websites for updates. And, make sure to order “A Queen’s Pain” and our other products from Amazon and the HBCU Pulse store!

Thank you for an amazing year and get ready for a phenomenal 2019

Randall Barnes

Founder, HBCU Pulse

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