The New Agenda: How HBCU Students Can Become Media Stars

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At Fort Valley State University, I wasn’t adequately prepared to become a media personality. I’m not afraid to say it. I love my HBCU. I love the Media Studies department and everyone that believed in me. I learned a lot in my time at FVSU, I failed to learn what it took to conquer the media world as we approached the start of a new decade. We were taught to be employees. We were talk to only to work within a system and not to create a system for ourselves. If anything, we were taught how to be news anchors and reporters. I went to school to be a radio personality.

This isn’t just the story of my institution. Through the greatness of our experience, we often are left behind in what’s necessary to create our own media brands. We are in a new world. COVID-19 has nearly crippled the revenue generation of television and radio. Media personalities are doing national shows from home and interviews with guests on Zoom. Facebook’s current monopoly on social media platforms has been tested. Apps such as Clubhouse and Tik Tok are jumpstarting a new generation of content creation and creating new ways to communicate and engage audiences. Are we really learning about this at our institutions?

We have to speak on this. We can’t just stop at starting the conversations in our departments about how to adapt our curriculum to brace for a new era of the world. I never was one for just complaining as I was always taught by my family to create the change I wanted to see. That’s what I did for myself at FVSU. I wanted to showcase my philosophy on media and put my peers in the right situation. That’s what jumpstarted HBCU Pulse. I wanted to put the power to tell our story into the hands of student leaders. In 2019 I saw it worked. In 2020, I went even deeper. I wanted to work with someone who was at the top of their game in the national student sector and assist them in elevating their personal brand. That’s when I met CDK On The Mic from North Carolina A&T.

I did an article on the greatness of CDK when he was crowned the #1 HBCU Host by HBCU Buzz. Our acquisition of CDK onto the HBCU Pulse team was transformative. Battle of the DJs became a staple in our lineup and allowed us to shine a light on HBCU DJs, the most important figures in the cultural scene on our campuses. CDK allowed me to sit back and play the mastermind; the coach calling plays from the sideline as the star player scored bucket after bucket. CDK was instrumental in our brand integration with Pretty Vee, introducing us to other creatives, and thinking about the media game in a different way. Plus, his passion for his journey even motivated me to keep fighting. 

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The acquisition of CDK onto the HBCU Pulse team is one that will forever go down in our history. It is the example that I’m not just talking when I say that I want to give students a platform to grow. CDK joining our team defined 2020 for Pulse. 2021, we are on a new wave. I decided to make December Founder’s Month. Sure, it’s a celebration of what we were able to achieve in 2020 but also a preview of how we’re coming in 2021. The most important aspect of this month was our national push to build an HBCU Pulse team. We let the world know about our Podcast Network efforts and how we want to up our original content. That’s not our main goal though. Our goal is to cultivate the next crop of stars in our community. 

I’ll know if this venture is successful ten years from now when CDK is hosting a nationally syndicated radio show and all over our TVs. I know when my social media manager Kroix is the VP of Public Relations for a Fortune 500 company. I want to see everyone that I bring on the Pulse team prospering in their desired field. That’s what our arm of HBCU Advocacy to become. So, it will be. This will be 2021 for us.

I want 2021 to be the year that we push the levels of creativity. That’s why donations are the central focus of Founder’s Month. Money is how we can achieve what I dream for this brand. I thank everyone that has supported us thus far. From the shares to donations large and small, you’ve aided in our rise in 2021. As we close out this year, I ask that you continue to donate. I promise that we will continue to push the game to the next level and broaden our mission of creating stars. 

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