Tag Archives: black business

Black News Channel’s Chairman J.C. Watts Discusses BNC’s Deep HBCU Ties & FAMU Partnership


In a recent interview with Bold TV, Chairman of Black News Channel, J.C. Watts, discusses his plans for the coming launch of the new television channel that seeks to focus on a myriad of topics from culture, religion, politics, economics, and more that cover the diverse range of African America’s views on topics. Chairman Watts emphasizes that this will be a channel for African Americans and by African Americans. Just how far that is to go though we will discuss later on in the article.

Starting at the 8:50 mark in the video, Chairman Watts discusses with Ms. Sheffield, Founder of Bold TV, the important relationship that Black News Channel will seek to build with HBCUs and just how much content there is available within those institutions alone. A statement that should be not underappreciated given that BNC is going to attempt to be a 24/7 news channel. While the plan a few years ago was for BCN to be housed on the campus of Florida A&M University, the company has shifted its focus on making the FAMU School of Journalism a target school for BCN with internships, curriculum engagement, and employment opportunities upon graduation.

The company features a host of Rattler alumnae. Mr. Amir Windom, a rising star in media circles will be the Director of Creative Services. It also features Ms. Georgia Dawkins, who will serve as Director of HBCU Services. Lastly, the Director of Corporate Business Development is Ms. Erika Littles.

Ms. Sheffield brings up just some of the larger outlets in the landscape that currently stands in African American targeted media like The Root, Black Entertainment Television, NBC Black, OWN, TV One, and questions aloud where BCN will find its place among the field.

However, a point that was not brought up and should always be at the forefront of our minds when new products are launched that target African America is who actually is profiting from our eyeballs. We are often providing the labor and the viewership in many instances while reaping none of the economic rewards that comes with ownership and ultimately the control of the narrative. BET is owned by Viacom, NBC is owned by Comcast, The Root is owned by Univision, which itself is owned by very Eurocentric private equity firms, and even OWN, the channel beloved by Oprah followers, is majority owned by Discovery Communications. On the website for Black News Channel, while Chairman J.C. Watts is listed as a co-founder, the other co-founder is Bob Brillante. What is the potential ownership split? There are seven other owner/investors listed on the company’s website, but what each individuals stake is remains unclear. As a private company, they are certainly not required by any means to disclose this information, but it would certainly go a long way to endorsing just how much of an African American “owned” media asset this actually is.

There is a harsh reality that the majority of sizeable media assets focusing on African Americans is not in the ownership hands of African Americans. The Washington Post reported that in 2013, “African American ownership remains particularly low, hovering at less than one percent of all television properties, and less than 2 percent of radio.” This is certainly not to say that Black News Channel will not have an impact. It is projected to employ almost 100 people, many of them being HBCU alumni and students as we have already seen in key positions, but we must push the envelope further. We need more investment in publications that are owned by our community like HBCU Digest, Atlanta Black Star, HBCU Gameday and many others.  Traditional media is not dying, it is evolving (and consolidating into the hands of a few) and has already done so in major ways. Unfortunately, we are often lacking the resources to keep up despite our ingenuity.

We appreciate that the Black News Channel makes it a point to be transparent about their ownership, hope that they will be an inclusive platform to smaller African American owned publications looking to establish themselves, and definitely continue to integrate itself within the many schools of journalism that HBCUs have and the richness that those assets can bring to the table.

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16 Books HBCU Business School & Economics Students Should Read Before Graduating


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“Resolve to edge in a little reading every day, if it is but a single sentence. If you gain fifteen minutes a day, it will make itself felt at the end of the year.” – Horace Mann

While classrooms, homework, professors, classmates, and internships will teach you a lot, sometimes it is an important book that can help shape the way you look at the information being delivered to you. These books will help wrap a culturally relevant point of view to the education you are receiving. It is important to not just understand supply, demand, labor, and capital, but to understand it from our perspective. Learn the history of African Americans as business owners, executives, and inventors so that maybe you create the next great business empire. Read the biographies to get the intimate trials, tribulations, and success of African American business pioneers before you. Ultimately, see how to build, create, develop, and pass on wealth to generations ahead of you.

If you read these books before walking across that stage we promise that you will be a powerful force in business to reckon with.

CAPITALISM AND SLAVERY

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History of Black Business in America: Capitalism, Race, Entrepreneurship

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In the Black: A History of African Americans on Wall Street

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Black Inventors, Crafting Over 200 Years of Success

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On Her Own Ground: The Life and Times of Madam C.J. Walker

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Black Titan: A.G. Gaston and the Making of a Black American Millionaire

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Why Should White Guys Have All the Fun?: How Reginald Lewis Created a Billion-Dollar Business Empire

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Succeeding Against the Odds: The Autobiography of a Great American Businessman

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The Hidden Cost Of Being African American – How Wealth Perpetuates Inequality

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The Color of the Land: Race, Nation, and the Politics of Landownership in Oklahoma, 1832-1929

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Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits and Other Writings

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SECURITY ANALYSIS

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The Richest Man In Babylon

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Family Wealth: Keeping It in the Family–How Family Members and Their Advisers Preserve Human, Intellectual, and Financial Assets for Generations

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Black Asset Poverty and the Enduring Racial Divide

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W. Arthur Lewis and the Birth of Development Economics

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“Books worth reading once are worth reading twice; and what is most important of all, the masterpieces of literature are worth reading a thousand times.” – John Morley