1. Can you provide a description of your business?
Uppity Edutainament and Bay Area Black Films are currently evolving and expanding, rapidly. I can speak of what they were created to be.
Uppity Edutainment’s purpose is to educate and entertain. This will be a positive space to celebrate African culture in the diaspora. Our events include film screenings, lectures, workshops, book-signings, invocations and other culturally appropriate events. Our goal is to control and change the narrative of “us”, whereby initiating a dialogue that will be a catalyst for change.
Bay Area Black Films is a centralized calendar of film events. The primary focus is black films and lectures in the San Francisco, Oakland, Sacramento, and San Jose areas. We are a groups of organizers who have seen the benefit of communicating and collaborating in order to better support our community.
2. How will the businesses you created impact the community?
My goal is address how our community sees itself in the same way our community was taught to disdain itself; media. I’m very particular about programming. I’m hoping someone will be empowered by something they’ve seen or heard at one of my events. It truly only takes a single person to start a full revolution.
3. What is the most rewarding part of running your businesses?
I believe the most rewarding part is when an attendee internalizes the event. It means the world to me when they begin to questions themselves and challenges their own beliefs. The goal isn’t for people to attend events and have a thrill just to return home with no adjustment. My event’s goals are to be a catalyst for a change.
4. Why is having a dialogue portion at the ends of movies important to you?
Having a dialogue after film screenings is essential for my events. Having the opportunity to dialogue rarely happens in regular screenings. People simply show up, sit down and expose themselves to programming without any processing. To me, this is only half fulfilling. People have a lot to say and providing space for a dialogue give us the opportunity to learn too by hearing other’s opinions.
5. What Challenges does your businesses face?
Currently I have sort of a Mad Hatter style of juggling my various jobs, ventures and hobbies. I believe the biggest challenge to my businesses is me; how I choose to organize my time and energy. The sharper and more organized I am, the better Uppity Edutainment and Bay Area Black Films will be.
6. How do you spread awareness about your upcoming events?
This is my Achilles heel. I have sent: email blasts, placed newspaper ads, put up posters, spread flyers, made personal phone calls, and posted on social media. Social media is huge it’s a cheap platform but I like the least (probably because I struggle with creating engaging posts). I just figured out how to use Instagram a few months ago.
7. Where do you see your business in the next year? In the next five years? In the next 10 years?
I’ll admit, I’m a little superstitious. I have a vision and I guard it, I don’t want to jinx it by talking about it. (laughing)
8. What advice would you give to someone looking to start a business?
Get started! Start something! Some part of it, whatever it is, just get started. It doesn’t have to be 100% the first try. Just try to do better each time. Pay attention to your own work and only compete with yourself.