Wait, the angle of the piece was presented to you as “the life of a successful Black entrepreneur”?
April Joyner
101

April,

You know I felt the same way! As a journalist for more than 20 years I can’t say that any editor would green light such a mundane nutgtaph “A story about a successful black entrepreneur…” that is snoozeville because that in itself isn’t news.

Also playing into the “broken black folk pathology,” is quite different than seeking to write about human drama. Stories need conflict, they need some sort of character arc or angle that make people want to read them. No one wants to read about the guy who graduated with all A’s went to Harvard founded a start up and is now a billionaire. No movie would have been made about Facebook if it hadn’t ended in a lawsuit!

Black or white, humans like a little drama side-dish with their main course storytelling.

You can be compelling without growing up fatherless and penniless.

What disturbs me more is this “happen to be black…” nonsense. Like what the hell does that mean? I’ve never understood that mentality.

I am unapologetically, unabashedly happy to be black, my blackness is what makes me necessary in tech in the first place.

Who wants a retread of the same products that everyone else is doing because of all the ridiculous group think borne out of Ivy Leagues and Silicon Valley?

There’s something about this that doesn’t pass my sniff test. Doesn’t sit right.

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