KUUMBA – Creativity

Kuumba means Creativity

Kuumba or “Creativity” is the 6th principle of Kwanzaa

Today’s Kwanzaa principle is Kuumba or Creativity. The goal is to do as much as we can to leave our community more beautiful than we found it.

That’s certainly the goal of the online TV network we’re aiming to launch. We’d like to expose creativity in a way that it hasn’t been embraced within mainstream media in order to uplift and provide opportunities within our community. Today is the last day of 2012. Let’s make it a strong finish and even stronger start to 2013 by contributing to this project today!

UJAMAA Cooperative Economics and Shared Wealth

UJAMAA  Cooperative Economics and Shared Wealth

Today’s Kwanzaa principle is UJAMAA which means shared wealth. Cooperative economics can help African Americans take physical control of their own destinies by understanding that no one can be totally self sufficient.

That is one of the main principles the online TV network and the BrightGirl Media brand is built upon. Bringing a collaborative of resources together to build and sustain a community of artists, producers and entrepreneurs is paramount in wealth creation.

If we truly understood the power of collective resources we’d be a lot farther along as a community. If we understood that giving yields a return, no man is an island, and we abandoned the mentality of lack, we could all rise together.

Yes We Can!

As the year comes to a close and the holidays approach, I’d like to thank you for your continued commitment to bringing the online TV network to manifestation.

Someone challenged me with a slew of questions about the viability of this project and I answered each probe confidently. At the end of the conversation I was asked, “do you really think people will give enough to raise $20,000?” My answer was a resounding YES. I believe in strength in numbers. As I told them, I could chase down one millionaire to ask for $20,000 or I can ask a thousand people for $20. When everyone contributes, it proves that everyone can make a difference, no matter how large or small. Just last week I read that a gentleman raised $33,000 in two hours for a hot dog cart on the same website where I’ve been raising funds. This encouraged me to stick to my goal, press harder and stay the course. If he can raise money for his business, so can I! 

So before I take pause to celebrate the holiday, I want to ask you to contribute at least $50 to the online TV network project. Currently we are at a mere 7% of our $20,000 goal, but I believe together we can push this over the top before the new year. Check out the website if you haven’t already done so, contribute $50 to receive a t-shirt and DVD of the full first season of episodes on the network, and share it with your friends to encourage them to contribute too. If you or your friends have questions, feel free to email me. The web developer is poised to launch the site by February, the layout is designed and we’re locking down a few more web series as we speak. If we can’t raise this money, this project will suffer. The plan is to bring quality programming to the web and offer a platform for others to realize their goals and dreams as well. Can we do it? YES WE CAN! But it will take each of you to support this project.

Thanks again for your support and enjoy this season with family and friends.

Best,

Chanelle Yarber
Managing Consultant, BrightGirl Media Inc. 

“What gets me i…

“What gets me is that so often the expression of the African-American experience that is acceptable and applauded by the industry is not coming from us. They are stories being told from the outside in. Interpretations of the black female experience, as opposed to reflection, are valid. All we are saying is our reflections are also valid. What our films have in common is they are showing reflections of who we are. They need to be just as valued, just as heard, just as critiqued and distributed as our white male counterparts’ interpretation of us.” – Ava DuVernay

African American female filmmakers are speaking out about the homogeneous representations of the Black female experience in Hollywood. 

Raging Against the Machine

Advice from an industry heavy hitter.

Advice from an industry heavy hitter.

I have a few industry colleagues who feel similar sentiments when it comes to producing and promoting positive media. Having conversations with them lets me know I’m not alone in the struggle. It’s like we’re raging against the machine, storming the fort, taking the Alamo. I mean, I don’t want to paint us as some heroic figures in media coming in on white horses to save the day. Certainly we’re not that self righteous. But we all have a common belief that its time for the landscape of media to change and we’re the ones to do it. Each day we all get up and work toward our goal of changing the piece of the world that is under our influence. Some of us have regular 9 to 5 gigs, others of us would be included in the “freelance” aka “starving artist” category; it’s feast or famine for us. Since launching the campaign to raise money for the online TV network, I’ve been called everything from brave and brilliant to foolish. And sometimes I, like my cohorts, second guess why I’m even doing this. I wonder is it going to work, do people really understand what I’m saying, why don’t I just get what everyone else calls a “real job” and sit down at my desk every day and cash a check on Friday. But that’s not what I’m created to do. And that’s not what my other creative deviants are built for either.

One thing that I must say has bothered me about this entire process is that industry people, the people you expect to get it, really don’t get it. They understand the concept. They think its “noble.” But then they revert to saying how it just won’t work in this dog-eat-dog field. And I respect them for their opines and warnings. I know it comes from a good place because they’re trying to warn me not to set myself up to fail. You see, Hollywood is all smoke and mirrors built on formulaic models that are time tested and proven to turn profits. That’s it. It doesn’t have to be compelling, doesn’t have to inform, barely has to entertain. We’re desensitized to media so much at this point that we passively watch TV and movies because we’re so busy on social media. Our attention spans are divided so much that they can feed us fluff while they eat off the ratings before we can post a status about it on Facebook. A colleague of mine, Kyra Kyles (who by the way has an awesome webseries you should check out) posted a status on Facebook today that just about summed it up:

Y’all playing with me now, right? Joseline, Steebie J, Honey Boo Boo, NeNe and ‘nem can stay on the air, but there is a real-life petition begging people to renew the fantastic, insightful “Save My Son” with Steve Perry? It’s not a no-brainer to keep a show that is saving young Black men from the streets? Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad if the Mayans were right…

The great thing about the digital shift though is that it doesn’t take us to be blockbuster hits or prime-time prizes to turn a profit and create compelling, entertaining and informative content. Not to mention our hearts are in it. This is what we would do for free, most of us are doing it for free until we can turn a profit.  Check out the following TV and film producers on the rise. They’re doing it. I’m doing it. And it will be done.

Chanelle Yarber (yours truly) – BrightGirl Media Online TV Network

Araia Tesfamariam – Big Araia the Film

Sherhara Downing- The Sherhara Show

Colen Wiley – Heygood Images

Charell Star – Startup NYC

Tiara Williams – Reel Righteous Entertainment