Well, surely we’ll all have stories to tell regarding where we were when it was announced that America would soon operate under its first African American President. I won’t soon forget. I was on a plane to Chicago from an assignment in Dallas. It happened while I was in the air and there was no announcement on our flight. Landing at O’Hare, I turned on my Blackberry and there the texts and emails began to pop up – one vibration at a time. But amidst what seemed a ghost town of an airport, I still needed to get my bag and squeeze out some cash from the ATM (as I’m still standing in the YES when assignments come my way but am not quite re-calibrated fiscally --- credit-wise; cash-wise; or otherwise --- to afford fronting expenses on many of these out-of town jobs. But I’m trusting: http://thelifeofriley.squarespace.com/rilys-blog/2008/11/2/its-a-time-its-a-time.html). The account didn’t quite look as I expected it to look and for a minute, I was stranded. This, as a NEW DAY was being promised just a stone’s throw away as President-Elect Barack Obama addressed a quarter-of-a-million people in Chicago’s Grant Park. I still hailed the cab; received a CONGRATULATIONS from my Persian-American driver. I alerted him of my conundrum and my solution which – at this point – was get me to a particular bank from which I think I can retrieve the cab fare or take me to my destination and I’m certain I can find someone who will take care of this debt (I wasn’t sure, but I TRUSTED...). On this NEW DAY, the perhaps-once-jaded-and-cynical driver said “NO PROBLEM! MY FRIEND! NO WORRIES!” Well, I was able to do the ATM-squeeze at the pointed financial institution... and all was well. I made it through the two days of work (away from home) with no scars. But that night, on the heels of President Obama’s speech and “our First-Lady-in-waiting” Michelle Obama’s daring fashion turn, I did get the chance to hang out a bit. (By the way, remember my First Lady Fashion show segment at CN8’s “Your Morning” last week? http://thelifeofriley.squarespace.com/rilys-blog/2008/11/2/hey-i-aint-got-no-money-but-im-rich-on-personality.html I’m still waiting on a copy of the segment to share with all of you. I know you’ll love it!). My Chicago Carl and Itika celebrated Obama’s victory with me --- partially up and down the Michigan Mile but also at a Downtown Hilton set that Jesse Jackson Jr. threw. Itika (who is blogging these days: http://nbc5streetteam.wordpress.com/2008/10/27/dining-at-the-foundation-room/ and http://nbc5streetteam.wordpress.com/2008/11/03/last-chance-08/) introduced me to several folks from www.chrewd.com – a production company that – via www.247HH.com – released an exposé regarding the 2008 Presidential Election. In this unique piece, 247HH.com sheds light on the ignorance in America, the importance of voting, and the need for change in this country. Key Hip Hop artists like The Game, Bun B., Young Jeezy, Kidz In The Hall, Common, etc. share their political beliefs and experiences, all of which illustrate the high level of inspiration Barack Obama has provided for today’s youth and future generations. 247HH.COM is a multi-media website dedicated to the Hip-Hop lifestyle. 247HH.com features exclusive interviews and performances with rappers, DJs, producers, managers, tastemakers, music executives, and fashion designers. Interviews can be viewed on the site or downloaded to your computer and/or iPod/Zune just like an audio pod-cast. Links include:
It seems many – like my friend from Detroit Greg Dunmore – who are using the visual on-line medium to express the INFINITE POSSIBILITIES of this time. See his project below: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kls_mzU5GM8.
And I received a call from my good friend Elise Durham who is Media Relations Manager at Morehouse College (www.morehouse.edu). She wondered if my nephew Herman would be interested in participating in a roundtable with NBC News’ Tom Brokaw; the Honorable Andy Young; and a few other Morehouse students. I forwarded his number to her and told her to call him as I hoped he would be interested. Well, he’s a part of this history as well. A segment (in which he’s shown but not excerpted) ran on NBC Nightly News (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3032619/#27562656). Then, TODAY ran a special edit the following morning that featured several sound bites from my chip off the old block (a sibling removed): http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26184891/#27571212. As always, I am proud of him and excited at the synergy around NBC, OBAMA, and the RILEY men. Remember my Obama-related NBC impression earlier this year? http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3032619/#24974371 AND http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FXc6x5JlJuw.
And as both Ant and I are still inside of OPTIMISM around our own professional fates turning around – so we (like many) don’t have to continue to suffer through the cash-strapped blues, work has been picking up. From Obama to SRB Productions (my NABJ mentor Sheila Brooks’ company - www.srbcommunications.com) to CN8’s “Your Morning” to "The Doctors" (www.thedoctorstv.com/), the calls for my freelance services (and Ant’s too) have been coming in a bit more lately and holding it down for the last couple of weeks. Of course, it is Election time and November sweeps, so the search for regulated income is still the order of the day. But with these forthcoming checks, we can soon catch up on many-a-bill now. PRAISE THE LORD!
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