My Next Chapter

Published by T. J. Holmes on Thursday, May 10, 2012 at 7:58 pm.

You all have heard the saying: “when I want your opinion, I’ll give it to you.”  I’m tired of having my opinion given to me, tired of being told what I think.

You see, in my 13 years in media, I’ve never had an African-American boss, but I have had a number of my bosses look me in the eye and tell me what black people think.  Tell me what black people like and don’t like.  Tell me what black people do and don’t do.  These were well-intentioned, even smart news managers and executives that believed they knew what they were talking about, and because of the positions they held, they wield incredible power in shaping public perception by deciding what stories are covered and how.

These experiences highlighted for me what so many black people feel in this country:  that they are being defined by others, that they are being misrepresented on television, that no one is looking out for them, and that there’s a perspective missing.

We now have a game-changing, difference-making opportunity to tip the scales in another direction with “Don’t Sleep!”  There is nothing like it on television, but I would argue that there needs to be.  There is nowhere on television our community can turn when they get home at night to see people who look like them and talk like them who are bringing attention and perspective to topics that matter to them.

“Don’t Sleep!” will not be just another late-night show, not just another news show, not just another debate show, and not just another entertainment show.  Our goal is to infuse “Don’t Sleep!” with elements of all of that and always strike the right tone of smarts and wit to take on the seriousness and the silliness of the world around us.

Before making the decision to take on this new venture, I often thought of it and referred to it as an opportunity.  But it didn’t take long before I also considered it a responsibility.  I couldn’t pass up this chance to use my personality, my personal background, and my professional experience to give my community a voice and nightly presence on national TV.  So we no longer have others defining us and telling us what we think.  Now, we can tell the world ourselves.

Thank you for your love and support over the years.  I would not be here without you.  I hope I can continue to call on you.  Because I will.  Don’t Sleep!

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