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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

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Mother, columnist and now an award winner – wow!

The Southern Coalition Movement celebrated their 10-year anniversary by honoring the achievements of underground, independent and major hip-hop and R&B artists, as well as music industry professionals at Minglewood Hall Sunday night.

In front of a packed audience, I was happy to snag the award as Best Publicist. This honor literally brought me to tears as I began to reflect on a very turbulent journey to my now successful career.

I began my career more than 10 years ago while I was working for one of the biggest nightclubs in the City of Memphis, and although I wasn’t sure about my future at that time, I knew that being in the public eye was where I wanted to be.

As my career began to blossom, I became engaged to my first love. Unfortunately, the relationship ended and I managed to slip into depression, which led to making some bad decisions within my life. I then entered a relationship that was not only abusive, but I also ended up pregnant and homeless with my first and only son.

Determined to make it, I slept on floors and did everything I could to try to prepare myself for motherhood. I had no vehicle or anything to my name. I later landed a job with Comcast and managed to work from sunup to sundown until I was able to stock up on necessities for my son for the first year of his life.

My gift – Braylon Alexander – was born January 2014. I promised that I would work my hardest to be the best mother I could to him. I cried over his hospital bed as he had heart surgery at f11 months. My son, not even one year old, had already been through a lot and I was determined to make sure that I put my energy into securing a happy life for him.

In 2016, I moved into account management for CSTI Global. I eventually closed accounts for brands such as Nintendo and Williams Sonoma. However, my passion for journalism and public relations pierced me to the point where it affected my happiness.

“I can do this for my own business,” was something I repeatedly told myself. I realized after looking out of my office window one day that it was time for me to step out on faith.

I left for lunch and never returned.

Not knowing how I would pay my bills in a few months, I reached out to Nina Allen-Johnson, the assistant to Bernal E. Smith II, then president of The New Tri-State Defender. She encouraged me to use my skills. After crying to Mr. Smith about my dreams and goals, I was introduced to Executive Editor Karanja A. Ajanaku.

After a few conversations, he simply asked me, “What do you want to do in life?” I told him, “To be the best journalist in the city.”

Almost a year and a half from that day, I am an award-winning publicist and a recognizable figure for my contributions in black media. My portfolio includes interviews with Jesse Jackson, Ludacris, Juicy J and many others.

I’m extremely humbled and blessed by the recognition from SCM and  grateful for the support of the  TSD family. If it weren’t for this amazing platform, Dollface Public Relations would not exist.

Thanks to my son, Braylon, for being my motivation and drive. Life has definitely been sweeter since you’ve been around and I love you to pieces. To my Aunt Debra, I thank you immensely for everything.

I encourage those that are struggling with fear to keep going and never lose sight of your goals. Your life is already ordained; you just have to do the work to get there.

Be encouraged!

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