There comes a time when the voice in the back of your mind asks the question, “is this something I actually want to do?”
I bring this up because the essence of Pitchblack.co will be to provide a platform for those in the African American community (AAC), an opportunity to bring their dreams, passions, and ideas to life by harnessing the power of their social networks.
We live in a society where the AAC has historically been disenfranchised and excluded from the conversation of access to financial support on a large scale to turn their great, yet idle ideas into reality. With the advent of a very young webspace, namely crowdfunding, this conundrum for the first time in modern history, can and will be addressed.
Wikipedia defines crowdfunding as: “the collective cooperation, attention and trust by people who network and pool their money and other resources together, usually via the Internet, to support efforts initiated by other people or organizations. Crowdfunding occurs for any variety of purposes, from disaster relief to citizen journalism to artists seeking support from fans, to political campaigns, to funding a startup company or small business or creating free software.”
In essence, crowdfunding empowers individuals within a network to make ideas a reality and offers support to someone entering into realms they may not have otherwise found it possible to enter.
I prefaced this post by asking the question ” is this something I actually want to do,” because small events can shed light onto larger issues.
For example, this past week I attended a panel discussion at Howard University here in Washington, D.C. which dealt with how the AAC and Small Business Owners can utilize social media and the Internet to better their business and empower the minority community. My intention was solely to meet and speak with Angela Benton, Founder and CEO of Black Media Web and its flagship property blackweb20.com. I attended the discussion because I believe it is imperative that in order to be successful in a space, one must increase their network to include those who have an established presence, or those motivated to establish a presence in that space.
So, in an attempt to broaden my exposure I spent the better part of the afternoon waiting for an opportunity to introduce myself to her.
The initial question actually arose when the event came to an end and I returned to my car. I was met with a brick sitting in my passenger seat. Some @#%^$! had taken the liberty of throwing it through my window to steal my laptop.
Now, I’m a pretty level-headed individual, so as opposed to completely losing my cool there on the roadside in the pouring rain, I immediately questioned my intentions of building a business based on the premise that the AAC is willing to support others within their community vis-a-vis a new and large initiative—crowdfunding. In a world where there are constant reminders that such camaraderie is rare, I did not want to reason with my doubt.
My answer to this question after five minutes of cursing the knucklehead who wrecked my property, was an resounding “yes”. You see, it is the system that has caused the community to feel as though their options are limited, it has turned good kids from dreamers into thieves. It is this deeply-rooted condition that has promoted “to take” instead of “to work for” or even “to ask”; to pursue the easy road instead of the road less travelled. It is this lack of empowerment that causes the meek to find power in the meager.
The basis of Pitchblack.co will be to show a new way to get yours; a new way to turn hunger, want and desire into a reality.
If there is a paradigm shift in how we, the AAC, goes about getting what we want, then perhaps a new adoption of attitude and pride can change the decision making process to action of a kid with nothing better to do on a rainy afternoon.
That’s Pitchblack’s mission, to show what our community means to each other through each other.
I look forward to having an ongoing discourse and to document the birth of an idea. Feel free to let me know your thoughts as we create our world together.