Green erases black and white

By Sherri L. Jackson
Publisher of The Light and EverythingCenla.com

In the African-American church tradition there’s a simple phrase that is used when one is lost for words or emotionally caught up in the atmosphere. Here it is, “If I can’t say a word, I’ll just wave my hand.”

Since the exchange between Tony Brown of Eyes Open With Tony Brown Productions and Lisa Harris of the City of Alexandria, I’ve been waving my hand. Now that my hand is down and I’ve come to myself, I’ve got much to say about Harris’ apparent disregard of the media which serves the black community.

In full disclosure, I am an African-American woman who publishes The Light, which is predominately distributed in Cenla’s black commuities, but has a heavy online and print readership in the mainstream community.

Yes, it it true that the mainstream media, particularly The Town Talk and KALB, has a wider viewing audience primarily because of its resources. Still, I want Harris, an African-American woman, to know that the readers and listeners of The Light, The Alexandria News Weekly, Eyes Open With Tony Brown, KAYT, KTTP and others should not be taken lightly.

During Tuesday’s meeting, Brown spoke of the city’s lack of advertising in the media that serves the black community in August when the city held its makeup concert with Maze featuring Frankie Beverly. Harris admitted she didn’t send advertising dollars to the black media because she was looking to get “the best bang for the buck” in her advertising dollars.”

Harris went on to say that race is not a factor when she decides where to spend the taxpayers’ dollars. In fact, she said, “I’m here to do a job and do the best I can. I am not a racist, have never been and never will be.”

In response to Harris’ statement about not looking at color, Brown responded, “Well, you should.”

I agree with Brown’s response in that Harris should look at color when deciding how to spend her advertising dollars. Yet, I believe the color is not white or black. The color is green.

The color of money takes away white, black, brown, red and yellow. Green is the color of good business sense. As it relates to “Que’in Too” and the Maze concert, if green was the dominant color, advertising dollars should have been spent in the media that would have brought Maze’s fans to the concert. Those dollars should have been spent in The Light, Alexandria News Weekly, Eyes Open With Tony Brown, KAYT, KTTP and others that have a heavy concentration of readers and listeners who were more than likely going to attend the concert. I will bet my bottom dollar that most people in the white community were not going to see or listen to Maze.

If it’s true that Harris’ mandate was to spend money in Lake Charles, Lafayette, Shreveport or Monroe, there were still opportunities to spend use the color green. There are successful media companies with a heavy concentration of black listeners and readers in those communities. In Lake Charles, there is the Gumbo Media Network. In Shreveport, there is the Shreveport Sun. In Monroe, there is the Monroe Dispatch. Certainly, there is a multitude of radio stations that could have been used.

With all that I’ve said, I must say that it’s not smart business to disregard the power of the media that serves the black community. It is the black media that covers the black community when the mainstream community wouldn’t think about coming to the countless family reunions, church picnics,  and other events that showcase the black community in a positive light.

While I’m on that page, I must also say to those in the black communities, when using the color green it makes no sense to spend all of your advertising dollars in the mainstream media and come to us with free announcements. Let’s face it, those who are more than likely to attend your church functions, will see it and hear it from the black media rather than in the mainstream media.

Afterall, it was publications such as the Chicago Defender and Louisiana Weekly that carried the torch for equal, justice and equality for all. These media companies and others have the same mission today.

Just think, if we have the power to keep people away from an event as it was stated in the meeting, we certainly would have the power to bring people to the event.

7 Responses

  1. Wow, Ms. Sherrie, i love the way you put it…”the color is green”!!! And I agree with you that money is the main factor to having a successful event. I also understand that Lisa’s hands are tied and she can only do what is instructed to her to do. Lisa and you both are very sweet and intelligent African American businesswomen who are not biased in any way. Let’s just get the word out there for any event so that everyone is aware of what’s going on in Alexandria. Peace, love and Advertise!!!!

    • Benita, There’s nothing personal with Lisa. I do understand that it is her job to do what is instructed. I just want to make sure that the black media is not overlooked because we provide a still much needed service.

    • Benita,

      I find your commentary rather egregious given that you are deemed to be a person of the community, or least as you think. The problem with Alexandria is that the African-American still are under the notion that if your black than help out black. Lisa’s position appears to be one in high visibility and the color of her skin has not lessened her responsibilities nor negated her obligations. When in a position of such, it is not as simple as giving the ‘hook-up’ to your fellow ‘brutha’. We need to stop thinking that we are owed anything and start making decisions that are for the betterment of all involved. I find this missive written by Ms. Jackson to lack couth and FACTS because any media person would also know whether indirectly or directly that you can’t through people under the bus and expect to received the NOBEL peace prize. I find it appauling that either is making mention of such. If Tony Brown was so affended by Mrs. Harris’s position, than he should have addressed it with HER and not in such a pedomorphic, childlike manner. My question to him, DOES HE THINK HE WILL GET HER SOLICITATION EVER after this? People start thinking long term and more diplomatically. Also, Bentia, you don’t end salutations with PEACE, LOVE, and ADVERTISE, I know you think that is CUTE, but NOT!!!!!!!!

  2. …okay…now that MY hands are down, I cannot feign much surprise…IF this City was THAT interested in “green”, they would not care WHOSE green it is…yet, they do.

    It is evident that the black community is the last, if EVER, to get any information about public events, jobs, services, pertinent news or information which can positively effect US…and whomever says it’s NOT about black and white MUST be living under a rock or in another zip code area. This town is sliced in so many sub-communities that NO one can prosper. While one entity is trying to keep the other down and under, they are not realizing that THEY are having to stay DOWN to keep us DOWN…no one can pull downward from the top!…

    Although Central Louisiana is the dead CENTER of the Bayou State, (and I do not use “dead” lightly) it is not progressing as other cities like Shreveport, Lafayette, Baton Rouge or even the painfully re-emerging New Orleans…Alex is frozen in time…ALL of us because of SOME of us…and the REST of us are allowing it to continue without effective word or comment…

    I would LOVE to think that we are progressing socially and economically but we cannot unless we row upstream TOGETHER…and my imagination is just not that good to see it happening any time soon.

  3. THANK YOU Ms. Jackson! We really need you in our community! – Nice article, real NICE!

  4. For The record, this was never about race, and I didn’t bring it up other than introducing the members of the “black-owned ” media that was present,

    Secondly, I was asked by my colleagues to speak on their behalf which i didn’t want to do in the first place. Eyes Open can do without the change we get every year from the city when we have to go into lisa’s office and justify to her why the city should advertise with us.

    When the city spends for the orginal Que ‘In on the Red, more than $32,000 with mainstream media and only $2,100 split between four black owned media outlets, in a majority black city, with a majority black ciity council, to go see a black group at an event that has been attended by majority african amereican atttendees, how can you defend spending our money that way?

    As i said before, and again for the record as i told the Town Talk”s reporter who went with a race card agenda, and his editor. This is what I said and you can go back to the Govt channel and listen for yourself. “One of many reasons that Que’ In II was unsucessful and there were many, is because when you spend more than $10,000 of only a $12,000 budget with mainstream media in Shreveport, Lafayette and Baton Rouge, it does a disservice to the LOCAL MEDAI both black and white!

    When I get calls from Bunkie, Lecompte, Natchitoches, Joneville, Jena and Jonesboro two days before the event saying they haven’t heard about the Maze concert I think that proves my point.

    The next day after the hatchet job by the Town Talk who focused on the race issue because Lisa pulled that card, not I ,other than to introduce the members of the “black media” who were present, some of which asked me to speak on there behalf, I clarafied my message on my show and on cenlapolitics.com.

    “This was never about BLACK and WHITE but RIGHT and WRONG! It there is a color that matters here, its GREEN, those who get it and those who consistently have been denied an opportunity to sit at the table of economic prosperity in this city and belive me its not just the black media.

    We deserve to eat and feed our children in the city in which we reside and do busines like everyone else!

    This is not about Lisa, and its not about me its about money. As I said before I like Lisa, she is not a racist and those who know me know that neither am I. Don’t take this personal, this is business but you are wrong when you say you don’t see color…what do you see when you look in the mirror? The same thing I see I hope!

    When I am done and have closed my eyes and you no longer have a voice thru my show, the light, the news weekly, Kttp or Kayt because we will be forced to go out of business for a lack of financial support who will speak up for you then? The town talk, Kalb, lamar Advertisitng, Fox no news…ask yourself have they ever spoken up for you before? Many if you believe what you read, the town talk reporter missed the entire angle of the real story, lisa pulled the race card and many of you fell for the Okee Doke. The City of Alexandria “Played” me that evening so did the Town Talk…How long will you allow them to play all of us, especially african american business owners…and for the record the so called black majority city council si just as GUILTY because they dont speak up for us and rubber stamp everything that Dictator Jacque Roy ask them too.

    Why is it we never question how much the city is spending with white owned businesses? More than $60 million every year and we argue among each other for nickles and dimes, Willie Lynch Syndrom is alive and well in Alexandria. Lets pit them against each other, as they laugh ALL THE WAY TO THE BANK!

    God Bless Everyone, you too Lisa

    Keep Your Eyes Open, Tony Brown

  5. PLEASE EXCUSE TYPING ERRORS IT WAS 5AM WHEN I WROTE THIS!

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