Join us as we take a journey. Every issue will chronicle everyday people who are living out their dreams daily. This includes entrepreneurs, dreamers, spiritual leaders, performers, artists, people who believe in what they are doing have a passion for it and use it to better others and themselves. This monthly issue includes Jerry Thompson III and Chef Oliver Saye. Stay tuned when we add Chef Oliver Saye next week and see what he has to say about his love of cooking, being a chef and how our cuisine is quickly becoming popular.
Jerry Thompson III
Tell us a little about yourself.
I’m from Media, PA, not far from Philadelphia. Growing up I read a tonne and had interest in many activities from dancing to sports, to music. I’ve been a professional musician since I was 16, earned a track and field scholarship at the University of South Carolina, and also double majored in business while there. My first international experience was on a field trip to Canada in French class, but my bigger adventures started after college when I quit my job to live in Paris.
You’re a podcaster and your show is named [Point Noir] what does that title represent?
The show title is a pseudo french name that means “place” (Point) of “masculine blackness” (noir). The idea was to create a fictional location where men of color could meet up and just hang out. It’s the melanated hangout spot!
What does your show represent?
The show represents the modern chronicles of men of color who travel and have perspective to share, things we can learn from to improve our lives or travel experiences. It’s the resource I didn’t have before I started my own adventures, and the one that I believe will encourage other men of color to step out into the world confidently.
What made you to decide to pursue this type of media?
I played to my strengths! Writing is cool, but it takes me way too long to get my ideas out and editing is a total chore. Video is definitely a move but I didn’t have the resources, nor did I want to deal with editing and production. Audio let me share my ideas immediately, and by making it easy to do, i figured i could be consistent. It’s worked out ok so far.
Now I’ve heard you speak about how the experiences of black men and travel; how do you think travel positively effects who a black man can become and how not traveling can negatively affect it?
Travel for anyone invites the opportunity for a greater perspective of yourself and the world. However, for men of color, and black men… it seriously gives them a chance to have a fair view of themselves, maybe for the first time. To enter a new country and be accepted as a person first, and maybe even celebrated because of your skin tone is huge when talking about building self image and self worth. There is a constant battle against the psyche of black men in the United States. When our appearance is vilified, feared, and prosecuted the way it is… it can be difficult to have a solid sense of self. You might start to think that something is wrong with you for even being born this way.
As for not travelling.. it’s hella important to state that travelling is a privileged activity. From fear of flying to finances, international travel isn’t going to be an experience for everyone. That being said, I believe that travel can be a catalyst to personal change and growth. Not travelling may make these processes take longer to manifest, but you can still develop without it!
You’ve mentioned that there are specific voices that need to be given to these experiences why do you think that has been lacking in so many ways, in media, in podcasting?
The huge advantage of these modern forms of media is access. More marginalized voices can create and speak to their experiences in their voices, where as traditional media is costly and has gatekeepers. Podcasting is still growing in awareness in the USA, however the diversity of voices creating is increasing as well. I think it’s a matter of time until people either find or create the programs that they can see themselves in.
Tell us how travel has directly affected you and who you’ve become.
There are way too many things to speak on! Food, music, culture, adventure… it’s all been there, but the most important part are the personal connections I’ve gained through travel. It’s an amazing feeling to vibe with someone that has a whole different set of experiences than you, or may not even speak your language. Given that I do move around a lot, I don’t take those connections for granted and do my best to build on those relationships. Traveling has helped me build a small global family that I truly appreciate.
Give us a rundown about your show
The show is made up of unscripted, “cafe style” conversations that last about an hour. I host, and feature a new man of color each week. There are no pre-interviews, or prepared questions.. just conversation and connection. This makes every show a unique listening and learning experience for everyone involved.
What do you hope to accomplish with Point Noir?
I hope to create a catalogue of travel stories that speak to men of color everywhere. No matter where you want to travel, or your situation in life, I want a story that you can relate to and find courage in. The opportunity to sponsor passports is exceptionally special because hopefully we can see that transformation happen in real time.
What would be your advice to fathers of sons about getting them started in travel?
I’m not a father, and I don’t understand all of the things that keep these men up at night when it comes to their children. My advice would be to let them explore from an early age and go explore with them! Go to a park, go hiking, go to a new city and spend a day making your own itinerary together. Not only can you bond with your son, but you allow him to learn new things and you can still step in and protect him. If you never traveled much and he’s older… let him go. Deep down, you want him to do more and have more than you did, and there’s a slim chance he can accomplish that if he takes the exact same path you did. Don’t allow envy, regret, or fear to get in the way of that. We must do new, we must embrace different, and we must evolve.
What would be your advice to single mothers about starting their sons off traveling and how to navigate that experience for them as growing black men?
My advice would be the same for single and mothers in relationships… let him go. You’ll always be his mother but don’t clip his wings before he tries flying. He’ll never grow into his own that way. If he’s currently maturing into the young man he must become, it’s even more critical that you steel yourself, change is coming regardless. I think mother’s consider safety more than most fathers as well. I’d recommend them to be practical and separate “unknown” from “unsafe”. You may have never been to the places he wants to explore but we both know that unless he’s literally getting deployed into a war zone, he’s safer there than in the USA. It’s a lot to admit and be aware of, but it’s our experience right now. And again, be a part of the experience in a productive way. Help him find accommodations, or train tickets, or attractions. Making him do things alone just because you don’t agree can create a rift between you that only time can heal. He’s already maybe traveling without you and the feeling of having no one while being far from home is terrible.
How can we change the dynamic of young black men traveling?
Representation. We need to see and be seen and overall.. value travel as a culture. It’s so much easier to become something when you can see your own likeness having success doing it. The black community looks up to entertainment as our sources of inspiration; musicians, athletes, actors. The fact is, Most black men are NOT in the entertainment industry. So where are our doctors, carpenters, chefs, lawyers, teachers, travelers and entrepreneurs to look up to? Saving all those other categories for black history month clearly ain’t changing the culture. We need to celebrate and be proud of the current travelers of today like World Wide Nate, Phil Calvert, Jonah Batambuze, Erick Prince, Travis Levius, Mario Rigby, and so many others.
Change the perception, and I promise you any underutilized opportunities that exist will be swallowed up and more young black men will travel. I don’t want to overstate my point but I believe you become what you see, or are shown. Basketball on TV, Jordan’s are a popping shoe, and you don’t see many basketball courts go un-used do you?
What other initiatives are you interested in working on?
Leadership retreats for men of color, and exposing more young men of color to travel and podcasting.
Any podcast advice for the newbies?
Focus on what matters: Listenability, Consistency, Unique Message.
Keep it simple, be patient, Get started!
Adventuring is always a form of therapy for me, and I love making new connections and exploring. I also enjoy skydiving, cooking when I can, and learning about almost anything. I’m learning how to take care of plants right now with mixed results.
What else do you do?
I help entrepreneurs and businesses optimize their digital marketing to make more money. I like helping people succeed and the Internet provides so much opportunity to make that possible. I’m also a professional musician (bass guitar). I still play gigs around town, but mostly take international tours when possible.
Dre Rumble is a Brooklyn bred rapper. He’s been rapping since the age of 13, when he heard Tupac’s “Brenda’s Got A Baby”. Dre has performed on stages as well as churches around the United States. In January 2016 He released his single “Praise 2.0”. In 2017 he won a Pearl Award for “Rapper of the Year” He is slated to drop a new single “Get Ready” In September of 2018. His goal is to ultimately lead people to Christ.
- My greatest inspiration in deciding to be an entrepreneur was Jay-z and Lebron James. I respect how they used their passion to create revenue outside of what they do. My talent was inspired by my love for music.
- I always loved music , but as I got older it became an outlet. The more I struggled and battled my demons, the more music I wrote. At times when I was having an identity crisis, my pad and pen kept me calm.
- Currently I’m releasing my single September 4,2018. Also working on an independent tour for January 2019, and also finishing my EP.
- After I’m long gone I just want people to say after meeting me they wanted to know more about Jesus.
- If people want to find me or follow me I’m drerumble on all social media outlets.
- The failure isn’t in trying and failing the failure is in not trying at all – FDR
Sitting in her grandmother’s bathroom watching her put makeup on, Ashley Booker never thought that at the age of 28 she would be using her social media pages to express her passion for makeup and hair.
Born in Harlem, New York, Ashley Booker has always been a creative and expressive spirit. While singing and performing in school plays, dance recitals in both high-school and college, she could be found helping her fellow performers with their hair, and make-up. At the time she thought it was just a cool hobby, not realizing that a budding passion was beginning to bloom. It was not until her best friend took her to the MAC Cosmetic Store on 125th Street, did her passion for make-up begin to take form. Her face lit up as the make-up artist began to ask her what look was she going for, natural glam…soft glam…diva glam. The selection of foundations, concealers, lipsticks, blush, and highlighters resembled a harmonious chorus that began to sing a song that was all too familiar to her, “Ashley, why not make-up?” Why not?
Since then, Ashley has hired to do makeup for weddings, photoshoots and video shoots. She has been sent free makeup and makeup tools to review. She has also been hired to do hair for various people, specifically the faux locs hairstyle. Currently, Ashley is looking to expand her social media page and provide tutorials for everyday makeup looks for her followers. While she is self-taught, she knows that with hard-work and dedication she will be able to expand her brand and expand her reach. She lives by the scripture, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,” and with this new focus she will make a name for herself.
Who was your greatest inspiration in deciding to be an entrepreneur? What most inspired your creation of your product/talent?
I met makeup artist Christina Vega about 3 years ago in Sephora in Soho, and I was so inspired by her passion and her spirit. She taught classes at Sephora and sat in some of them. I learned so much on makeup application, but also learned how important it is for makeup to compliment rather than overpower you. This stayed with me, and I have formed my passion for makeup and makeup application around a soft, natural glam, where makeup just enhances the individuals.
Was there a specific struggle that you encountered when you first decided to chase your dream or while attempting to make your dream come true?
Age, I know 28 doesn’t seem at all, but in the makeup and YouTube industry, I am older than most that start out. Many have been in this game for years and have gone to school for it, or work at a makeup store, I have done neither, and this insecurity has caused me to question still can I do this. So, I just remind myself that I still have breath and an opportunity, it also helps when strangers ask me if I was a makeup artist, that gives me confidence to continue.
Tell us what you’re doing currently. Tell us about what you have planned for the present and what you hope to accomplish in the future.
Right now, I am using my Instagram page to review makeup products and promote my artistry. I am working to create a website where my work can live and start a YouTube page where I can give tutorials and more extensive visual reviews of products. I get asked all the time do I have a YouTube page, and currently working on that so that my reach can expand.
What kind of footprint do you plan on leaving with the legacy of your company?
I just want to help women to not be afraid of makeup. I hear so many women tell me that it is so hard to apply and I am afraid that I will look like a clown. This fear I want to help eliminate and provide products and techniques that any woman can pick and use, and feel so beautiful and empowered. Makeup only compliments, and I want to spread that message.
If your company has a social agenda as well as an economic one, please let us know about it. – Not currently.
Where can we find you? Online/Brick & Mortar
Email for Business Inquires: firstname.lastname@example.org
What would be your parting words of wisdom for anyone too scared to jump out and chase their dream?
You are given one life, one moment that you cannot rewind, cannot fast forward. Live it with no regrets or what-ifs, if you fail you fail, but it’s better to know that it didn’t work out, rather than wonder for the rest of your life what may have been. You are capable of anything