At any given time during the day, you would find J-school students hustling and bustling along the third floor. Notepads and pens in hand, we were running off to the next class or to make the next deadline. And my favorite spot was the haven of WAMF 90.5.
During my senior year, I spent every afternoon there. I was enrolled in the Radio Practicum course and served as afternoon segment news producer for the entire semester. Although we were required to rotate positions, I remember that Professor Gloria Horning recognized my organizational skills really early and pretty much kept me in that spot. So I didn’t do as much air or board time as the other students. It was my job to pull the afternoon show together. I would race into the computer lab across from the station every day and check the wire for interesting story ideas. I then pulled all of the press releases that came into the FAMUAN newsroom. Plus I had to keep up with all the breaking news so that we could pull together a top-quality, informative show. Smoke could be seen coming from my ears as I wrote the copy and then edited it. Then I would schedule the lineup and then our group would race across the hall to the studio to put on the show! It was the hardest “A” I have ever earned, but I had so much fun doing it.
At the end of each show, the afternoon drive DJ would take over the reins. FAMU did an awesome job of training us to truly run the show in the studio. I would sit back and watch in fascination as many of my fellow classmates handled the call-ins, read promos and perform the smooth transition between live broadcasts and pre-recordings. To this day, every time I turn on the radio in the car, I am transported back to those days. As a result, I really critique the programming that I hear. I expect quality broadcasting when I am in my car because it is normally my war-room. I spend time during my commute in the morning getting myself together for the day ahead, and my afternoon ride home is where I evaluate my position after the last daily battle. So the radio programming must be on point.
Well this morning as I rode in, I was listening to one of my favorite morning drive shows, The TJMS. Of course, they were still riding the wave of high aspiration from the King Holiday; so much of the discussion and the music this morning reflected that theme. Halfway to my destination, a song came over the air that I hadn’t heard in years. It was “You Will Know.” Written by D’Angelo, this song was released on New Year’s Day 1994 by a group of well-known R&B performers calling themselves collectively Black Men United. The song was featured on the “Jason’s Lyric” soundtrack.
I quickly turned the dial up to near blasting. This was one of my jams back in the day. Every top male R&B performer at the time was featured on this joint. I mean everybody…except for the “King of R&B” himself…Mr. Bobby Brown. LMBO…okay, I digress!
Before I knew it, I was singing and swaying. And when I pulled into the parking lot, tears had filled my eyes. I could still hear the song playing in my head as I walked up the sidewalk and entered the building. So when I sat at my desk, I immediately pulled out the old trusted journal and began to jot down my thoughts.
This song is truly amazing. Besides the quality singing and the beautiful musical arrangement, the words are truly uplifting. D’Angelo has such a gift, and I truly hope that this cat gets himself situated so he can amaze us with his talent again.
Anyway, the song in a nutshell is about the evolution of a man’s dream. Now, this song was written by a black man and song by mostly African-American men, but it can be applied to all of humankind. As the song begins, you find a young man who professes the vision he has for his life. As he grows into manhood, he puts his dream aside. After he reaches maturity, he pursues his dream finally, but finds that his journey is not as easy as he thought it would be. He is then encouraged to keep pressing forward until the dream is realized.
Wow…how did D’Angelo know he would be writing about D’Anne’s journey? Writing is not just a habit I picked up along the way. I answered this calling as a small child. It has guided me through the darkest days in my childhood. Writing was the motivation behind my pursuit of a degree in journalism. I just knew that I was on the way to my life of worldwide travels, and I planned to write about every moment of it.
But life happened! I put the dream aside to feed and clothe the baby. Then the other babies followed. After the last baby got to an age where I thought she could survive the daycare world, I pursued another career path. I would think about the writing occasionally…write a couple of plays for our church programs…fill up a few notebooks with pieces I’d planned to submit to my favorite magazines…compile a few short stories that got swallowed up by the computer whose hard drive crashed, but my real life kept screaming for my attention.
Then August 22, 2007 happened. I found myself housed in the family ICU unit with Mommy. After the magazines and crossword puzzles no longer held my attention, I had to find something else to distract me while I waited for her to come out of that coma. That’s when Fancy was born. I would scribble notes on every piece of paper I could find. Then Big C surprised me with my first laptop. It was supposed to help me keep up with my work at the office. It did, but I also wrote until the wee hours of the morning.
Mommy came out of the coma and then went home. I then returned to my regular life as much as I could. The writing took a back seat to my father-in-law’s illness, his death, and then my mother-in-law’s sudden hospitalization. Before I knew it, I was overtaken by Pop’s death, an economic downturn and Faith’s emotional drama and impending motherhood. I just couldn’t focus on writing.
That changed on November 9, 2010. That’s when I broke from my chains and refused to be silenced. Don’t be mistaken; I am still battling the distractions and disruptions life can bring. But I am determined.
That’s why I have gone down this blogging path. My writing through this venue has kept me focused. If a distracting thought comes up, I just write about until I feel it has gotten enough attention. Then I file it away on the Web site. I have no doubt about Fancy’s release. It will happen. My dream might have been deferred, but it won’t be denied!