Archives for February 2021

A Car Is Not A Highway

I recently received a very gentle decline letter for a screenwriting fellowship. It was beautifully worded so I didn’t have to deal with both rejection and disappointment simultaneously. There were 5k applicants for less than 10% of available spots.

The numbers had me shift from being a brand-new television writer to a groundbreaking CEO.

As a self-made millionaire businesswoman, I’m reckoning with the machine of Hollywood. I’m taking note of the mechanisms Black (Women) storytellers have to go through to be heard, get paid, and make the difference we were born to make.

I believe everyone has a calling. I feel like my calling is to write, but when I look at the evidence, it’s really monetizing words.

I’m uniquely designed and positioned to create things that look impossible–until they are done.

Have you ever felt like God is trying to birth something through you that could change the world? That’s how I feel about this.

So I’m about to start a tech company so purpose-driven Black Women Entrepreneurs, Content Creators, Screenwriters, & Influencers who have something to say that moves us forward, no longer have to live at the mercy of the tyranny of being picked.

Go here to be in the know.

So often White Supremacy monetizes our pain as their profit. We make billionaires of the owners of Clubhouse but are never compensated. Check out Master P’s video about how hip-hop stars made Clubhouse “cool” thereby propelling CH’s valuation to one billion in 9 months. It’s not the first time we have made white men rich. There are plenty of stories of networks that marketed Black shows, blew up, then refused to buy shows written by Black writers or staff Black talent or crews.

Said another way: We are always the “help” or “service provider” or the “talent.”

We are never the owner. #hearmeout

Here’s an example. LeBron James may be rich but his “owner” is wealthy. His boss makes money every time LeBron plays and can stop LeBron from protesting due to the shackles of their contract. LeBron may be rich but that doesn’t mean he’s free. I’m not suggesting LeBron isn’t diversifying his assets or that he’s not pimping the system.

I’m pointing to his status as “talent.”

In this context, he is a vehicle for White Supremacy to monetize and leverage Black “talent” into billions for the owners and a few million to LeBron. And for most of us who are considered “talent” we don’t get millions thrown at us.

Here’s how I see it: Black culture is a car. It can be a hip-hop car, a jazz car, hairstyle car, food car – you name it. It can be a luxury SUV, a 16-wheeler athletic mobile, a flatbed truck. The bottom line is it’s a vehicle that moves some product or service somewhere.

A car is not a highway.

A highway controls where the car can go, how fast it can get there, and the tolls or fines along the way.

I say we need to become highways instead of cars. So I’ll start.

I’m about to launch a tech company that focuses on our voices our way as, possibly the first, app that does a 50/50 revenue share with content creators.

I would like an introduction to the following 10 disrupters to invite each of them to a 20-minute interview as early adaptors to this app to ignite interest:

— Nat Parker
— Ava Duvernay
— Issa Rae
— Master P
— TI
— Lena Waithe
— Kenya Barris
— Will Packer
— Malcolm D. Lee
— Misha Green

It’s a fresh idea but I already have a team working out the business plan, creating the launch product, and checking startup apps so we can move forward with velocity.

I feel Spirit trying to birth something through me for us.

I love you,

Dr. Venus

Being a Car vs Owning The Highway

Staying on the positive side of grief takes focus and consistency. It works as long as I put and keep my attention on topics that either inflame me or inspire me.

Working out and seeing results inspire me.

The Senate acknowledging Trump’s guilt but refusal to impeach pisses me off.

Had it been Obama, they would have burned him at the stake.

The true power of White Supremacy is its amorality: the ability to spin fiction as fact in service of personal interests and dominating control over those without institutional power.

I will say this, however: due to the collision course of Tory’s transition and White men in power doing White People shit, I’m inspired to do something I NEVER imagined before.

I’m strongly considering creating my own tech company.

I’m sick of us – specifically Black Women entrepreneurs, creatives, and content creators, but EVERYONE that’s sick of them too – living at the effect of White Men.

The GateKeepers.

The puppet masters of power.

Aren’t you sick and tired of trying to play by the rules only to have the rules change in THEIR self-interest? The American people keep being thrown under the bus of White Supremacy.

I’m done with it.

America was born in the belly of the Black Woman and built on the backs of her children for 7 generations. I say it’s time to STOP playing by their rules and START playing with the rules they use to keep us trying to make them do right.

When we all know they never will.

So here’s what I propose. White supremacy has always commodified Black survival. From Slavery to Serena, they have pimped us for our bodies, our cries in the form of music, and our brains by never giving us credit. Black people have survived by singing, telling jokes, dancing, and athletics, etc.

If all you needed to do was run fast to get out of the ghetto, that’s a survival strategy.

If getting good grades got you scholarships because your parents made too much money for a Pell Grant, that’s survival strategy.

If joining the military was the only way you could see how to NOT end up with your body outlined in chalk, that’s a survival strategy.

Every strategy we have created to survive White Supremacy – worldwide — has been turned into some form of commerce for White People.

So instead of trying to have the Senate impeach their God, I’m of the mind we should learn from their example. And model it.

White Supremacy commodifies Black pain as “culture.” Why not do it ourselves?

(Wait a minute. Let me finish.)
Black people have historically always been the “help” or the “talent.” It’s almost like we are the “cars” that move product across the USA, maybe even the world.

But have you ever noticed: we are NEVER the highway?
We just become better cars or more luxurious cars or even high-end SUVS or mobile homes. Or even 16-wheelers that can haul TONS of entertainment, or millions of marches — but NEVER a highway.

I’m sick of being a car living under the foot of White Supremacy. It’s time to make myself a highway.

My highway will be populated by that which built this country:
Black Culture.
Black Excellence.
Black Genius.
I’ll keep you posted.

It’s comin… it’s comin… in the mean time, I’m going to focus on the positive results I am starting to see in my body. I’m proud of me grieving a healthy way. Thanks for witnessing.

I love you,
Dr. Venus

Win or Die

God, please let me do what you want for my life.
I know I can help.
Please help me fulfill the Calling.
Open doors no (white) MAN can shut. Order my steps, Lord.
Partners who get my vision and empower my leadership in the world.

Build the infrastructure within me as well as in the world for scale, leverage, and sustainability.

Help me to empower us.

Please Lord.

Help me do your will.
You would never give me a dream that wasn’t already manifested in the mind of God.
I feel you pulsating in my chest.
In the tears I cry for Tory.

In the joy of seeming my clients get free to make their mark.

In the speed with which you bring me Black men, personal and professional, to tend to the scars left by the absence of my father.

Heal me Lord.
Heal me so completely all the bloodshed spilled for over 400 years to get me here was worth every drop.

Please Jesus, do what I can’t see.
What I can’t pray for.
Do a work in me that releases the genius you have cultivated me as from pissy mattresses to mansions.

I’m willing Lord.
You say jump, I say how high?
You say peace, I be still.
You say praise, I scream a hallelujah.

Just say the word Lord.
Call the shot.
And I will put my all in that shot.

You are my God.
Not fear.
Not certainty.
Not security.

If you need me to step out on the sea of faith, I will burn the fuckin’ ships so I can’t go back.

I can only win.
Or die.

In Jesus’s name all that is holy,

So be it.
So it is.

Win or Die.
By Dr. Venus Opal Reese

Watch this music video – Pharrell Williams – Entrepreneur ft. Jay-Z

Cry or Laugh?

As an act of self-love, I am INTENTIONALLY, CONSCIOUSLY, and ACTIVELY focusing on the positive.

It’s amazing how grief or loss can make you extreme.

Do I cry or laugh?
Crying comes when I let myself become present to the loss.

I’m getting adjusted to saying my brother, Tory, transitioned on Christmas due to COVID.

I still talk about him in the present tense.

I sometimes try to trick myself by lying. I say things to myself like, “Tory’s not really gone. He’s just resting.”

It’s hard to believe.
It doesn’t feel real.
I keep thinking Tory?
Why Tory?

I know it’s an unanswerable question.

So I steer my mind to things I have some say so in. Things that are positive.

I’m focusing on being my best self and living my best life. I’m not sure what that really means but I figured I start with my body.

If I told the truth out loud, I feel fat, achy, and old. I’ve been sitting down for a year and I can tell. I am now, as of this week, scheduled to workout with my trainer, Stretch, five days a week. He’s a former athlete who thinks I’m 25. He is merciless. But he makes me laugh until my tummy aches. I thank God for him.

Between my trainer, Happy, and letting new energy in my life, I’m laughing harder than I ever have.

Is that weird?

I don’t know anymore so I’m focused on taking actions that bring joy and take up my full focus.

I have new shoes (two pairs) to help my knees not hurt so I can fully commit to my fitness.

I have 18 prepared healthy meals in my refrigerator that taste good.

I’m starting to get likes and engagement on my two dating apps. Dating is a FASCINATING process online. But it’s nice to have people to talk to.

I have a biweekly massage scheduled as well as I’m purposely drinking more water.

I’m stretching, form rolling, and using the small hardball to focus on tight muscles.

AND I’m loving being with my private clients. Being with them reminds me that my life has a purpose.

So I guess I’m saying I’m taking on living AND grieving simultaneously. Not either-or.

I hope you don’t get sick of me sharing my grieving process to stay well. I’m clear it’s not upbeat but it’s the best I can muster now.

Thank you for witnessing.

I love you.
Dr. Venus