Who is Myiti? I am a historian at heart and I am dedicated to telling our stories and committed to not only sharing our narratives but writing about them, which is why I wrote two books and started the publication Bronzeville Life. Others will attempt to tell our stories yet not get it right. It’s part of the reason I became a college professor teaching Africana Studies and Literature before I started running Bud Billiken and publishing Bronzeville Life. I love to research and share it with the world.
In celebration of Black History month you’ve done a lot of reflecting on the history of African Americans and your organization. What are some of your proudest findings? I’ve committed to posting a historical fact everyday for Black History month. In doing so I realized how much we as a people don’t know about our own narrative. It’s amazing how much Black people have created and I am most proud of the fact that my families hand in recording those stories and accomplishments of our community through the Chicago Defender has allowed us to have an extensive record of that amazing history.
What has been some struggles you’ve faced to keep your families legacy alive? When you talk about 114 years and 5 generations of publishing plus 90 years and 4 generations of the Bud Billiken Parade, you know there had to be challenges. However my faith in God is what let’s me know that he didn’t bring us this far to leave us. As cliché as that might sound, it’s so true. The support of the community and the youth is why we are even here, to leave a legacy for future generations.
Who or What keeps you motivated when you feel discouraged? It’s my faith and the knowing that I am on God’s assignment. When I think about all of the lives that the Bud Billiken has touched over the years, the impact that it has on us, I know that everything will work out as long as we keep focused on the goal of supporting our youth through education and showcasing their talents.
What advice would you give entrepreneurs about the importance of patient and timing? I had to learn patience when I realized that it’s God’s timing, not mine. Sometimes we have to stop and assess where we are and why we are where we are in life. It’s important to be content and at peace and know that there is enough resources on this earth to go around. Everyone’s journey is different and everyone’s time is different. It’s a waist of time to look at what someone else is doing. I prefer to create, not compete.
What would you say your LOOKprenuer Super Powers are? I believe that you can’t achieve what you can’t see. Everything I do starts in my minds eye and then I move on it and in many cases God will open the door at times even before I think I’m ready. But Obedience is key, when God says move, we just have to move.
What has been some your proudest moments in your career journey? My proudest moment has been seeing the results the many families, students and community that have a “Bud” story and how much it has touched their lives. I am also proud of being a part of a family working together to show what generations of dedication and hard work can do. I see how important it is that we all leave a legacy for future generations. If it wasn’t for the tenacity and vision of Robert Sengstacke Abbott, my great grand Uncle, I would not be here today.
Tell us something most people don’t know about You? Most people don’t know that as much as my career requires being out socializing and networking, I am such a home body. I enjoy being home with my family curling up on the couch and watching a good movie.
Tell us something funny about u or a funny moment you’ve encountered during the Bud Billiken Parade? I’m always working the Bud Billiken parade and i’m extremely serious and concerned about everything being perfect that day so I can’t say I’ve had a laughable moment. This question is good because it will cause me to stop and soak it all in, and of course enjoy the moment and laugh.
The Bud Billiken Parade is certainly a historic event here in Chicago and will be celebrating its 90th year! What can we expect? For the 90th anniversary we will have a star studded event! We will continue to have pavilions that will support our community such as health and wellness, Education, Children’s pavilion and a festival that will have celebrity guests. We expect over 500,000 attendees, participants and viewers.