The BlackteaBrownsuga Network was started in the Winter of 2016. At the time, I had recently moved to Pittsburgh from Arkansas. As I talked to people and became more acquainted with my surroundings, I noticed a void in Pittsburgh. I noticed a void of positive depictions of black people in the local media, and I noticed fragmented efforts of lone community members trying to make a difference. I created the BlackteaBrownsuga Network to serve the black community as a platform for community-minded individuals to discuss solutions to issues and to connect people to resources that already exist in their community.
The BlackteaBrownsuga Network is a live video-casting network that discusses global issues in the world and how they affect the community. We create and produce our own shows, which are supported by ad revenue. I also use my equipment and skills to produce podcasts, audio books, and other media for clients, as well as to DJ at community events.
As a solely digital entity, The BlackteaBrownsuga Network (BTBSN) has partnered with schools and businesses both small and large. We are now opening a headquarters in a storefront in McKees Rocks that will give us the public presence we need to boost our impact in and around Pittsburgh as well as within the McKees Rocks community. In particular, this location will allow me to run a free after school program for youth interested in learning the industry.
Youth in Mckees Rocks will have the opportunity to learn how to plan, record and edit their own audio/visual products, engage with their audience(s) via social media and practice basic digital literacy skills. The central location of this after-school program will be the creative space: a safe, comfortable space within the BTBSN headquarters that will be equipped with the technology and people resources that students will need to create and refine their audio/visual projects.
Funded by Pittsburgh, PA (October 2019)