“I am having a wonderful day and I hope you are having one also and I am having wonderful day because I won’t let today be anything else. It doesnt matter what anyone else says and it doesn’t matter what anyone else does I will determine what today is for me.”
That is what esteemed journalist and history maker Tony Brown told students, public officilas and citizens when he spoke at Baton Rouge High School.
“Your performance in whatever field you choose is going to be determined by your character. I love America unapologeticly. I’m not angry with anyone in America, I don’t blame anyone in America for what happened to me because I know they do not control my destiny”, said Brown
The journalist-entrepeneur is known best as the commentator of Tony Brown’s Journal, the longest-running series on PBS ,1968-2008, and the only national Black Affairs TV series in U.S. History.
Brown has amassed a wealth of knowlodge as a journalist and lives by the personal motto “ diversity through excellence”, sheared with the audience that h inside the word “Learn”is the word “earn”. Beacause according to Brown if you the amount of knowlodge one has is related to one’s earning ability.
“You will want money and you will want a lot of it to get what you want. I like to say the only color of freedom is green. “ said Brown
Brown said to the audience if you have earned knowloge you have learned that someone will pay you to use what you have learned in whatever filed you have studied. Brown believes that not only striving for excellence should surround themsleves with others who are doing the same he shared a quote from German philospher Goethe:
“If you treat and individual the way are they will remain what they are but if you treat an idividual but if you treat for that could become that person will be come what they should or ought to be”
Brown elaborated on the quote for the audience by stating:
“If I treat you like someone who as done something outstanding but if you have the mind set your accomplishent is average then I have left you like I found you and you haven’t benefited from our friendship at all. If I demand of you as condition of our friendship or relationship that you do better you will become what you ought to be. “ said Brown
This was a lesson the Brown learned and a young age and grew up to become the definition of that lesson. Born During the Depression era in in West Virginia at the age of two monts Brown was dopted by Elizabeth Samford .
Brown recalls there was somehting unique about Samford and said In an uncanny way growing up in legally segrated Charleston ,West Virginia this maid and dishwasher was able to teach and show him things he has have never experienced since.
Brown said not only was he able to learn grammar and entrprenurial skills from his adoptive mother but also life lessons as well.
“ One day I rushed home from school in a panic and told her that other students told me I was more she looked at me and said no son we’re not poor we’re broke”. Recalled Brown
Brown said his mother explained to a young a Tony there is a difference between being poor and being “broke”. If youre poor you behave poorly if you don’t have as much money as your nieghbors or any money at all that doesnt men you are poor.
“She told me we would do something about not having money and that in particular would do somehting about by going to college” said Brown
Brown said it was Samford who explained to him that word earn is inside of the word learn and that it would be impossible for him to not aquire money while aquiring knowledge.
“If dont you have dont have anything to sell there no one will buy it no matter how much they think of you. If you dont have knowlodge you cant teach and if you dont have money you can’t give. You have to produce something to give it away and secodn you have to have knowlodge to order to teach someone else.” said Brown
( Left to Right, John Daniel of John G. Daniel Productions, Tony Brown, and Jacqueline Vines Cox Communications Southwest Region Senior Vice President)
Now at the age of 79 Brown is still practicing the lessons he’s learned from Samford and throughout his career by creating the Tony Brown Online Video library .
Brown said that more journalism is constantly evolving and that to stay relevant in the industry journalist must evolve with it especially minorities.
“Minorities are stampeding a away from conventional broadcast 90% of the on air telvison stars are white , while 90% of the stars on the internet are minorites” said Brown
After five years of perparation Brown’s online video library will provide those who subscribe with more than 1,000 hours of interviews and footage chronicling Brown’s career. Subscribers will have unlimited access to the live time Capsule that is “Tony Brown’s Journal” that will allow viewers to relive moments Brown has with guest that have included, Denzel Washington, Malcom X, Gladys Knight, Corretta Scott King , Bill Cosby, Booker T. Washington and Many more.
Besides being known for making history as journalist Brown also served as a civil rights leader and is responsible, along with Martin Luther King Jr. for organizing one of the largest marches in the Country. He has gone on to serve as the first dean of journalism/communications at both Howard and Hampton Universitys. Brown has been honored for contributions to journalism by being inducted into the Scripps Howard School of Journalsim Hall of fame, being named one of the 100 most imporant randio talk show host in America by Talker’s radio trade magazine, and reciciving the prestigous National Acadmeny of Recording Arts & Sciences’ Silver Circle Award with Walter Cronkite.