But we ain't done yet. PLEASE KEEP SHARING AND KEEP PLEDGING!! We are making a powerful statement about Black women and girls and our EVERYDAY experiences, and our EVERYDAY JOY! We *deserve* JOY. Let Professional Black Girl bring us some JOY!!!
OUR STRETCH GOAL IS $50,000!
AND WE HAVE A FEW MORE HOURS TO RAISE IT! LET'S GO GET 'EM!
STRAIGHT TO THE POINT:
I'm raising the funds I need to produce Season 2 of Professional Black Girl, which will be set in New Orleans. Building upon the success of the first season, I'm producing this second season with higher production value and with more content depth. Added to the in-salon, in-her-face style conversations that you've grown to love, we'll also be exploring the city, showing you the New Orleans that many of you don't see - MY New Orleans, BLACK New Orleans; and we'll do that through the lens of Professional Black Girl experiences.
But in order to do that, we need money! (scroll down to see the budget) Plus, we've got a few dope rewards! (look to your right)
And remember, with Kickstarter, your debit/credit card won't be charged until the campaign ends on Mardi Gras Day (February 13th). Also remember that Kickstarter is ALL OR NOTHING - if I don't raise ALL of the money, I don't get ANY of the money. My nerves are bad - don't wait, PLEDGE NOW! Please.
PLEASE SHARE! SHARE with the Professional Black Girls in your life, SHARE with your networks, SHARE with your peoples. SHARE! SHARE! SHARE!
WHY PROFESSIONAL BLACK GIRL?
In 2014, I started using the hashtag #ProfessionalBlackGirl on Instagram as a way to mark what’s OURS as Black girls. You see it. You feel it. You may not have known what to call it or maybe you mistakenly called it something else like “ghetto” or “hood” or “ratchet.” But admit it - NOBODY does it like how we do it. NOBODY.
In naming what WE do, and how WE do it “Professional,” I am recognizing the skill, the talent, the effort, the energy, the beauty, and the power in it – whatever “it” is.
Everyday, round-the-way Black girls contribute to mainstream culture (hell, WE ARE mainstream culture) and we don't get the credit and the honor that we deserve for our cultural labor. And in the era of the Kardashians and those two Jenners, what WE do and how WE do it is also cultural property.
By marking what we do and how we do it as "Professional," I recognize that we deserve acknowledgment, if not respect.
On the one hand, we are experiencing a moment where Black women and girls are publicly WINNING! From Representative (aka "Auntie") Maxine Waters to Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, Sloane Stephens to the Nigerian Women's Bobsled Team, Marley Dias to Issa Rae. (And as far a we're concerned, Michelle Obama and Serena Williams win FOREVER.)
On the other hand, everyday Black women continue to be judged and criticized simply for who we are. On a scale of respectable to reality TV, we can't seem to catch a break. Don't speak like this, don't wear that, don't dance like this, don't..don't...don't. Who, then, should we be? How, then, should we act?
By announcing ourselves “Professional Black Girls,” Black women and girls assert an unapologetic identity in a world that too often tries to tell us how we “ought to” act. Ultimately, we know that “acting right” robs us of our freedom, so instead, we free ourselves to be ourselves.
In 2016, I created the Professional Black Girl webseries simply because I wanted to. I thought it would be fun to celebrate Black Girl culture in a way that I had not seen done before.
Each episode was like a conversation with your homegirl, your sister, your auntie, or your mama. Covering everyday topics like hairstyles and hair care, personal fashion and style, the series celebrated the simple joys of being a Black girl - the aspects of Black Girl culture that those of us who actually live it might take for granted.
When I launched the series, I knew that sistas would enjoy it, but I wasn’t really prepared for just HOW MUCH sistas would enjoy it. Between YouTube and Facebook, the series has amassed over 200K views since its launch and our online community is quickly growing. For me, that's a big deal.
And I want to keep it going. And growing.
SEASON 2: NEW ORLEANS, BABY!
In thinking about how to approach a second season of the series, I got the bright idea that we should take the show on the road and explore the different brands and strands of Professional Black Girl-ness that exist throughout the country, and across the Diaspora. With each future season being based in a different city (or *dream big* - in a different country), viewers would be introduced to different cities/regions through the lens of Professional Black Girl experiences.
Since New Orleans is the city where I was born and the city that raised me, of course I want to start there! Duh. Plus, who doesn't love New Orleans?
(@2ndlinestaige via Facebook)
Featuring 12 women who call New Orleans home, each episode of Season Two will not only introduce viewers to a different Professional Black Girl, but to a different area of the city.
I've teamed up with New Orleans based production company, Calm Dog Productions, and radio personality and producer, Fresh Johnson, who I lovingly refer to as "The Mayor of New Orleans," to produce Season Two with higher production value and with more content depth. And to do that, we need money!
So, let me hold $20.
My Daydream: Once I produce Season 2 and set the stage for a "traveling exploration of Black girl culture,” I’ll be able to use it to pitch Seasons 3, 4, and so on and so forth to potential sponsors and investors.
But first - let me hold $20.
STRETCH GOAL #1 = $50,000
WE MADE GOAL IN 60 HOURS!!!
WE ARE AMAZING!!
But we ain't done yet! We have until Mardi Gras Day (Feb. 13th) to raise as much money as we can! If we can raise $50K, I won't have to do any more begging or negotiating, I won't have to come out of pocket, and most importantly, I will be able to pay my co-producer, and pay myself. #IMAGINETHAT
Here's the breakdown:
Please know that this budget reflects my calling in favors and having folks who believe in me, and in the project, offer *very* reduced services.
- VIDEOGRAPHY AND EDITING - $18,000
- PRODUCER - $6,000
- CO-PRODUCER - $6,000
- TRAVEL & ACCOMMODATIONS - $7,000
- ON-CAMERA TRANSPORTATION - $600
- HAIR & MAKEUP (for entire cast) - $2,000
- KICKSTARTER REWARDS - $5,400
- KICKSTARTER FEES - $5,000
PROFESSIONAL BLACK GIRL MATH:
The original budget that I shared totaled $32,600, yet I only set out to raise $25,000. We raised our goal of $25K, and we're STILL $7,600 short - how's that work? It doesn't. But it will. Here's how:
- I'm praying that we not only meet, but that we surpass our goal.
- I'm praying that an angel investor shows her/his wings.
- I'm praying that a major brand sees the value in sponsoring a video series whose audience is Black women and girls from all over the country, all over the world.
- I'm praying that the campaign peaks the interest of a major media platform or production company interested in partnering with me to bring Professional Black Girl to a much larger audience - in that way, the money that I invest towards production ensures that I retain ownership of the project.
- I'm praying.
THE PROFESSIONAL BLACK GIRL GUARANTEE:
Look. It's going to happen. I assure you that it will.
KICKSTARTER IS ALL OR NOTHING. ALL OR NOTHING.
SO LET ME HOLD $20! I'M GOOD FOR IT!
And thank you. THANK YOU. In advance. This is going to be DOPE!
Laissez bon temps rouler!
Risks and challenges
The biggest challenges are scheduling, distance, and travel. I no longer live in New Orleans and will have to travel back and forth this spring to interview twelve Professional Black Girls and shoot their episodes, all while managing and maintaining many other responsibilities (including a full time job as a University Professor). But in Yaba Blay's world, it's totally doable.
Right now (Between Mardi Gras season (January) through Jazz Fest (April/May) is the ideal time to film because the city is poppin'! So we will actually begin filming before the campaign ends, before any of this Kickstarter money hits a bank account. That's a huge risk - Kickstarter is all or nothing.
BUT from my mouth to the Universe's ears - it's going to happen.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (29 days)