This is the time where you get to either learn how to love yourself better or love yourself more. It’s the time where you learn loving you is more important than loving anyone else because if you don’t know how to love you, how can you truly love anyone else. This is the time where faith is all you have and trust is all you know and you thank God for blessing you with the space to experience the life ride in the meat suit he provided for you to journey in. You see this is really the time you get to learn about you and all of your beautiful faults and shortcomings and make them better.
As a part of my series about the things we can do to remain hopeful and support each other during anxious times, I had the pleasure of interviewing Jay King.
Jay King was elected president of the California Black Chamber of Commerce in June of 2019. As the largest African American non-profit business organization, representing hundreds of small and emerging businesses, affiliates and Chambers of Commerce throughout California, the CBCC is extremely concerned about the aftermath of Covid-19 which has immobilized and shut down businesses around the entire world. As the founder of the Grammy Award winning pop group, Club Nouveau, King bears three decades of continuous achievements in the entertainment industry with accomplishments that include management, consulting and publishing in music, film and television.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share with us the backstory about what brought you to your specific career path?
Allen Wayne Warren, a childhood friend with no political experience, ran for city council in the neighborhood we grew up in, Del Paso Heights in Sacramento, CA. He was a long shot to win, but we worked hard and beat the political machine that was in place.
I was still living in Los Angeles but flying back and forth on a weekly basis to work in the community and Allen said he needed us in the community if we were going to be successful at changing the culture there. So, I semi-relocated, at first spending about fifty percent of my time in Sacramento. But as time grew, I got involved with radio station KDEE-FM, as an on-air personality, on a volunteer basis, because it was run by the California Black Chamber of Commerce Foundation. Eventually my voice and presence in the city grew.
On my show I played great old school music, mixed with local R&B artists who were making professional recordings with no outlet, and I covered community, politics, concerns and solutions. After being at 97.5FM KDEE for four years giving the community a voice, I found myself at the forefront of many controversial issues including demanding a new police chief and getting who we wanted; fighting city hall for a local land developer who had living wage earning jobs attached to his development, and winning; keeping seniors in affordable living quarters that they were trying to push out and winning; and many more.
Then when Mr. Aubry Stone, who was one of the founders of the California Black Chamber of Commerce, passed away November 28th, 2018 from cancer after 25 years as President, I was selected to succeed him. In June of 2019, I took over his Chamber position and I have been serving in that capacity for nine months now.
Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you?
No one book in particular, but I am a big history buff and I love the history of Americans of African descent because our story, perseverance, humanity, love and heart to forgive is matched by none.
Can you share a story or explain why it resonates with you so much?
There are several stories that resonate with me. One is from Sarah Rector who was a little Black girl in Oklahoma in the early 1900’s who became a millionaire because they found oil on her property. She became so rich they passed legislation that made her a white woman so she could ride the train in the first-class section because Blacks were thought of as third class citizens and were not allowed to ride in such luxuries.
Another one is Moses Norman and Julius Perry, the two richest men in Ocoee, Florida, who in 1921, were murdered because they made sure all of the Black people who lived in the city were registered to vote. The used their own money and resources to ensure the community would have a voice, only to be told not to come to the polls on voting day.
We have many fascinating, powerful, sad, interesting and thought-provoking stories in our history that if we knew them, I believe it would change the way we see ourselves and the way we represent our ancestors.
Ok, thank you for all that. Now let’s move to the main focus of our interview. Many people have become anxious from the dramatic jolts of the news cycle. The fears related to the coronavirus pandemic have heightened a sense of uncertainty, fear, and loneliness. From your perspective can you help our readers to see the “Light at the End of the Tunnel”?
Interesting thing about our news cycle is, it has gradually turned from news where it was only fact and information driven to now opinion and being politically driven. Nothing is highlighted for you to make up your own mind, so you can form an opinion, your opinion is now given to you. If you buy into the sheep and parrot conditioning, you’ve been slowly brainwashed into believing there is no light, except that which is given at the end of the latest dramatic news cycle story/headline. Today it’s the Coronavirus.
DO NOT let news cycles and other people’s opinions be the thought that’s in your mind. I am happy to say I have divorced myself from conditioning long ago and if you find yourself in a dark place, with hopeless feelings and thoughts and gloom everywhere, you have bought into the conditioning of your mind, life and spirit.
I trust and believe GOD! Man does not resonate with me when he speaks death. I live life, I love life and I give life what I would like it to give me and that’s love, appreciation, humanity, light, good vibrations and thankfulness for the journey, expression and experience we call life.
Can you share your “5 Reasons To Be Hopeful During this Corona Crisis”?
1. If you woke up you are alive which means you can do anything you want and you have control of your life, the way you think and how you are going to represent who you are to the world.
2. The Coronavirus isn’t going to last forever, nothing does and if you are smart or want to get smart, you recognize the time you have right now to reboot, rethink and reorganize how you are going to be better to you with your time and use of your mind.
3. You get to see how much you really love you, get eyeball to eyeball with yourself on your health, your finances, your friends, your family and most importantly your God. Do you Believe? Do you really have faith? Are you ready to grow past your comfort zone into that uncomfortable space of stretching to the next great parts of you? These are the types of questions you get to ask yourself in these times when the world seems to have stopped, so this is a time of awakening so to speak.
4. You get to breath, take it all in, maybe even write out a few new plans and ideas you have for the future. It might be a new business venture you are going to embark on. By doing this, life becomes brand new, you get to really appreciate who you are, the kinds of friendships, relationships and kinships that surround you every day and the ones you need to fix, correct or delete. This is the time that you learn time moves faster than you thought and there is no time to waste. This is when you really learn to get busy living.
5. And last but not least, this is the time where you get to either learn how to love yourself better or love yourself more. It’s the time where you learn loving you is more important than loving anyone else because if you don’t know how to love you, how can you truly love anyone else. This is the time where faith is all you have and trust is all you know and you thank God for blessing you with the space to experience the life ride in the meatsuit he provided for you to journey in. You see this is really the time you get to learn about you and all of your beautiful faults and shortcomings and make them better.
From your experience or research what are five steps that each of us can take to effectively offer support to those around us who are feeling anxious?
1. Be honest 2. Be calm 3. Be available 4. Be kind 5. Have facts.
Can you explain?
We have to be honest with ourselves about what we are feeling and why, like when the news pumps fear into us day and night, why wouldn’t we be fearful? If we are honest about this process it will help us to take it in, in a very calm and thoughtful manner.
This will open us up to being available to and for the truth and will give us the space to speak freely and openly about whatever the issues, dilemma or emergency is in a kind and respectful manner. If we follow this process and we have real facts, not thoughts, emotions, angst or opinions, but actual facts, and we understand that today’s news cycle is about sensationalism. I believe when everyone else is screaming “the sky is falling,” you will be the voice of reason and clarity, and when all things settle (and they will) you will be remembered for your poised demeanor.
What are the best resources you would suggest to a person who is feeling anxious?
Everyone is different so I don’t know if I can make a suggestion for anyone else who is feeling anxious, but I can tell you when I get that feeling, I turn off the world, turn on soft music, be still and let God take hold of me. Or I’ll go walk two or three miles and let my mind be free and let God take hold of me. Or I will just stop, sit and pray and let God take hold of me.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life?
I’m too busy fixing me to spend my time judging you. I wake up every day working to be better on that day than I was the day before. By waking up in that space, it gives me NO time to get involved in gossip, judgement or what I call small mind thinking, and it challenges me to explore every part of everything, thought, idea, imagination and dream that a fertile mind can conjure up and that’s what I do every day.
You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
I would start a movement of communities investing in themselves. All of the people who live in the community would put 20, 50 or 100 dollars a month into an investment fund and buy the old and dilapidated buildings, houses and apartment complexes and rehab and live in them, giving people who would never believe they could be owners of property that opportunity in Coop. We would invest in the small businesses and demand the multinational businesses in our community to allow us to invest in them as well or we won’t support them with our dollars. I would build humanity.
What is the best way our readers can follow you online?
As the California Black Chamber President and CEO you can find me at https://www.calbcc.org/ . As a member of my band, Club Nouveau, go to www.clubnouveau.me. As the solo artist, Jay King, I’m at https://www.theofficialjayking.com/ on Instagram at @theofficialjayking, on Facebook @JayKing3 and on Twitter at @theclubnouveau .
I share my insight on politics and popular culture trends on my show, “Kings in the Morning,” Monday thru Friday at www.thejaykingnetwork.com. The show is celebrating eleven years on the air. You can also find me on-air during drive time on KDEE (http://www.kdeefm.org/) on 97.5 FM in Sacramento, mixing classic R&B music with community activism, every Tuesday through Thursday.