Here’s a timeline of sorts displayed nicely and available in poster format. Robert L. Johnson, founder of BET, makes it to the list as the first African-American billionaire (did Obama ever accept his apology?). Why I point that out with all the more historically notable milestones available says more about me than anything else. I need to work on altering my perspective, but let’s not get into that. And of course this list was not compiled by some committee or a grand vote, it seems to be the work of a popular visual artist. This is what he says about it:

This poster is not a tally of African American achievements, rather it is a record of progress and setbacks. While Obama’s election is not the endgame of equality, it is a magnificent example of what is truly possible. I hope you enjoy it and that it reminds you of the shoulders we all stand upon and the stained greatness of this nation and its people who have indeed, overcome.

So about Bob Johnson. I’ve read little about the man to be honest. And I have no strong opinion of him. From what I’ve gathered he has a reputation for being a business man first, minority citizen second (if we were keeping count). He has been described as emotionally detached or disengaged. He is very much against the estate tax, as I’m sure most billionaires are (unless you’re Warren Buffet). When criticized by activists for his life’s work (well, life as in the 20 prime life years he spent as BET head) he seems to have no problem reminding people that the “E” in BET stood for (and continues to stand for) entertainment, not education or enlightenment. Pragmatic and bottom-line oriented, I can see how the image of Mr. Johnson can get under people’s skin.

And his public perception obviously affects him as well. Here is a glimpse of how he deals with it:

“My tombstone will read: ‘This is the guy who aired rap videos,’ ” Mr. Johnson says. “But you know how I deal with that? I put it where it belongs, which is in the pretty-much-irrelevant category.”

Rap videos. Can you imagine though? A few billions dollars of wealth creation with rap videos as one of the core components? I understand I’m generalizing the intricacies of running a television broadcast company and I know BET programming also included gospel shows and infomercials, but for real, Ralph McDaniels was on to something huh?

Read the rest of: A Media Mogul Tries To Remote Control
Purchase the poster: 389 Years Ago
via xeni