By Nyesha Stone
America is the melting pot. It’s supposed to be a place for all genders, sexualities and races to come to and prosper. It can be hard to find the right people to tell their stories the right way with so many different cultures in one place.
Local firm Render and the Campaign For Black Male Achievement (CBMA), along with black leaders, organizers and community members teamed together to create a platform to show a different side of the black community—a more positive one.
MyBlackStory.us uses multimedia to highlight black members of the community who are making a difference in Milwaukee.
Curator and Producer of MyBlackStory.us Dr. Biko Baker was contacted by CMBA last year during the Sherman Park uprising in Aug. 2016. Dr. Baker was asked to create something to give the people of the uprising a voice. A voice that could be heard in a large enough way and in the correct way.
“Milwaukee, we’re a hustler town,” said Dr. Baker. “We have a unique black experience.”
Dr. Baker hopes to branch out MyBlackStory.us into other cities. It’s a “home cooked idea” that could prosper in other places, said Dr. Baker.
He isn’t in this alone. Dr. Baker has a team and they have been working together for over five years. Dr. Baker believes CBMA contacted him because they knew him and his team “could produce something unique.”
Before MyBlackStory.us, Dr. Baker was the executive director of League of Young Voters for eight years. For his first two years, Dr. Baker was an organizer there. Once promoted, he oversaw a $1.5-2 million budget. Dr. Baker helped the youth get involved with voting and advocacy work.
Along with MyBlackStory.us, Dr. Baker is the owner of Render. It’s a year-old business that’s dedicated to digital storytelling.
Dr. Baker has a long history of helping not only the Milwaukee community, but communities around the states. He’s done advocacy work in Ferguson and worked on other projects to promote change in underserved communities.
Platforms such as MyBlackStory.us don’t usually last long, according to Dr. Baker but he hopes this brand will be striving five years from now.
Media tends to show the black communities a certain way, and MyBlackStory.us are changing the way those stories are told. They begin publishing their stories in July of this year and don’t plan on stopping anytime soon.
MyBlackStory.us has stretched outside the borders of Milwaukee and into Texas, California and Illinois.
Dr. Baker hopes to change the narrative of how people perceive the black community and he’s doing it one multimedia story at a time.