“It doesn’t matter who you are, or where you came from. The ability to triumph begins with you. Always.”
One of the many reasons I wrote my first novel The Diary of Aaliyah Anderson was to show the young people of my millennial generation that there are benefits in dreaming and keeping things positive. On a daily, we are bombarded with a myriad of negative media images that depict us in the worst ways possible. Why can’t more of our successes be celebrated on a mass scale? Why is it that you have to dig deep to find the positive aspects of the youth of America? An even bigger question, why is it buried in the first place?
When you live in a community where a sex tape gets more attention and coverage than a young man getting accepted to all of the Ivy League learning institutions, there’s a major problem that needs to be addressed. How can young people ‘aim for the stars’ when we’re stuck in a seemingly inescapable, bottomless pit? Those who have the courage enough to attempt an escape from this proverbial hell hole are condemned and dragged down by the very individuals that they are trapped with. Others allow their fear and doubt to overtake any thoughts of striving for better. We’re honestly in a miserable state!
The adults of this society aren’t any better. Many of them spend their times psychoanalyzing any misstep we happen to make in our journey to adulthood instead of being guides for us. We are so desperate to find the path to success that we often choose to fall victim to the mesmerizing glare of instant gratification. What’s the point of working hard when it’s easier to wild out and have fun twenty-four/seven? Forget the future! Many young people decide to live for right now, a choice that one comes to regret as time wears on. But how are we to know any better? We are seen as the bastard child of human evolution after all. Listening to how people view us, you’d think that the world is doomed to Armageddon when we grow to become the elders of our respective communities.
I want my peers to realize that struggle is the only way to achieve success. Nothing worth achieving in life is easy. No matter what neighborhood, block or project you’re from, passion for your craft and hard work can help you achieve infinite prosperity. Don’t let anything limit you from climbing the stairway of success. You may experience a few bumps in your trip. You may even stumble altogether. Nevertheless, it’s your responsibility to get up and keep working towards your goals.
One of my favorite songs of all-time is James Fortune’s gospel hit Hold On featuring Fred Hammond, Monica and FIYA. The hook of the song really speaks to me. The members of FIYA sing:
“So hold on
You are too close to give up now
You have so much to live for
Remember what you prayed for
Hold on, please don’t let go in this season
Know that flowers bloom when rain falls
You just hold on”
A perfect example of a person using their talent and ambition to make it out of their rough situation is Wahida Clark. She’s a New York Times best-selling author, publisher, entrepreneur and one of the most recognizable faces in urban literature. However, she didn’t start off at the top of the food chain. Ms. Clark underwent some major changes to become the literary legend that she is today. In between promotion for her new novel Blood, Sweat & Payback with Cash Money Content, I got a chance to ask her a few questions.
Randall: You were in prison for nine in a half years. What willed you through that trying time?
Wahida Clark: If I had to choose one thing, I’d have to say having to provide for my family.
Wahida Clark: I actually wrote seven novels by the time my nine in a half years were over and had lucrative contracts with two major publishing companies. I was determined to write best-sellers, be the best at what I was doing and to provide for my family. That is why I was able to stay focused.
Randall: How much of a key was your relationship with Martha Stewart to your current success?
Wahida Clark: Knowing that Martha was right next door, but yet still seeing her shows and commercials running on the television was huge to me. Her empire was still growing even while she was in prison. That spoke volumes to me.
Randall: How were you able to bounce back from your prison stint and become one of the most recognizable brands in African-American Literature?
Wahida Clark: Honestly, I am just getting started. Outside of expanding Wahida Clark Presents Publishing, I have also just a few days ago launched W. Clark Distribution (wclarkdistribution.zreply.com) to assist indie authors and small publishers to get their titles in every format and in front of 38,000 retailers. I’ve noticed that we have not been able to do so because we didn’t know how or have the vehicle.
Randall: What are the qualities of a New York Times best-selling author?
1) They are able to move large units of their work
2) They have a well-crafted product
3) They have a strong fanbase and they engage them daily
Randall: From extensive research, I can tell that you use all of your power and resources to give back to your community. What are some of the services that you provide to young people?
Wahida Clark: Through our non-profit organization Prodigal Sons & Daughters Redirection Services, we offer Mentorship and Life Skills training. Our ultimate goal is to get our own state-of – the- art vocational training center. We actually have just been nominated for the White House Agents of Change award. Wish us luck!
Randall: Do you believe black women are at a disadvantage in the business world? Why or why not?
Wahida Clark: Of course we are disadvantaged but it’s not just black women. All women experience this. I honestly believe there’s a change coming though. Women’s liberation has been going on for over a hundred years. Not just here, all over the world.
Randall: What advice would you give to young women aiming to become entrepreneurs?
Wahida Clark: Study your craft and then master it. I love being an entrepreneur. You can grow, you never remain stagnant and are always learning new things.
Purchase Blood, Sweat Payback now!
A list of Wahida Clark’s upcoming projects!
- The Blood, Sweat & Payback App.
- W. Clark Distribution (w.clarkdistribution.zreply.com)
o Enemy Bloodline by Umar Quadeer
o Butterfly by Michael A. Robinson
o Venom in My Vienz by Rumont Tekay
o Ratchet City by Cayenne
o The Pussy Trap Part 4 by NeNe Capri
Follow Ms. Clark on:
o Twitter: @wahidaclark
o Instagram: @wahidaclark
-We came, we saw, we conquered! My debut publishing effort “Riverview High: Circumstances” reached #2 on the Amazon charts! Check it out on Amazon today. Don’t forget to leave a review!
-“The Diary Of Aaliyah Anderson” is out now! Make sure to go get it!
Do you have any questions, comments or concerns? Was I right or wrong on this issue? I would love to hear from you! Contact me directly at: