How an LA upstart is redefining the media world by helping African-American millennials ‘tell their own story’
“When you tell your own story, it changes the way other people see you, and it changes the way you see yourself,” Aaron Samuels, cofounder and chief operating officer of Blavity, a digital-news publication geared toward African-American millennials told Business Insider.
Blavity has only been in business for four years, and it already has seven million readers per month. And much of that success is anchored in Samuels’ personal mission for the company. He believes that by creating a company — and a community — that lets black millennials “really control their own narratives” in ways that mainstream media doesn’t understand, “we could change the way people see themselves.”
Blavity was founded in 2014, but you could trace its roots back to Samuels’ teenage years, when he discovered the power of storytelling through poetry, and later, on the Washington University campus in St. Louis, Missouri, where Samuels and his friends — DeBaun, Jonathan Jackson, and Jeff Nelson — experienced firsthand the phenomenon that would eventually define Blavity’s core ethos.
Samuels calls it “black gravity,” a microcosm of black people who would move toward each other in public spaces. At the campus in St. Louis, the lunch table was a central meeting place…
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