You have to believe in yourself even when no one else does.
I learned this when I discovered the remarkable stories of the exceptional men and women in my family that made significantly positive impacts on history. The legacies they created taught me so much about the legacy I hope to leave behind.
My great grandfather, Captain Hugh Mulzac overcame adversities and racial discrimination by becoming the first black sea captain to command a fully integrated vessel in the United States of America during WWII.
He insisted on having a diversified crew under his command and led over 18,000 troops around the world. Additionally he carried vital war supplies to the European front while fighting for human rights – that no person be discriminated against because of their color, race, political creed or national origin.
I see a lot of what my great grandfather exemplified in myself today. His peaceful approach, strength, and willpower to advocate for others are qualities that come naturally to me and I am known for. The legacy that he built is embedded in me.
The legacy that I want to continue with through the places I go and with the people I meet is one that will resonate on the hearts of those who need voices in situations of oppression and lifted spirits when they feel down.
I do this through my volunteerism with Rotary International and through a nationally syndicated television series that I host and produce. When I became a TV host and producer, I was told I could not do it. Through the media platform, I was able to connect people from all walks of life and create positive link to communities that needed to know that they were not alone in the adversities they faced.
Creating a legacy is about the marks you leave in people lives and on their hearts through service above self.
Remembering my past and where I came from is vital to what I am becoming and who I touch along this beautiful journey towards the future of Black history.