Sprite x Ebony Who’s Got Next?

It’s dream-vision time, y’all. Let me tell you a story right quick and why I need your help.

Growing up as a little black girl in Iowa, I used to watch Oprah Winfrey on tv and dream of the day that I would be able to grow up and help people tell their stories in the powerful way that she did. When O Magazine first came out I would find a way to buy as many issues as I could and marvel over the stories and layouts with their bold and bright displays and read the stories that you just didn’t see much in other publications at the time. That was when I decided I wanted to go into journalism as a profession and build a publishing empire of my own.

Looking back, I know Oprah was a catalyst for me, but the seed was first planted by my parents and grandparents who kept issues of Ebony and Jet and so many other publications around the house that fought fiercely to tell our stories. While I did not take a traditional path as a journalist, I have worked to continue the work of storytelling across my entire life.

A few days ago I ran across this promotion for the Sprite x Ebony Whose Got Next competition to find the next Ebony correspondents to continue the work of telling our stories and my heart skipped a beat I got so excited. I told one of my friends about it immediately and because he is the amazing human being he is he encouraged me wholeheartedly to apply.

This morning I almost talked myself out of it.

Thoughts like, “They are going to be looking for 20-somethings to do this…” and other nonsense started playing in my head. Have y’all ever had that happen to you? Then I had to give myself a little pep talk and kick in the behind.

The only way to guarantee that you won’t get something is to not even try after all.

So I did the video and filled out the application and hit the submit button. Now I need your help.

Tomorrow, October 12th, the top 10 videos will be posted to this website link: https://www.ebony.com/sprite-whos-got-next-build/ and I need y’all to vote for me.

The video you will see is a preview of my “How To See New England In A Day” episode of #GoMartaGO which will air in full on Saturday, October 16th on my channel YouTube.com/martagwyn.

I want to tell more of our stories. I want to show our people more of the world and help little girls and boys who remind me of that little me staring at the screen looking for someone like them to say, “Come on, you can do this too”.

Is there a chance that I won’t make the stop 10 list…sure, and if for some reason you don’t see my video up there, stay tuned because I’ll think of another way to keep this dream going. I know what I am and that is a storyteller, a griot, an unconventional educator for a time such as this who is committed to preserving and sharing our stories.

And if I do end up in that Top 10, I need y’all to watch the Top 10 videos from the SPRITE x EBONY Who’s Got Next competition and vote for me to become the NEXT POWER CREATOR. Voting closes on Thursday, October 14 at 11:59 PM EST. One vote per IP address will be counted during the duration of the of the contest.

I’m putting this out now because this voting window is very short so please keep an eye out tomorrow. Once the entries are posted I’ll do a blast on my social media to make sure y’all know I’m there and voting is live.

I’m an underdog in this so I need every one of you who see this to take those few seconds and vote. The people who usually get these things tend to have massive internet followings and while I am working to grow mine, my following is not massive. What I do have is a live and vision for creating content that celebrates many aspects of the Black American experience most particularly those of us who experience daily life in the Heartland. Help me tell these stories on a larger platform with your vote.

Marta is an award winning filmmaker, writer and producer committed to sharing the rich and complex stories of America’s Heartland region.  Marta wears several hats as Chief Creative-in-Charge of MartaGwyn Productions, LLC as well as the Co-Founder and Senior Grant Writer of Youngblood and Associates, LLC and Chief Operations Officer of Marta Collier Educational Systems and Services, LLC.

Marta is also the founder and editor-in-chief of TheWRITEaddiction.  An online community of writers that publish creative and inspirational works daily at www.TheWriteAddiction.com.

Marta is an alumna of The Ohio State University and Tougaloo College with degrees in Sociology and English-Journalism and resides in Little Rock, Arkansas, with her husband and unconventional college sweetheart of 10 years, Terrance Youngblood.

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