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Shonda Rhimes, TV Producer

Shonda Rhimes: You Cannot See What You Cannot Be

CONTENT  CATALOG ~ 76 Episodes | 573 Schools

Shonda Rhimes is a prolific storyteller with an iconoclastic style. Known as a writer, executive producer, showrunner, and creator of such hit shows as Grey’s Anatomy and Bridgerton, she’s broken barriers and boundaries on her way to the top. “The people telling the stories are the people deciding who you see onscreen, they’re the people who are deciding who are in the writers rooms, they’re the people deciding on the crew.” The onus, Rhimes says, is on her and her colleagues to raise a generation of showrunners to fill those screens, those writers rooms, and those crews with storytellers who reflect the full range of human experience. With incredible determination, motivation, and passion Shonda Rhimes’ impact can’t be missed nor mistaken.
Vernon Baker, Medal of Honor Recipient

Vernon Baker Profile: Lasting Valor


He was a man who suffered terrible indignities and never complained. When WWII erupted, he wanted to serve his country. He did so with amazing courage. His exploits on the battlefield, which eventually led to multiple distinguished honors, were nothing notable to him. He was just doing his job. A quiet and humble man who believed in giving respect before you expect it. An American hero. A story of triumph over extreme prejudice and hardship.


Vernon Baker earned a Purple Heart, a Bronze Star, and the Distinguished Service Cross for his time in the Army during WWII, and the Korean War. In 1996, he received a telephone call from a man working on a federal grant to re-evaluate the heroism of blacks in WWII. During which Baker learned that he was to be awarded the nation’s highest military decoration of valor. He became the first and only living Black World War II Veteran to earn the Medal of Honor. In memory of his service and legacy this is his story of Lasting Valor.


Please be advised topics of Violence and War 

Barbara Jordan

Barbara Jordan: Speaking the Truth


Barbara Jordan, a well-respected speaker, public servant, and educator was a politician of the people. Jordan was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1972, becoming the first African American to represent Texas in the House, and the first African American woman from the South to be elected to Congress. She established herself in the Watergate impeachment hearings of 1973, giving a famous speech in support of Richard Nixon’s impeachment. Jordan became a household name in the process, with a voice that was one of integrity, and a vehicle for change. Her unforgettably commanding voice, impassioned yet logical, mesmerized colleagues and fellow Americans alike. Barbara Jordan is remembered for her commitment to the U.S. Constitution, and as one of America’s most respected and influential politicians, one who was synonymous with justice.

Songs of Freedom: Protest Music in Black and White | Segregated and Unequal

Protest Music in Black & White

If America’s original sin is indeed slavery, then her most insurmountable byproduct of said sin is her inability to reckon with the resulting effects and long lasting trauma: the unconscionable treatment of the descendants of slaves in the annals of history through the following centuries leading to present day. 


The treatment of Black musical artists in the 20th Century, specifically the early to mid-1900s is a shameful part of that history. "Negro" or "Colored" musicians regularly faced segregation and violent environments wherever they performed. Those stories and their negative legacy have been treated largely as if they never happened.


Andrew Young, Civic Activist

Andrew Young Profile: Ambassador of Hope

Andrew Young helped change the course of history as a leader during the civil rights movement. He’s built a remarkable legacy as a civic activist, elected official, groundbreaking ambassador, social entrepreneur, and adviser to presidents. Young was instrumental in the building of modern-day Atlanta, and continues to develop and support new generations of visionary leaders. For half a century, Andrew Young has worked for the social, political and economic advancement of oppressed people around the world.

Gen. William Ward on Leadership

Leadership Series with General William Ward

Telling the story of Leadership through five different categories: Foundations, The People You Meet, Race, Gender, and Environment. These are firsthand accounts of excellent leaders in their field with TBE President & Founder, Adam P. Kennedy.


U.S. Army Gen. William E. “Kip” Ward became the first commander of U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) in Stuttgart, Germany in 2007 and served until 2011. He successfully established the nation’s most uniquely positioned interagency geographic command, responsible for all U.S. defense and security activities on the African continent and its island nations. In commanding AFRICOM, his visionary leadership promoted the value of forging relationships, creating partnerships, enhancing regional cooperation, and the importance of sustained security engagement in pursuing U.S. national interests. In 2005, Ward became Deputy Commanding General and Chief of Staff of the United States Army in Europe and the Seventh Army. It was in this high-profile position that he was noticed by the U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.  Rice selected Ward to serve for three months as the U.S. Security Coordinator of the Israel-Palestinian Authority. 


General Ward has spent his life in selfless service to the nation safeguarding America’s interests at home and abroad, and has an admirable reputation for teamwork.


Janis Kearney, Sharecropper

Firsthand accounts of how highly successful people achieved their dreams with TBE President & Founder, Adam P. Kennedy. This is MentorClass (Episode 4)


“My dad would sit us all down and tell stories. That’s where I fell in love with storytelling.” Janis Kearney was the publisher of the historic Arkansas State Press, and later served as diarist to U.S. President Bill Clinton, the first such appointment in history. After leaving Washington D.C., she wrote several books and founded a publishing company. In Part II of our conversation, we learn of Kearney’s upbringing that led to her success in-spite of being the daughter of sharecroppers.

Janis Kearney: MentorClass Part II

Ethel Payne, Pioneering Journalist

Ethel Payne Profile: Eye on the Struggle

Ethel Payne was a black journalist, known as the "First Lady of the Black Press." She was a columnist, lecturer, and freelance writer who combined advocacy with journalism reporting on the Civil Rights Movement during the 1950s and 1960s. Her reporting on legislative and judicial civil rights battles enlightened and motivated black readers. She served as an eyewitness on the frontlines of the struggle for freedom. 


At great personal risk, Payne covered such landmark events as the Montgomery bus boycott, the desegregation of the University of Alabama, the integration of Little Rock’s schools, and the service of black troops in Vietnam. A trailblazing black woman in an industry dominated by white men, Payne also broke the glass ceiling, becoming the first female African-American radio and television commentator on a national network, working for CBS. The following excerpt is from an interview with Adam P. Kennedy about the life and accomplishments of pioneering journalist, Ethel Lois Payne. A self-proclaimed “instrument for change” known for asking questions others dared not ask.


Please be advised contains use of the “N” word

Bob Nash, Presidential Advisor

MentorClass with Bob Nash

Bob Nash served as Senior Economic Advisor to Governor Bill Clinton, President of the Arkansas Development Finance Authority, and Vice President of the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation. Serving in the Clinton White House, as Assistant to the President and Director of Presidential Personnel, he led efforts to recruit and place political appointees which resulted in the most diverse government in U.S. history.

Black My Story

Our mission is to build an extensive library of educational and inspirational content about successful Black Americans. We believe such stories will build bridges to success for all and tear down the walls of racial inequality. If you connect with The Black Experience your support will help us to continue. As a member enjoy benefits including access to our exclusive content and library. To learn more about membership visit - 

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