Wednesday, January 28, 2015
Open Letter to Young Black Hollywood: Ending Segregation by Russell Simmons
I guess about 29 years ago -- before I could even afford it (and for the record, this place is still expensive to me!) -- I would go to St. Barth's during the holidays, because I knew that was where a lot of the record, fashion and film executives would vacation. If that was where a lot of the successful people with common interests were hanging out, I was going to crash that party -- and eventually throw the party. (The last 17 years I have thrown the best party on the island.) Many of them I got to know personally before they even knew what kind of businesses I was trying to create. In fact, I didn't always know either! Who would have thought I would meet David Rosenberg and we would build a multi-hundred-million-dollar-valued financial-services company? Many of these friendships have been some of the most rewarding relationships in my lifetime. I have so many examples of my success through honest integration that it would take a huge manuscript to go into all of them here, but I will provide a few examples: The truth is that Aerosmith didn't seek out Run-DMC; we went to them. It was a white kid from NYU, Rick Rubin, who later became the co-founder of Def Jam, who saw the potential of the Beastie Boys. I built clothing companies with Syrian Jews from Ocean Parkway, Brooklyn. I had at least 20 different licenses with 20 different families. I couldn't guess how many Shabbat dinners I had. I got so close to that community that I almost moved to Ocean Parkway. (That is a joke, kind of; Kimora was having so much fun and making so much money with Baby Phat that she actually was looking at houses there.) I then introduced these friends to Jay Z and Nelly. We went on to build, conservatively speaking, over $8 billion in business.
TO READ MORE VISIT http://www.huffingtonpost.com/russell-simmons/open-letter-to-young-blac_b_6565598.html?utm_hp_ref=black-voices&ir=Black%20Voices