When I think of the Diddy’s of the World.. the Beyonce’s.. the Michael Jordan’s.. and most influential the President Obama.. I’m always left wondering “What’s the secret to their success?” This is a question that plagues many and is probably even tougher for the successful to answer. However, this past Black History Month, Pepsi, in collaboration with the NFL, sought to answer that notorious question in a tour called #TheRecipe. Bringing together the movers and shakers in the African-American community #TheRecipe highlighted today’s African-American pioneers of success and shed a little light into the ingredients of their own recipes for success.
The event was held in Detroit, Chicago, Atlanta and Washington DC. And, we were lucky enough to get a spot on the DC guest list. To get the inside details on #TheRecipe we sent Ronnie J, Author of the book ‘Can I Live’, as a KeevaMarie correspondent. And, I bet you’re wondering, did Pepsi get the recipe to commemorating black history right?
Ronnie J says…. Absolutely.
This was a can’t miss event for the young, black and gifted. Check out the ingredients Pepsi smoothly whipped together to create #TheRecipe.
Ingredient #1 The Bar
The DC stop was held at the infamous Howard Theater. I wasn’t sure what to expect from this event so I showed up after a couple of drinks at happy hour. To my surprise, and delight, there was a full bar awaiting us at the Howard Theater. The specials for the night? Pepsi cocktails of course. I went with Captain Morgan and Pepsi (although Captain and Coke has a much better ring to it.) However, I could appreciate Pepsi attempting to push the boundaries of when and where people consider ordering a Pepsi drink. How many times have you gone to a bar and ordered a mixed drink with Pepsi? Before the event, I would have answered never. Pepsi definitely gets cool points for giving us new drink recipes to try. With drink in hand, I went to grab a seat in the theater where DJ Quicksilva was spinning all the latest hits.
Ingredient #2 Black Star Power
Sprinkling in 2 young black and successful hosts, Mack Wilds and Angela Simmons, Pepsi upped the ante to this recipe. Simmons, fresh off the wave of her new show “Growing Up Hip Hop”, and Wilds, high off the success of VH1’s TV movie “The Breaks” and his single “Love in the 90z,” were the perfect combination of sweet and savory. After making their grand entrance to none other than the infamous Yo Gotti verse, “I got crush on Angela (Simmons)” from Down in the DM, Wilds announced that “The Breaks” would get its own TV series.
Ingredient #3 All-Star Panelist
The final and most important ingredient to make this event a success was the all-star panelist. The lineup for the evening included wide receiver for the Redskins Pierre Garcon and former special aide to Barack Obama Reggie Love. While Lori Hall, Marketing Senior Vice President at TV One, and Michelle L. Young, White House liaison to the African-American community, brought the #blackgirlmagic to the stage. All successful in their own right, these are the black history heroes that are currently working to create a better life for the black community. Answering questions that ranged from “How did you get started?” to “What would you tell your 18 year old self?” panelist shared invaluable career knowledge and life experiences. Hall, the youngest Senior Vice President at TV One, recounted her story of deciding to quit law school and eventually creating the job she wanted for herself. Today she is one of the driving forces behind shows such as House of Pain and Meet the Browns. Inspiring stories like hers filled the evening, fueling a fire in attendees to continue to push for greatness.
Once all these ingredients were simmering in the historic Howard Theater a remarkable black history experience was inevitable. Instead of just recounting the stories of black history heroes, Pepsi served up the perfect recipe for a new generation. Revealing that there is no one secret to success, instead, you have to go out there and create #TheRecipe!