Byron Allen shares his mission of representation and equity at the second ‘A Seat At the Table’ DC Gala
The following is a transcript of the video below.
TheGrio’s Marc Lamont Hill sits down with Byron Allen, CEO of Allen Media Group, the parent company of theGrio, to talk about his “A Seat At the Table” Gala.
Marc Lamont Hill [00:00:07] We have the boss man himself. Byron Allen, good to see you!
Byron Allen [00:00:10] Marc Lamont Hill. Smartest man on television right here. Oh, come on, now. Come on.
Hill [00:00:15] This thing that you put together gets bigger and better every year. Second “Seat At the Table,” it’s really special. Tell me why you did it in the first place.
Allen [00:00:24] Real simple. I just wanted to come together in Washington, D.C., and celebrate Black Excellence. And I couldn’t think of a better way to do it than at the African American Museum and Culture, bring in Roy Wood Jr. — he was amazing tonight at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner — and honoring Gayle King. Gayle King is…she’s an American treasure and she has been doing her thing for many, many years. And she’s just phenomenal. And I just wanted to take a minute to amplify her and celebrate her. And you’re not going to do any better than the legendary iconic Diana Ross.
Hill [00:01:02] Nothing better than Ms. Ross.
Allen [00:01:03] Diana Ross.
Hill [00:01:04] And that’s a beautiful thing. How — your mind just works different than everybody else’s that I know. I mean, like I hear people say, “we got to get more into the award shows. We got to get more representation. This company, that company.” Your brain goes to “Let me build it.” Is that just how you’re wired? How did you get there?
Allen [00:01:20] Well, you know, look, my whole thing is I want to believe — I want to position Black America to succeed. Right now, we are positioned to fail. I believe the greatest trade deficit in America is the trade deficit between white corporate America and Black America. And we have to close that trade deficit and that education deficit. I need white America to stop talking about crime. I need white America to just put that conversation to the side, lean in and fix the trade deficit, provide a real education and economic inclusion, and most of the crime will go away. True. And so, you know, this is something that, you know, we have to take action. We can’t. We have to burn our kneepads. We have to walk off the plantation. I believe Black America is still living in slavery. I think we are in slavery. To point out, we don’t get access to a proper education. We don’t get access to proper economic inclusion. We don’t get access to capital that’s not predatory. So we are positioned to fail. So I have filed $50 billion in lawsuits against white corporate America — 50 billion! And I’m undefeated and I’m alive, and I’m undefeated because we’re right and they’re wrong. And I’ve always said to them, if I’m wrong, just bring that Black person into the courtroom that you’re doing business with.
Hill [00:02:57] Right!
Allen [00:02:57] They can’t bring that Black unicorn to the courtroom. They don’t exist.
Hill [00:03:03] And that is why Byron Allen is the most significant person in the country right now in our community advocating for us because he’s making that critique. He’s doing the work on the ground, but he’s also building this wonderful event, this wonderful infrastructure, this wonderful company to grow, to give us our own space so we can have a seat at their table. But he’s also constructing our own table…
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