Editorial: Five reasons I want to be like Doni Glover by John Milton Wesley
BMORENEWS 10th Anniversary Special Feature:
By John Milton Wesley
(DENVER - August 3, 2012) - I want to be like Doni Glover the way Black male baby boomers wanted to be like Michael (“Mike”) Jordan in his “hey day”. This does not mean that I am a “coveter”; I don’t want to take over his radio show heard every Tuesday morning at 10:00 am on WOLB-1010 AM. Been there, done that. I am not after his “White House Pass”; been there, done that, although not as a reporter but as a guest. I have even met and talked with the current president, and the one before him, and the Secretary of Defense, and Vice-president Biden, and a host of other politicians VIPs, who may remember my face but probably not my name or how I got into the room.
I don’t want to take over the very successful DMGlobal Marketing & Public Relations, the parent of BMORENEWS. I recently spent six years working with the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) the parent organization for 200 Black newspapers. I have most of the “tee shirts.”
This brings me to the first reason I want to be like Doni. Once you meet him you never forget him; his name, his energy, his face, his voice, his quick wit, his knowledge of his craft, his commitment to economically disadvantaged people in general, and his determination to improve the quality of life for African Americans in particular. You have no doubt that this is someone who can do what they are telling you they intend to do and the listener has three options; as Ted Turner said “lead, follow, or get out of the way.”
The second reason I want to be like Doni, is that he doesn’t have to tell the above.
I first met Doni Glover on Baltimore’s “Block”; we weren’t “hanging out”, both of us worked close by. I was Deputy Director of Communications for the Housing Authority of Baltimore City (HABC) and the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) (1998-2002) and Doni was working with the city’s Empowerment Zones. Kevin Brown (now owner of Station North Arts Café) introduced us after having a conversation with me about volunteering any assistance I could to “a very sharp young brother who was going places named Doni Glover.” I assured him I would love to meet with him and assist in any way I could.
One day, on one of my many “chicken runs” to Crazy John’s, I bump into Doni who at the time was also editor of the Sandtown-Winchester ViewPoint Newspaper. Wow! I thought this guy is onto something! He was single handedly taking up the mantle so important to James Rouse the visionary who conceived Columbia, and after leaving the Rouse Company founded the Enterprise Foundation and set out to restore inner-city neighborhoods. Where did Rouse decide to fashion his model? Sandtown-Winchester. Doni’s idea was through “up to the minute” information, quality public education, Black business development, ex-offender services, universal access to health care, and affordable housing, the quality of life of a community can be improved, and once you prove it in one community you then spread the model across the city via multiple media platforms and “voila!”, all that’s left to do is be consistent. Now keep in mind he’s telling me this almost apologetically not wanting my chicken wings to get cold. He doesn’t realize the heat from the light bulbs going off in my brain as I process what he is saying would fry it all over again.
Which brings me to the third reason I want to be like Doni; he “walks the walk, and talks the talk.” Children (including his own) have a living breathing, caring role model they can see, hear, and watch serving his community and rubbing shoulders with the president, riding camels across the desert on the African continent, and holding audiences at rapt attention in Tanzania, Jordan, and Ethiopia. Graduates of his alma mater Coppin State University can claim him as one of their own. Doni’s peers see and hear him every election season for the past eleven years giving his “unbiased and un-bought” opinions on politics on WBAL-TV 11; none of them can deny he has accrued the body of work to be there, and be heard.
The fourth reason I want to be like Doni is, he understands business. It didn’t take long in subsequent conversations over the years for me to learn he was willing to do the work to form a global media communications company. This does not mean he did not believe in the importance of non-profits; what he didn’t believe in was exploiting his community or his people.
The fifth and final reason I want to be like Doni is when it comes to media he is not only always “in the KNOW”, but he is also always “in the NOW”. In his eighteenth year as a journalist, including ten years consistently in radio including years at WEAA-FM at Morgan State University where he often invited me to serve as a gust and occasionally to host when he was away, Doni has continued to do his “homework”, and when he couldn’t he will sometimes call on me to do it for him for which I remain grateful; I learn something new each time we fact check, or quantify, or share roles as “devil’s advocate.
He remains in the “NOW” by continuing to re-invent himself before the public by offering new fresh ideas and ways of looking at “the news before the news” from all the angles. He offers admonition with love, identification of problems followed by action steps and solutions. And when many of his peers in media are unemployed he and his vision and business is thriving. Yes I want to be like Doni, truth be told; who wouldn’t?
John Milton Wesley is an author and musician whose articles and poems have appeared in the The Washington Post, Essence Magazine, The Baltimore Sun, and the Afro-American Newspapers. He has also appeared on all major television networks cable TV, and National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered.” His e-mail is : email@example.com
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