Pamela D. Smith is an Empowerment and Executive Leadership Speaker, Award-Winning Author, and Prayer Leader. She uses her literary talent to help women and authors build a personal brand and position themselves as leaders. She also assists with brand strategies as well as the focus on mental health and wellness through prayer. She joined forces with her husband, Randall R. Smith, Sr, and their three sons (Cha’Darius, Randall Jr, RaTiage) to author a book that focuses on helping emerging black professionals, brands, and entrepreneurs build their brand and position themselves as leader.
How did you all produce the title, Blackface?
We know in the past the term Blackface has been looked upon as having a negative meaning, and rightfully so, because of how it was used. We wanted to bring new meaning and steer people away from the negative association. We also wanted Black people (black faces) to understand the beauty of their color and to affirm to them that they can lead in every space. Randall Sr.’s childhood friend passed away a few years ago and he had a very dark complexion, but he had a beautiful soul. He was often called “Black” and Randall, Sr. would call him Blackface. After his passing, Randall, Sr. started a t-shirt brand called Blackface and I, Pamela, put some strategy behind it and thought about authoring a book where we all could share some of our experiences as black faces and how we are using those experiences as well as lessons to position ourselves as leaders.
Why is Black leadership important to y’all?
It is important because it improves innovation. It is important for representation and relatability, and it ensures that diversity thrives.
What are some of your experiences as Black leaders?
Me, Pamela, being a black face female author and speaker and having to understand that authorship is more than just writing a book-authorship is leadership and books build brands. I had to start embracing those roles and positioning myself as a leader. Many Black authors struggle to sell books, get book deals if they desire one, and having the resources available, however it is important to know that this does not diminish the person or mean that we are not leaders. We can big build brands.
What are some of the Co-Author experiences as Black leaders?
Randall, Sr-the unfairness in Corporate and then having you think that because you do not have the title of leader, you are not a leader. My experience in leadership starts at home and it ends at home.
Cha’Darius-the lack of mentors and examples in Black community leadership. A lot of times the Black youth are dismissed, and no one wants to invest their time in them to mentor them.
Randall, Jr-understanding how to be a self-leader and valuing self regardless of the things that happen to us or around us.
RaTiage-knowing how important it is to be an influencer in your social circle and to be the positive leader and not the follower.
Pamela, why was it important to you to partner with your husband and three sons with his book?
I have written ten books of my own, was a Visionary Author in a family collaboration with my sister and cousins and been a co-author in two other books but when I thought about thinking beyond the book, I thought about legacy and family unity. Although that has been demonstrated in all my other book projects, it is important for black faces to see that we can invest and partner with each other and we should start within our home. Again, my husband created the Blackface t-shirt brand and I saw a vision for his brand that is bigger than the vision that I have seen for my own brand so in my role as a helpmeet, I wanted to start this book and see where it leads his brand.
What is one thing that you would want readers to know, that is in the book, which will help them?
The book includes the actual framework for creating a brand strategy.
Can you tell us more about what you will be doing beyond the book?
Beyond the book, I, Pamela, will offer leadership training to organizations, HBCU’s and anywhere there is a lack of leadership development for Black people as well as brand strategy sessions.
Where can the book be purchased and how can we connect with you?
The book can be purchased at www.pameladsmith.net and we can connect on Instagram @pameladsmith.net