Ladies, I want you to meet 21-year-old go-getter Amanda Wright, the founder, and creator of Wright and Black and the Wright Closet.
Amanda was born in Havana, Cuba and raised in Montego Bay, Jamaica. She moved to Orlando, Florida at the age of 10. At the age of 18, she moved to New York. She is a student at Borough Manhattan Community College and works part-time as a receptionist at Barry’s Bootcamp, while running her business. Amanda launched the Wright Closet on July 1st, 2018 and Wright and Black in September 2019. Wright and Black is a film series that primarily features individuals from the Black Diaspora. She interviews and gives them the opportunity to share their experiences living in the United States.
Before you dive in, I want you to know that Amanda is paving the way for much-needed conversation and uncovering widely held, common misconceptions, misnomers, and stereotypes that limit individuals of the Black Diaspora. Amanda has been able to take her passion and turn it into a business that serves individuals of her community and the entire Black Diaspora. If you feel discouraged or even frightened to turn your passion into profit don’t be. Amanda is not afraid of speaking her truth and bringing other people into the conversation and you shouldn’t be either.
So, let’s hop right in...
Q: Amanda, what inspired you to get started?
A: When I moved to Orlando Florida, my life changed completely, I started experiencing a lot of racism in school, and I started to feel very self-conscious about my skin color and my ethnicity. Once I moved to New York, I became more confident with myself, but there was always a part of me that told me that I need to do something about the way my people are being treated because of the color of their skin, so that’s when I came up with Wright and Black. Originally it was going to be called “White and Black”, but I want people to always remember me and how hard my ancestors fought for my family and me to be where we are today, so I changed it “Wright and Black”.
Gem #1: Legacy
When starting a business or project understand that your name (unless stated otherwise) is behind it. Think about how you want to be portrayed and what message you want to send to the world. This is your chance to start your legacy. Ladies, I want you to understand that your legacy is not just the money, but the way that you leave people feeling after you walk out of a room, off the stage, or when they close their screens. It is the valuable information that seeps into their minds and becomes little nuggets that are cherished forever. Always remember the wise words by the late Maya Angelou, “I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”. Think about how you will create your legacy.
Q: What are some ways that you have utilized your business and platform to challenge systems that may not look like you?
A: I’ve created my very own Wright and Black Network Event, where I featured different upcoming entrepreneurs/artists to showcase their work and to connect with each other. I also came out with a controversial video called “What does it mean to be Black in the United States of America”, where I interviewed different individuals about their personal experiences.
Gem #2: Solve a problem
Now, you might be thinking, how might this tie into a business. Well...it ties in A LOT. Amanda saw that there was a lack and/or scarcity of artists and entrepreneurs within the Black Diaspora and other communities that were not connecting organically and having meaningful and intentional conversations. She saw the problem and created an entire event surrounding solving that problem. Now, she has created a network of individuals that connect with each other on a whole other level. Alongside her networking event, she took to YouTube, a global and international platform to challenge and spread a message.
It is important when you are looking to start a business that you are not in it for the money (the money will come, trust me). Go into business to solve and serve.
Q: What is one thing that you would tell women pursuing entrepreneurship?
A: As harsh as this might sound, the world is out to get all of us, especially women of color. Sometimes, because things get extremely difficult, we want to give up, but we can’t let our oppressors win and take control of us. God will test your strengths and your weaknesses, but all your hard work will be extremely rewarding, so just stick to the goal even when you feel like giving up. We are our ancestor’s wildest dreams, but our oppressor’s worst nightmare.
Gem #3: Don’t give up in the face of adversity.
Amanda is right, “your hard work will be extremely rewarding”. The only way that we will see those rewards if we continue to push through the sexism, classism, racism, insecurities, and other BS that comes flying our way. No, it is not easy, but in the end, it will all be worth it. The way to do that is to fight. Fight systems that try to limit, stigmatize, and stereotype us all. Especially, women of color the fight is harder but with allies, support, and community we are able to conquer anything. It takes a village to overcome adversity and oppression. It takes strong, willing, (maybe even a little frustrated) women to stand up against oppression and inequality. It is about having allies and creating communities that are pushing for the same agenda.
Before we wrap up, here are Amanda’s last words for all of you,
“In this new decade, view it as a fresh start to build your name and who you are as an intellectual. Prove to the people who doubted you, that you are a WHOLE BOSS, prove yourself right. Keep fighting for what you believe in, and remember where you came from throughout this journey”
GEM#4: BE A BOSS LADY
The formula: Go-getter + Intellect = BOSS LADY
Use your words and/or platform to send a message that you are not playing small and that you have come to play with the Big Dogs. This is your time to shine and nobody can get in your way unless you allow them. Keep at it ladies!
If you liked what Amanda had to say make sure to head on over to @shetalksmovement and check out her IGTV takeover.
Want to stay in touch with her? Follow her on Instagram at @wrightandblack and @44jobs and visit her websites at wrightandblack.com and thewrightcloset.com. Need to get in contact with her via email or phone? No worries, feel free to contact her at email@example.com or at 305-956-6053.