A few weeks ago I was tweeting when For Women of Colour posed the question, “What woman on or off the TL motivates and inspires you!?” I took a second and only a second to reflect and one name came to mind: Missy B.
When I was a junior in college, I ended up in a few classes with a tall, vivacious young lady that could make conversation about anything, with anyone. We later found out that we shared a major and took almost all of our junior and senior courses together, which led to a new friendship.
When I met Missy, she was a young and vibrant woman returning to college after a hiatus, looking to pursue a dream of becoming a broadcast journalist. She was the big sister that gave advice, looked out when there was a need and lightened any load with her positive and God-focused attitude.
Now, almost a decade later, I have had the pleasure of witnessing the outcome of Missy’s growth, strength and determination.
This week, I had the opportunity to sit down and speak with her about the very things that have caused her to be an inspirational force in not only my life but the lives of many other women; her journey, her drive and her faith. Missy B has become more than a young woman chasing a dream; she has become an achiever, a role model and a living brand.
M. Lauren: Missy B is a brand. If you had to describe Missy B in three words, what would they be?
Missy B: I am about empowerment, I’m about being on the move and living your best life. That’s my whole vision right now. I care about women and girl empowerment, enjoying and living your best life and being on the move, handling your business.
Before hosting her own show on Columbus’ Best R&B Station, Magic 95.5, Missy had a different dream and plan altogether. Once planning to become a broadcast journalist, Missy worked for the Columbus Dispatch and interned for CBS News before finding herself in radio. Wanting to have experience in every area of media, she dropped into the Radio One Columbus station hoping to learn more about radio and tour. Despite not having applied and employment vacancies being non-existent , she was offered a position in promotions just a few weeks later.
M. Lauren: Tell me a little bit about yourself and how you got started in your field.
Missy B: I was put on movie premieres and that’s all I did until I got hired in promotions in 2007 doing remotes in the community. I moved from that to programming, doing voiceovers. One of the gentlemen on a syndicated show taught me how to do the programming for when he wasn’t at work. He taught me how to produce on the Tom Joyner Morning Show and The Mo’nique Show was the first show I produced. I also did CoCo Brother and am most known for having produced the D.L. Hughley Show.
Once I started doing the programming side I started to get the bug to get on-air. I pursued on-air but was getting pushed to move somewhere smaller, like Alabama, then come back. But, that didn’t make sense. I didn’t have the feeling I needed to leave here to pursue my dream and I could learn it easily. A new boss came and decided to give me a chance.
I’ve been on air now for a year and a half since he came.
M. Lauren: What sets you apart from other people in your field?
Missy B: I think that we live in a society where everyone feels like they have to do what everyone else is doing. I feel like I just gotta be me, that’s the difference. I feel like it’s enough just being myself. I feel like God got it right when He made me, me. I think that me being funny, talking about things I care about, being honest, being vulnerable is authentic, is what wins. When you’re true to yourself you win.
I want to be proud of me. I think that it matters to our next generation to be okay with what you have and who you are. I bring the realness that is kinda getting lost right now.
Whatever you’re supposed to do in life is bigger than you and I don’t want to look back on my life and feel like a fraud.
In 2014, Missy along with partner Essence Marsh founded iGirl, an organization aimed at empowering young girls through workshops, presentations, field trips and other activities.
M. Lauren: Tell me more about iGirl, what is the organization doing right now?
Missy B: We are doing a rebranding event on March 12th at the Whetstone Shelterhouse. We will be going away from applicant, commitment driven 8 week sessions to quarterly events that are open to girls in general and other organizations. The Brunch & Learn on 3/12 will announce our change in model and how others can get involved
We took some time off and became a non-profit organization. In addition to that, we decided to become more of a community resource, partnering with some other organizations and offering the quarterly events tailored to particular subjects each time. We will build a network of resources for people that want to mentor, volunteer, guest speak, etc.
There are so many girl empowerment organizations; we are more effective if we all come together and share ideas to make a bigger impact and growth.
If you’re in the area and are interested in attending the Brunch & Learn, register here
Before signing off of our interview, Missy B wanted to leave our readers with an important lesson she’d learned while growing into her career and womanhood.
Missy B: Here’s the thing that I have discovered that I feel like nobody tells you:
People can identify your light, whatever it is that makes you special. Sometimes they can see it but you can’t. They can see how far it can take you and will attack it. It’s important to identify your light first so that when people try to tear you down, you can see it.
If you can’t identify your light and become confident in it, you will miss what God has for you.
It’s going to be the thing that everyone tried to make you feel like is not amazing, that’s how you start to identify what it is. From being a talker, from being loud, from being a prude, those are the things that people talked negatively about that are now helping me to win.
People want you to dim your light and they want you to be small. They know you have it and they want you to believe that you don’t. You have to become your own cheerleader and your own best friend. And get you some Jesus, honey, cause sometimes that’s all you have.
How can we reach you?
The Magic 95.5 Facebook page
You can catch Missy B every Sunday from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. on Magic 95.5, Columbus’ Best R&B