Saturday, February 29, 2020
Former WGN-TV Segment Host Aspires to Inspire!
As I conclude my Black History Month celebration here, I am happy to feature motivational speaker, poet and former WGN-TV Minority Business Report host, Sporty King. I hope you'll make him feel welcome with your comments and questions.
CAN YOU TELL PEN & PROSPER READERS A LITTLE ABOUT WHO YOU ARE AND HOW YOU BEGAN WRITING?
I am a native of Harlem, NY now living in Charlotte, NC… moving here after 23 years in Chicago, IL. Before that I spent 4 years in Riverdale, Md after being transferred through my job at The Wall Street Journal. It was a promotion into Advertising Sales after starting my career as a Messenger in the New York office in 1975. I would retire from The Journal in 1993 as a Regional Classified Advertising Manager. In 1994 I began my Entrepreneurial journey using my poetry to uplift people’s spirits… a path inspired through my spiritual enlightenment following the path God laid out for me.
I am now an Inspirational Speaker who helps people become better listeners and master their stress, which results in improved communication skills and better relationships with the people they communicate with.
My poetry has evolved more into positive words, affirmations and acronyms than actual poems. In fact, while living in Chicago, I was on WGN’s ‘Minority Business Report,’ delivering the inspirational message on a weekly basis from 1999-2001.
I began writing revolutionary poetry at the age of 14, inspired by The Last Poets’ “When The Revolution Comes” album (1970); combined with home sickness. I had won an ABC (A Better Chance) Scholarship and attended a Private High School in Massachusetts. During our 3 week orientation I was introduced to the album and we listened to it everyday during that summer.
DO YOU HAVE A SPECIALTY AREA?
In terms of the writing, NO… because my gift is the ability to write “in the moment” and spirit of the group. I believe all “writers” have that gift of opening up to incorporate the scenery and senses of the environment. If there is a pattern in your writing I believe it is by choice… then refined.
WHAT IS YOUR MISSION OR PURPOSE AS A WRITER? OR IS IT SITUATIONAL?
It’s actually situational and purposeful. One of the services I offer is called ‘Share the Conference.’ What I do is listen to the speeches and main topics discussed throughout the day and create an inspirational poetic wrap up that incorporates the synchronicity in the messages. I also do this serving as Emcee, a role I call “Master of Listening.”
WHAT ONE TIP CAN YOU GIVE TO ASPIRING WRITERS SEEKING TO BUILD A PLATFORM AND INCREASE THEIR ODDS FOR SUCCESS IN THIS INDUSTRY ?
Because you are creative, learn to control your vocabulary rather than allowing your vocabulary to control you. Every word must have multiple meanings. When someone else says they have “Writer’s Block,” ask them to write about who’s standing on the north, south, east and west corners of the Block they grew up on...
WHO ARE SOME OF YOUR LITERARY INFLUENCES OR ROLE MODELS?
Gil Scott Heron and The Last Poets, as mentioned. However, I have always had a wide range of love and appreciation for the poetry I began studying in high school: Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken” still connects to my belief in living a life of no regret, and making positive choices based on the information we have at hand. When we get more information we make different choices (not necessarily better).
I’ve been inspired by and blessed to have met Gwendolyn Brooks and Sonia Sanchez. Brooks’ personalized autograph calling me an “Old Friend” smiles from my wall. We had met twice, years apart, and she remembered me from the first. I was a DJ in my late teens/early twenties, so enjoyed the rappers like Kurtis Blow and Sugar Hill Gang. I love Malcolm X and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s mastery of words.
Learn more at SPORTYKING.COM