On November 2, a local editor asked if I could attend an event in West Philly and get the story to them that night. “Sure,” I said. I had just started freelancing for them and enjoyed meeting intense deadlines.
Black Voices for Trump held this event in the final hours pre-election in a push to get President Donald Trump re-elected. There were only about 20 people there, most were unmasked.
The speakers were Katrina Pierson and Nicole Frazier. Pierson is the national spokesperson and architect of the Black Voices for Trump. Frazier was a special assistant to the Trump and director of Strategic Partnerships and African American Outreach at the White House.
Covering the event was exciting, but it made me nervous. We were in a small room. Seats were not set up for social distancing. Waited a half an hour for the speakers to arrive and thought to myself, “I can’t get sick. I can’t get anyone else sick.”
I posted about this on LinkedIn and a member commented: “Did you say anything to the organizers? Speak up & out!”
But I took notes, recorded some of what Pierson and Frazier said, and then rushed out to return to my house by 7pm.
I would have loved to meet these women who had achieved such a great level of national success. I figured I would need an hour and a half to write the story. Sent it in with a photo by 8:30 pm.
My kids are now 13 and 11. Gone are the days when I would answer a work-related call and take it outside so there would be no noise/kids screaming in the background.
My father died in 2018. Losing him was the hardest moment of my life. My family was fortunate that none of us got the coronavirus.
As I write this, I am vaccinated like many adults. I look back on this experience, and ponder “Was this risk worth it?” Freelance journalists are undervalued, in my opinion. We deliver the story, but who is there for us?
When this story ran in the paper, I got a copy and showed my family what I wrote and the photo I took from my Android phone. My kids insist I need an iPhone for better quality images.
One day, one story at a time.