Kevin Perry, Chairman of the Board of Regents at Oklahoma City Community College, as well as president and CEO of Perry Publishing & Broadcasting visited Oklahoma City Community College last week to speak to journalism students and help them find motivation to succeed in one of the most competitive industries.
“Good afternoon,” Kevin Perry began.
Only one student responded, prompting Perry to repeat sternly, “Good afternoon,” to receive the full attention of the class.
“I am very humbled to say to you that all I ever wanted to do is work for my father. Didn’t want to do anything else. And when I realized he was leaving our house to fold newspapers, I wanted to go with him.”
The Black Chronicle, Oklahoma’s oldest African American community newspaper was started in 1979 by Perry’s father, Russell Perry.
“It is now the largest one day paid weekly newspaper in the state of Oklahoma; and we have grown that into the largest broadcasting independently owned African American company in the nation,” Perry said.
Perry continued to list the extensive success of the company including local radio stations owned by Perry Publishing & Broadcasting students may be familiar with such as hip-hop station Power 103.5.
“I didn’t say all of that to brag. I said all I ever wanted to do is work for my father, he only had one newspaper. We have 16 radio stations now across the nation. Oklahoma, Arkansas, Georgia, South Carolina,” he added.
Perry told stories of what it was like growing up in Oklahoma City in the mid to late 1980s, without only one radio station to listen to that targeted
towards black audiences.
“We used to literally sit there and wait until you heard Prince or Run DMC. I’m just 50 years old… that was in my lifetime. So, I looked up said we’re gonna start a radio station that targets
And in 1993, they created a daytime station on AM radio. Perry added, “Now, pop music is hip-hop. You hear it every day—it’s everywhere, right? What Snoop Dogg and Dre did at the Super Bowl?”
Perry stated the importance of how quick life and society changes, including the acceptance of hip-hop for example.
“So, what is the next hip-hop ladies and gentlemen? Not just music, not just software, anything. Y’all heard that Eminem song, you have one shot.”
“Good afternoon, I said it three times. Haphazardly on the third time you all said all right, we’ll dial in. Great, why are you here?” Perry asked. “I’ve had the honor to speak to a lot of different journalism classes, I’ve had the honor to speak to people who are like you, but what separates you from them?”
“Now I’m going to come back to what I was saying again, what separates you? So, guess what, separate yourselves. When you meet someone make sure they know who you are. One shot—Eminem.” Perry said.
“Now, are we awake?”