Mack Wilds, Others Share #TheRecipe

Through the exploration of history, Black history, we gain a better understanding of American culture and every once in a while, we strive to do and be a little better than the generations that have come before us. Through the recognition of our talents and resources we strive to simply “change the game.” But what exactly does changing the game look like? We often see the rewards reaped from “the grind” without actually seeing “the grind.”

To better explore this, in celebration of Black History Month, Pepsi partnered with various innovators using their respective industries to change the dialogue surrounding how Black millennials achieve success in what is being dubbed #TheRecipe.

The Chicago leg of the stop took place on February 18th at Little Black Pearl, a cute, quaint art gallery firmly rooted in the community. The space served as the perfect venue for an evening of the next generation of activists and innovators to share their stories.

In a curated panel hosted by Angela Simmons and Mack Wilds, discussions of influence, as well as the impact of Black culture on all facets of life were weighed in on by Artist Hebru Brantley, The Chicago Bears’ Matt Forte and Husband and Wife Duo, Austin and Autumn, Owners of Sir & Madame.

Panelists reflected and shared some of the advice they’ve received throughout the years.

Some of the best advice of the evening came from Artist Hebru Brantley. When asked by someone in the audience if he had “a plan B if you didn’t excel in the art world and what did you have to give up to get where you are?”

Jokingly, he states “I would’ve played football” of course taking a stab at fellow panelist Matt Forte. After a few laughs he shares “there was never a plan B for me, I honed my passion and perfected my craft so this [art] was always it for me. As far as what I had to give it, it was simple. I had to give up ‘the kick it,’ meaning, I couldn’t go out on the weekend just because my friends were doing so. I couldn’t be seen at all the hottest parties just for the sake of being seen.”

Coming from their respective industries, the entire panel agreed that faith is what has brought them thus far. Curator Mack Wilds shares that, “You never really overcome fear of rejection even when you’re excelling its untamable faith and passion that starts to overshadow your fears.”

Whether coming to celebrate, get inspired or feel empowered, events such as these are particularly necessary to help propel future generations to new heights. Through shared stories of will power and strength, we see that although our callings may be different, we are all equipped with the tools needed to succeed. These events also celebrate our stories, as well as our success, narrated by our people.