When I first came to African-American News & Issues in September 2001, I had no idea what awaited me ahead.
Initially, I began working for A-AN&I as a carrier while attending college and working other jobs. As the years passed, I found myself becoming more engaged with the newspaper and often stopping by the paper just to hear Mr. Malonson crack a few jokes and spill a little wisdom.
It wasn’t until 2009 that I realized how much of an influence the Malonson’s had become in my life. Prior to that time, I had only worked closely with Mr. Malonson in regards to Distribution and had not really interacted much with Mrs. Malonson except in passing.
In 2009, after the loss of my son and mother within a month apart, I knew the best thing for me to do besides exercising my faith was to stay busy doing positive things.
At the time, I was just trying to focus and keep my mind off of my reality. It was during that time the Malonson’s decided to bring me on full-time.
I began working nonstop and found a safe haven in Distribution and Journalism. In the process, Mr. Malonson personally mentored me in many ways-from writing, interviewing, photography and countless other areas. I remember one Saturday afternoon, we went outside, and he literally got down on the ground and showed me the various angles and different ways to shoot the camera in order to capture the best photos of people.
As it relates to Mrs. Malonson, I had always admired her from a distance and always considered her as the Proverbs 31:10 kind of woman-virtuous. She always walked with grace and had a certain aura about her that commanded respect. I used to call her an “ornament”, due to her stylish trends and looks.
However, the more I got acquainted with her, I realized that there was so much more to her than styles and trends. As we conversed with one another, I realized that she was just as wise and knowledgeable about life, the Black community, business and anything else in between.
Through the years, I have been blessed in so many ways by being under the tutelage of Mr. Roy Douglas and Shirley Ann Malonson. Until this very day, I regard them as secondary parents. I will forever be grateful for the influence and impact that they have placed on my life.