An entrepreneur is aiming to help Black men reclaim their narratives and empower them to use their platforms to evoke social change. Through the company ICON MANN, Tamara Houston has cultivated a community of influential men of color from different walks of life who have one common goal: to push the Black community forward, Forbes reported.
The company—which provides media consulting for Black men in the realms of arts & entertainment, politics, business, tech, and other fields—develops strategies for these men to use their influence to help address some of the most pressing issues that the Black community is faced with today, the news outlet writes.
Houston was inspired to create ICON MANN after witnessing the lack of positive representation of Black men in entertainment and society in general. Cognizant of the power of media—due to her work in entertainment—she decided that the industry could serve as a vessel to spark change. “It will take a village to repair what is wrong with the world. Black men have to be a part of that conversation,” Houston told Forbes. “We activate from behind-the-scenes, pushing the men to have an honest conversation in a safe space. They come back to me and tell me what they’ve decided to do, then we help make it happen.”
ICON MANN has worked with actor David Oyelowo and has highlighted the stories of Jay Ellis, Swizz Beatz, contemporary artist Chaz Guest, and former film executive Franklin Leonard. Houston told Forbes that the creation of her company was more about following her purpose than chasing profit. “I’m going to show society our humanity,” says Houston. “Let the world see it.”
There are several platforms that have been created to change negative perceptions surrounding Black men. A Facebook group dubbed Black Fathers was launched in efforts to illustrate Black fatherhood in a positive light.