Click here to watch my Fox and Friends Weekend Interview.
“Don’t feel any type of way. Just make it count and watch the others fall in line. Sometimes you have to be celebrated before you’re appreciated.”
Latoya Johnson, Author, Speaker, Self-Love & Success Coach
On Wednesday, May 4, 2016 a senior booker from Fox and Friends emailed me about appearing on their show. I have to admit, the email caught me completely off guard. For the past ten months I’ve been reaching out to national media outlets all over the country and surprisingly one reached out to me. Mama I made it- this was my big chance to go on live TV and tell the world about learning disabilities and Nelson Beats The Odds.
I reached out to dozens of African American media outlets like The Grio or Black Voices several times with no success. Fox News was the last network I expected to contact me. They have a reputation in the black community as being “unfair” and “unbalanced”. In 2014, a Nielsen survey found that only 1% of Fox News viewers were Black. Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke, a frequent Fox News guest, won the coveted ‘Coon of the Year’ award. I thought my friends and family would judge me for appearing on Fox but the exact opposite happened. The response was overwhelmingly positive. My entire hometown of Tappahannock, Virginia said they would be tuning in, doubling Fox’s Black viewership to a whopping 2%.
The bus ride from Richmond to New York was a nightmare.The bus was two hours late, it smelled like urine and the riders were unflattering. Once we arrived in New York, Fox sent a driver to pick us up in a black Lincoln. The driver was awesome and the staff at Fox News were very professional and courteous. I must admit, I was a nervous wreck after walking onto the set. Being on live TV meant I had to be perfect- a milestone I struggled achieving my entire life. My thoughts were racing,”What if he asks me about President Obama?” or “I have five black characters on the cover of my book, is he going to ask if I’m affiliated with Black Lives Matter?” My mouth was dry with no water in sight. A camera man yelled out,”Ninety seconds,” and my anxiety level immediately jumped to a ten. Lights, camera, action! In less than three minutes it was over. Shout out to Clayton Morris for taking a moment to pose in a photo with me after our interview.
Visibility is one of the biggest challenges for self-published authors. Fox News gave me a platform to talk about Nelson Beats The Odds and learning disabilities. Since the interview I’ve sold 170 books on Amazon, the largest number of books I’ve sold on any one day. I offered the Kindle version of Nelson Beats The Odds for free and it received 278 downloads.
To my family and friends, no need to be alarmed, I’m not voting for Trump or switching my political affiliation. I wrote this blog because Fox News did something I was impressed with, they put politics aside for three minutes and focused on an issue that affects millions of children across the country. Thank you Fox News for reaching out to me and giving me my first national television appearance. Other media outlets may appreciate my story now and give me an opportunity to share my experiences on their networks.
After releasing Nelson Beats The Odds, Sidney was inspired to develop the Nelson Beats The Odds Comic Creator app for iOS mobile devices. The companion app allows users to customize photos and share them with friends on social media. Sidney also started #iBeatTheOdds, a popular Facebook social media campaign that gives individuals a platform to share stories about how they beat the odds. The second book from the Nelson Beats The Odds series, Tameka’s New Dress, is set to be released June 2016. For more information visit the author’s website at http://www.creative-medicine.com.