We had the good fortune of connecting with Alex C. Williams Jr. and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Alex C., Let’s talk about principles and values – what matters to you most?
Being Fearless every step of the way matters the most to me. Knowing that as long as I believe in what I am doing no one’s opinion can affect or touch what I’m doing. Faith and belief creates that fearlessness for me, and my bar is full when it comes to it. I feel like I can do anything. There’s been times in my life where I truly believed that, and an abundance of blessings and opportunities have rained down on me because of it. As an entrepreneur and creative you have to have that, to get to that ultimate dream or lifestyle you’ve been wanting to obtain. There have been times during this process where I have felt that I am being tested and instead of getting down on myself and quitting, something in my mind clicks that reminds me, that what I am doing is not supposed to be easy, but I was made and chosen for this task. So, I walk in that.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
As a kid I went to my grandparents’ house a lot, there wasn’t much there to do, but watch tv and read, but as a kid whose imagination didn’t know any bounds that’s all I needed. My grandma has this table in the living room that is filled with Black owned magazines like Jet, Ebony, and Essence, it was the first time I seen someone who looked like me in a different light. Black people were smiling, laughing and just existing, those little glimpses through those pages expanded my mind forever, it expanded the way I viewed myself and my people. During my last year in college, it became a real blurry time for me as far as trying to figure out what I wanted to do next with my life. Heading to class was some of the best days because that’s when some of the best ideas will come to me. I thought about writing a play, grad school but one thing that stood out to me was creating a magazine. I’ve said this years ago, but it was just me saying stuff after a few pictures came out good, but this time it felt right, then I said it “I want to make a Black ass spread”. Boom! that’s the name of it. I wanted to bring back the Blaxploitation era but with my twist on it, hence the name of which I chose for the magazine, Black Ass Spread. I wanted to show black people in a different light, a spotlight. Bringing back those images I seen as a kid. A time where I felt like the people I seen in those magazines as super heroes, who were striving in areas where there wasn’t too many black people. A spread sheet to where when you open it it’s a centerfold of black people existing. I started this because I want to be a part of the new history being made by black people. I wanted to be that next magazine a black kid looks at finds that same inspiration I did at their age and be better. I want to be the one that Jet, Ebony, and Essence passes the baton to in the race to this never-ending marathon of Black excellence. Each and every year we give the world something they’ve never seen before, but the problem is sometimes we don’t own it. We give someone else the power to dictate what’s hot and what’s not when we control what’s cool. Ownership is key. Out of all my accomplishments in my life so far this is the biggest one, because I know I have an opportunity to change a lot of lives for the better, giving black people an opportunity to showcase their gifts and businesses. Hearing at the end of our events that our vendors exceeded their financial goals, creatives and business owners made connections and enjoyed themselves in the process is what this thing is all about. It feels good to know that people believe in the vision and understand what you are doing, it’s a sign of you can finally breathe, but the work is never done. Now that you have something special, it’s time to remain consistent, continuing to put out quality work. Life of an entrepreneur is not easy. At all. Every step of the way you will be tested, but just because it’s not easy doesn’t mean it can’t be done, that’s where people get things confused, and don’t try at all. I tell you this, if you start and you’re passionate about what you’re doing and continue to help yourself in times when you know no one is coming to save you, things will open up for you, just know that this needs to be and has to be done to get to the life you ultimately want. Before you can convince someone to believe in what you’re doing, you have to believe first. It may sound cliché, but it’s the truth, there’s no way around the work you have to consistently put in. You don’t have to do this alone! Put together a team of hungry and hardworking members who believe in what you’re doing and get to work! I wanted to leave you with this, the way you view yourself and your business is very important. I am going to keep it real with you, you’re going to run into people who are not going to agree or understand what you are doing, and that’s okay. Do not! Do not let things that people don’t understand or agree with stop you from completing your goals and dreams. Know that there are people attached to your dream, and it’s more than you know. They may not say it, but you can definitely feel it.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
For the first night out, we would hang out and have a good time at the Cave in North Miami. In the morning we would go to Arlene’s for breakfast in Opa-locka. Go play ball. Hit up House of Mac in North Miami beach for some good eats. The next day eat at Shuckin N Jivin in Pembroke pines, flick it up at the Super Blue Museum in Allapattah and down in the Overtown area. After that we invite out all our friends to come out and eat with us at Lil Greenhouse grill in Overtown. Ending the night turning up at the Brickhouse club in Wynwood.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
God! My family, my college mentors, and My team at Blackassspread magazine. I want to thank you all for your non-stop support and words of encouragement every step of the way, it has brought me to this point and can’t thank you enough.
Joanne Jean Chris Auguste Aaron King