Congratulations on your success in launching “Dianne Andrews in Black and White,“ and growing an audience that has garnered the status as the largest issues-based talk show in the state of Louisiana (with a broadcast reach to several counties in Mississippi along with a growing YouTube audience).
You have opened dialogue on a number of topics including Black, White and Blue Lives Matter, ISIS, the KKK and sex trafficking, interviewed a diverse selection of guests with opposing views and developed a very unique platform for authentic, no-holds bar discussions.
Share the inspiration behind the creation of this show.
Dianne Andrews In Black and White is a double entendre. There are a lot of issues with blacks and whites in America, but the show’s goal is to also show the black and white of an issue. You need to see all sides to fully understand an issue, and in delving deeper we find the truth is neither black nor white but somewhere in the middle grey area. I am the executive producer for the show and try to do things that impact other people’s lives. I enjoy it and try to leave a path of goodness for others to follow. I have done numerous shows, including nine shows on Isis, a series on Black White Blue Lives Matter and two shows on Hurricane Harvey, to name a few.
Take us back to your childhood and share your upbringing and early aspirations?
As a young girl, I thought of being a nurse or a doctor, and then I decided I wanted to go into computer science and majored in mathematics. I had a wonderful childhood and great parents who taught me good morals. I came from a great gene pool; my mother had a photographic memory, and I have her memory. I started a nonprofit organization in their honor to carry on their legacy of service, compassion and love.
What was your former profession and how did it prepare you for your current role as a talk show host?
I was a programmer with IBM on the Space Shuttle when I first started and was the second black woman systems engineer in the city of Houston. I have done 93 shows and those were done while working full-time in my home healthcare business, which I sold six months ago to dedicate myself full-time to writing and doing my talk shows and leadership forums.
IBM trained us so well and helped me to have more structure and more etiquette as a speaker. But I was never afraid of public speaking, which is the number one fear in the world. I did plays in high school; I was my school valedictorian; I was the school queen, so I was always accustomed to being out there in the public so that was always a no-brainer for me and definitely not something I was afraid of. IBM helped me to hone those skills.
What have been the top issues you have covered?
The shows I did in Houston on Hurricane Harvey and the #MeToo movement; Black, White and Blue Lives Matter with our Chief of Police and my numerous segments on ISIS.
Which segments have connected most with viewers?
My coverage on the Black Panthers achieved some of the highest views and ratings. The show involving Alton Sterling who was killed by the police also connected with viewers. That was a big deal around the country. Also my series on ALS, which is also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, centered around a 35-year veteran anchor here in Baton Rouge who has ALS. I did two shows with her and those received very high ratings. Lastly, my religious roundtables also have received high views. I have featured nearly every major religion in this country.
What segment has been most gratifying and controversial?
The segment on Black White Blue Lives Matter – because all lives matter. The segments also caused the most controversy. Black Lives Matters traveled here and did marches, and three weeks after that three of our policemen were gunned down by a guy who came from St. Louis. A news station in New Orleans picked up the coverage I did on that topic.
Share the greatest challenge you have encountered in launching your show.
Finding financing has been the greatest challenge. There are not a lot of people doing independent shows and serving as executive producer. Although I am the largest show in the state of Louisiana, finding the money can be difficult.
You have another passion to empower individuals for success. Describe the origin and inspiration behind your Promoting Success Seminars that will take place later this month in Baton Rouge.
When I was at IBM, I started Promoting Success Seminars. In fact, I am starting that up again on April 28 with 15 speakers and will cover topics from How to De-stress in the Workplace, How to Write a Resume and How to Do an Interview, as well as Image Consulting, and much more. We also cover how to get a lot of things off of social media – so if you have been out there doing things that you don’t want people that may want to hire you to know, we show you how to get that imprint off of social media. Speakers will also share insights on what type of business structure you should set up from a S-Corp to LLC to partnership.
What do you hope attendees will walk away with after attending your seminar?
I hope they walk away empowered and positioned for the future. I hope that whatever they want to do in their lives these workshops will point them in the right direction with some skills to get there. This is not a one-time deal, this is the first one and we hope to do more. Each topic could be a workshop on its own. I want to do this in Houston also and several other cities and countries also. I am giving away almost 30 tickets to students at Southern University, LSU and BRC Community College.
Share your motivation for becoming a published author and how your books have been received?
Writing took me to a place that I could control. I couldn’t control aspects of home health care, and I couldn’t control my mother’s illness. So it allowed me to use my creativity to make things the way I wanted them to be. I had one person who told me that I was a cross between John Grisham and Danielle Steele; it can’t get any better than that.
You have also written a book of inspirational quotes. What are some of the favorite quotes you have written?
- Failures are your successes reversed in the mirror.
- Self-doubt is the negative talk that keeps you from flying high as a cloud if you let it speak to you too loud.
- Happiness is – after everything you have tried finding a place where there is love inside. At the end of the day that is what we all are looking for – love.
What person has had the greatest impact on your life?
My mother was a wonderful lady, and I couldn’t have asked for a better mother. She poured virtue and morals into me and encouraged me to believe I could do anything that I wanted to do. I gained so much from her being with me the last years of her life because of her spirit, because of her inspiration. We all have people who will try to bring us down to a low place, but my mother would always tell me – don’t let them win. And that is something that I still say to myself today. One of my sayings is that no matter what the enemy has done to me, it won’t change the woman God made me to be.
What is your advice to other young people who hope to follow their passion and use their gifts to make a difference?
Believe in yourself and believe that you can do it. Go and get the right training and get a good role model.
- Note: Dianne’s formula for success is 3D+3P+N (Desire x Decision x Determination)+(Planning x Physical Wellness x Purpose)+ Networking.
Is there anything you would say to your younger self when looking back on your journey?
I would have done what I am doing now earlier. I am very happy with what I did do, because everyone can second guess themselves. But if there was one thing, it probably would have been majoring in Mass Communications and Mathematics and getting a double major.
Looking back over your life, did you ever imagine you would be a media persona and making the impact you are today?
I always had the confidence to do something, and I always wanted to do something to make an impact on the world.
What is on the horizon for Dianne Andrews In Black and White?
I hope to expand to even more cities and to start getting more sponsorship support. Hopefully the sky is the limit. You are never too old and it is never too late to follow your dreams. Sometimes, we all are afraid to step out and do things. And sometimes when we are older, we get a little more intimidated because we have had a lot of enemies that have tried to knock us down. It does make you a little more cautious, so I have to try to think, “keep going and don’t let them win” – my mother’s saying.
Interesting Facts About Dianne
Share the principle or motto that guides your life.
Leave a path of goodness for others to follow.
Person in media you admire?
Harris Faulkner (Fox News).
What show do you consider binge-worthy?
OWN’s Have and Have Nots (but I am so busy now, so I try not to do that now, because TV can envelop your life and you can’t do anything else).
Describe your go-to outfit that makes you feel like a boss.
A St. John knit outfit.
What would people be surprised to know about you?
That I am an extrovert and a work-a-holic but also a homebody.
Essential Things You Do for Self-Care?
I don’t do it as often as I should, but when I do, I get massages and pedicures.
To keep up with the latest happenings with Dianne Andrews, visit her official website.