Name: Tahir Coleman Register
Age: “25 ’til 30″
Ethnic background: Afrikan American, Puerto Rican, Native American
Hometown: Newark, NJ
Company name/hustle: The BLACK Media, LLC; multi-service entertainment and production company
Web addresses: https://www.TahirRegister.com/; https://www.TheBLACKMedia.org/
IG/Youtube/Twitter/FB: @TheBLACKMedia @TahirRegister @OfficialBlackMedia (FB)
In today’s day and age, it seems like you can never turn on the TV without being flooded with negative imagery, especially when it comes to people of color. Step into the world of social media and and this person’s gossiping about that one, random’s are out here thirst-trappin’, “comedians” are buffooning and cooning, and fight videos are breaking the internet.
The bad seems to always outshine the good. That’s why Tahir Register stepped up to make a change. Going 4 years strong, the Newark native has been creating positive vibrations for Black culture through TheBlackMedia.org, a rising news outlet that puts the pride back in “Black.”
Tune into this in-depth interview to learn more about the multi-talented man behind one of media’s hottest new news outlets. From his humble beginnings, to his victories and and future triumphs, Tahir unveils it all.
CM: Mr. Tahir Register. You have so many talents, where do we start? Lol. Theblackmedia.org: what inspired you to start such a positive and empowering blog?
TR: In 2013, I noticed a rise in fight videos that were often posted via social media under the auspices that there was a place for it to go viral—Worldstar [Hip Hop]. This ideology was met with disdain by people of color who simply didn’t want to see us in this vein, including me. So because of the increase in fight videos—not all discovered by Worldstar, but by many blog sites and news sources like FOX, CNN, and even BET—I started to think about providing a different space where people of color didn’t have to be only seen in a negative light, but a consistent positive one.
I noticed as a singer and actor of color that there weren’t many places I felt comfortable existing on, so in lieu of complaining, I started my own publication. I do not own a blog. I own a legit source of news, yellow journalism, mixed with standard journalism, and original content. Blogs simply do not have the same [depth]. I own a media outlet. A respected publication.
We see A LOT of negative imagery in the media when it comes to Black entertainers, especially since social media is so popular now. Have you ever been tempted to repost a funny story, or even a meme, that showcased a person of color in a negative light?
I have absolutely been tempted to post negative images of us because of the humongous funny bone I have. As an entertainer, and actor, I often do sketch comedy, improv, and enjoy stand up. And some jokes, even though very disrespectful, are simply hilarious to me. I often share them with my friends in private, but make sure to keep it that way, versus adding more clutter about us to social media.
For instance, DJ Akademiks recently posted a Jersey Club version of Tyrese’s breakdown [where he posted a video on Facebook crying over his legal battle for his daughter]. Even though I wrote an article on why we shouldn’t shame each other when we breakdown or reach out publicly, that club mix made me cry from laughter.
Being that I follow your site on social media, I know you’ve been doing this for a few years, but your brand has just started to take off this past year or so. What’s kept you going?
What’s kept me going is the consistent growth. Starting out my first year, from June 2013 to Jan 2014, I had about 10,000 views, and it wasn’t even a full year. To many, that’s an extremely small number considering the most popular websites gain millions a day, but I was proud. The next year, I had over 20,000 views for the full year, and a continuation of growth into the millions years after. The people saying, “We need more of this, don’t stop, keep going,” going from 500 likes on Facebook to over 20k in less than a year and from 200 followers on Instagram to now 6 thousand-plus—it’s my supporters that keep me going.
Were there ever moments where you wanted to give up?
I sing, act, write, I’m a photographer, etcetera. I’ve never wanted to quit any of my talents or professions. But being a journalist and publication owner? I’ve wanted to quit this job twice! The first time it happened was when I realized money was being taken from me. I started making money with TheBLACKMedia.org in 2015.
All was good until I became popular, the money started and it was good, and the promise was more views more money. Well, I got more views, and got less money. I mean less money. After leaving that company, I decided to handle my publication all on my own, handling my own money, back-ups, full designs, upgrades, etcetera. I simply didn’t know what I was doing and crashed physically and literally and decided I was done!
The second time was most recently. Back in August of 2017, where because of a server issue, my website’s over 1000 articles, and average Google placement of 3, were de-indexed and my placement was lost! Google was my number one source of income, and I lost it all. Still recovering from that, I decided to stay because the responses from the people didn’t stop. No one had any idea my viewership dropped from about 50-60k a month to 10K for a few months. It was embarrassing, but I’m glad to say I fixed it and I’m keeping it going for the people, and for the sake of our image. I believe that thang!
You’ve had instances were celebs have re-tweeted and shared your stories. How does that feel? Do moments like that make the journey worth it?
Getting re-tweets from celebrities feel like hugs from professors at the end of the semester. After doing all that work and getting a good grade, it’s over. [It’s like they’re saying] “We see you, we love you, we thank you!” When I received a re-tweet from Jennifer Lopez, Missy Elliott, Tyra Banks, and when I get constant re-tweets from India.Arie, I feel the most happy because I love these women dearly and they live with me in entertainment daily. I’ve dedicated my life to making sure people of color have a safe place to exist in positivity and light so when I get a re-tweet, it makes the article I wrote all worth while. And when I don’t, sometimes I question the article’s worth. But only sometimes…
What would you say has been your biggest story thus far? The one that’s not only gotten the most attention, but has made the biggest impact in a positive way?
This question is difficult to answer because I’ve had about six huge stories that have gotten loads of views and have made impact, and some that have gotten average views, but also made a huge impact. For instance, my Azealia Banks interview, that article wasn’t sky-rocketing in viewership. However, Billboard Magazine, BET, Complex, and many top magazines picked it up, and many still reach out to me about the positive impact I’ve had on re-defining Azealia and providing a safe space [for her].
But my article in February 2016, where I broke down the lyrics to “Formation” by Beyoncé, reached hundreds of thousands and garnered much impact by helping folks understand the ideology behind the lyrics, and video. So I’d say those two have been the most impactful. If I had to choose one, I’d choose the Beyoncé article because I’m still, almost two years later, getting views on that article and messages thanking me for writing it and breaking down the genius of the record.
How do you stay afloat amidst an industry full of gossip, violence and sex-driven content?
It’s super easy to stay afloat because TheBLACKMedia is an extension of myself; it’s not something I have to force or go outside of myself to do. It’s literally what I’d be doing on Facebook in a comment, or in a tweet, if I didn’t own this website. I stay afloat because in my personal life, I’m simply not interested [in the party scene]. I don’t drink, smoke, or go to clubs or bars. I work, create, and rarely go out. I truly love what I do and surround myself with nothing but consistent positivity, so it’s easy to stay afloat. What’s not easy is inspiring others to care.
For years I’ve fought the ideology that people only want or really want negativity, and after four years and 2000 articles, I found that people really do crave that negative gossipy news. I often wonder, if I wrote on all races, and all topics, if I’d be a millionaire by now, instead of living with my
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