In celebration of Black History Month, each week the MSR will highlight one of four women currently in roles of leadership. As part of their story they will also share with readers the stories of women who have inspired them.
Brittany Lynch, who goes by Miss Britt, was born and raised in St. Paul. She first attended the Lundstrom Center for the Performing Arts around the age of eight and has been in love with performance and entertainment ever since.
Fast forwarding to 2016, we find Lynch doing what she loves. She is currently the director of operations for Soul Tools Entertainment, a seven-tier multimedia company that has existed in its current form for about four years. She has an event, Feel Good Revolution, coming up on Wednesday, February 17 from 8-11 pm at Vieux Carre.
Her life and her work are “inspired by Nikki Giovanni, because she is a fierce poet, activist, and business woman. She never underestimated the power of storytelling through narratives of Black excellence, or her ability to create space for those narratives to thrive,” Lynch told the MSR.
Soul Tools Entertainment specializes in creating content in film, print, radio, television, music, clothing, and the Web. “In all of our areas of content, we try to represent ourselves and teachings of ourselves that don’t get seen,” explained Lynch.
For example, there is Soul Tools Radio, which is on every Saturday night from 9-11 pm on KFAI radio, that gives a platform to local artists wanting to get their music played, get interviewed, and tell their stories. The show also gives local small business owners a chance to give a quick “elevator speech” about what they do.
Soul Tools Films recently shot a film in the Bahamas called Bahamian Sons. The film was written and directed by Reggie Henderson, who is the president of Soul Tools Entertainment and co-host of Soul Tools Radio. This film explores Black fatherhood as well as island culture.
Lynch told the Spokesman, “[We are] currently working on music with many artists.” At this time, their primary artist is Toki Wright, a hip hop MC and music producer who also happens to be vice president of Soul Tools Entertainment.
Soul Tools wants its brand “to [showcase] Black excellence without limits,” Lynch added. They support the notion that “Art matters, and it is also transformative. We want all of our performing artists to know that and come from that place when performing.
“It is not enough to just say, ‘Black Lives Matter,’” she added, “if we do not feel good in the process. If we do not practice radical self-care and choosing to be happy, and carving out spaces for us to live in, our lives really don’t get to [their] full potential.
“That is really a facet of the Soul Tools brand,” continued Lynch. “It is really about trading tools for your soul. What is going to make you feel good at the end of the day? How can we trade content that isn’t just entertaining, but that fights for equity at the same time? How can we bring joy to peoples’ lives while we simultaneously fight for justice?”
Lynch is also the host of a television show that is taped once a month called Candy Fresh, which is aired on SPNN (Saint Paul Neighborhood Network) and Black Music America. “It is a talk show that is filmed in front of a live studio audience. The show has live dancers, live DJs, live performances, in addition to interviews. It is somewhat modeled after In Living Color. Whereas In Living Color has skits and live performances, Candy Fresh has performances and live interviews.
“We wanted to create a brand that pushes narratives of people that were not being told by mainstream media,” Lynch continued. “If we didn’t do this, a lot of voices would not be heard. [We] really try to push the envelope so that people don’t get forgotten with the whitewashing of mainstream media.”
Lynch says she will continue to advocate for the unheard and will continue to “tell the narratives of the forgotten.”
Brandi Phillips welcomes all reader comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Brandi Phillips is a contributing writer at the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder.