By Ian Williams
NORFOLK, VA — Charlamagne Tha God came to Norfolk State University for the first time as a speaker for the Mass Communications and Journalism Department’s 2022 MCJR Week.
Charlamagne spoke about overcoming obstacles during his childhood in South Carolina, failed career attempts, establishing his platform and using life experiences to create other lanes of success.
The radio personality spoke about how his mother, who worked as an English teacher, made him read books. The task grew into writing skills and led him to become a New York Times bestselling author.
His first book, “Black Privilege: Opportunity Comes to Those Who Create It,” was published in April 2017. He also saw success in his second book, “Shook One: Anxiety Playing Tricks on Me.”
Charlamagne decided to go to therapy with the rest of his family, which played a part in him becoming an advocate for getting help in achieving mental wellness.
He believed therapy aided him after being diagnosed with anxiety, and improved relationships with his parents, which made him the type of father he is today.
“You learn to have grace with your parents,” Charlamagne said. “I didn’t know my father was going to therapy two to three times. Nobody took him seriously. He was doing the best he could, so I give him grace for that.”
Therapy helped Charlamagne understand life lessons and corrected his mindset toward life. He developed the skills to maintain his moods, and he could process the moment. He hopes to use his knowledge mentally and financially.
“One of the best moments was with my daughter. She’s 13 now. She came to us and said, ‘I’m overwhelmed,’ you know. That’s the language she used,” he said.
Charlamagne also gave his opinion on the 2022 Oscars incident when comedian Chris Rock made a joke about actress Jada Pinkett- Smith and actor Will Smith approached the stage and slapped him.
Charlamagne also gave his opinion on the 2022 Oscars incident when comedian Chris Rock made a joke about actress Jada Pinkett-Smith and actor Will Smith approached the stage and slapped him.
“All I saw was a brother in pain,” Charlamagne said. “There’s a bigger conversation we should be having. A conversation about mental health, a conversation about emotional intelligence, and a conversation on Black men processing their emotions without using violence because to me that was super scary.”
Charlamagne believed he saw the result of Black trauma.
“I follow Will Smith,” Charlamagne said. “He was talking about taking the mask off in a real way and really wanting to show his true authentic self, and it was scary because that is a brother who we have all seen who was doing the work. He was working on himself, he was going to therapy … and on the biggest night of his career, he snapped.”
Charlamagne also highlighted his partnership with comedian Kevin Hart with Audible Inc., a platform for Black voices. SBH Productions is a new original content platform that will be an outlet for culture.
The first of five projects, “Finding Tamika,” came out last month.