Saturday, August 06, 2005

NABJ 2005 Convention Coverage

The National Association of Black Journalists Convention was at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Downtown Atlanta. More than 3,000 people from around the country came for the workshops, career fair and networking opportunities. I spent most of my time at the career fair getting turned away by editor after editor for my lack of daily deadline experience (as opposed to all my weekly and monthly deadline experience). The whole convention was pretty disheartening. Still, I managed to inject some levity into an otherwise joyless few days. I am Quint, after all.

There was a bank of laptop computers -- the "Cyber Cafe" -- in the lobby outside the career fair where conventioneers could check their email and surf the Web. The area was always crowded; on the whole, journalists are email addicts. Seeing the crowd as a group of untapped viewers for my blog, I hatched a little marketing scheme to direct those inquiring journalistic minds to this Web site.

Early, early one morning, before too many black journalists had come down the escalator to the career fair, I changed the home pages of a few of the laptops from the NABJ website to "The Quintessential Negro." Tickled pink by my own mischief, I hid behind a pillar and watched the comedy unfold. In the tradition of the most comical black journalists (Jayson Blair et al), here is my less than coherent report:

"What is this," asked the lady at the first laptop.

"What is this," asked the lady at the second.

What is this," asked the man at the third.

They must have been shocked to see the little cartoon renderings of themselves (courtesy of My Lady). I laughed. Luckily, they couldn't see me behind the pillar. Unfortunately, however, everyone on the opposite side of the room could. Maybe that's why no one wanted to hire me.

After a few minutes, a second group of black journalists approached the Cyber Cafe.

"Sspbpbpbpbpbh..." (That's the sound that black people's lips make when they laugh with their mouths closed. A little bit of spit usually sprays out.) Rainbow colored spit specks dotted the laptop screens. Satisfied with this impact on state of black journalism, I headed to the career fair to get rejected anew.

When I returned to the Cyber Cafe a little later, a couple of security guards in cheap black suits stood beside the computers. They ambled about and slyly peered over the shoulders of unsuspecting computer users. When my turn at the computer came, I opened Microsoft Explorer and found that, to my utter chagrin, Quint's fifteen minutes of fame had passed. Suddenly the National Association of Black Journalists Convention was a little less funny.


Anonymous shell said...

Too bad, because you were sure doing them a favor.

99.9% of the journalists could get a little bit stuffy sometimes, esp if you put them all in a room and make them wear suits.

Thank goodness Quint's there to make their trip more enjoyable. Maybe you might have garnered a wider readership too. Who knows?

12:37 AM  
Anonymous Camille said...


The nerve of some folk! Changing the homepage??

...they were just jealous Quint!

7:51 AM  
Blogger piu piu said...

i love that! so funny!

i found u via kim's post on mimi in NY's blog (my sis). keep it up!

9:15 AM  
Blogger hanmee said...

man, that's hilarious. it's unfortunate they didn't appreciate it more. they should have hired you for "thinking outside the box" (isn't that always the crap they emphasize in job listings??)

9:34 AM  
Blogger Pink Lemonade Diva said...

Just found you via Kim Plaintive, and this is a hilarious recap. My favorite parts were your varying italics on the 3 journalists. I actually re-read it in my head with the emphases.

nicely done, Quint.

12:33 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home