Taste and See

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You won’t leave here the way that you came.

Welcome to KHADIJAHDENNIS.COM, home of a journalist who also takes pride in being a creative. This personal website project has been around for years, but with that comes many changes.

I’ve gotten around in the blogosphere for a while with my personal blog, “Truth Be Told” which gave me the opportunity to contribute to conversations regarding the world’s most talked about current events, and highlight the work of other young adults in the surrounding area. But I knew that eventually, I would need something more. Something that would give people a chance to know the person behind the work. Something that would give people an opportunity to view the transition from being a student and working towards a career to the life of a woman actually making things happen. So, alas this site was born.

Here, you can find several different kinds of things:

  • seasonal blog series –  Before I picked up a camera, I was a writer. I pour everything into the words that I write and curate, so it makes sense that I would continue the core of my journalism career, which is writing. Through my seasonal blog series,  you can find everything that I never really talk about unfolding as things I’ve learned, experienced, or have grown from. (RIGHT NOW: You can read the latest post from my current blog series, #Unwritten.)
  • Client Works – No more college projects, these are the REAL deal. Over the past few years here in Charleston, SC, I’ve had the opportunity to make other people’s ideas come alive through video and photography services. And every project looks a lot different and deeply personal. Check out my portfolio of projects.
  • Personal Life – Everyone’s journey is very different. But you can find the inspiration in many. Through this platform, I will be as open as possible with you and the ways I’m continuing to grow and evolve as a woman.

Here, you get to see my experiences come alive. I appreciate you and your support of my work. I hope you will visit often.

KD

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Believe in Your Own Magic

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Are you happy with your life?

In a room filled with fellow Black girl bosses with their own careers, passions, and most authentically, struggles, I was forced to think deeply about this question.

But before doing that, I was asked to grab a card on a door filled with plenty of quotes – all encouraging, all reflective.

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They were very similar to those I had seen around the Dream Big Weekend trips .

Afterwards, upon walking in, I was greeted by the voice of Jessica herself, bubbly, loud, and getting herself ready to do life with several other women lucky to be invited to this closed, bonding, empowerment session.

How would you rate your life at this moment?

In front of us was a sheet of paper with a color wheel and colored pencils. We were asked to rate our life in parts such as career, friendships, romantic relationships, health, etc.

Writing a simple number down wasn’t hard. Coloring was even therapeutic, but having to elaborate on why I chose those numbers, and why I felt the way I did was difficult.

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There’s a notebook that I carry around all the time, and on the outside it reads “Happiness is an inside job.” Through the intimate discussions, I thought back to this very quote, and how I am in control of what I choose to take in my life. There is no reason to be unhappy if I can make a choice to do something or think about something differently. Of course, it’s easier said than done, but there’s power in words and action. Our words manifest the action. And with everyone sharing where they are – young, and seasoned, everyone had the common goal of happiness and fulfillment.

Fulfillment in our relationships. Happiness with our careers and personal endeavors. Upon leaving, we eached read the card we chose one by one. And altogether, without even realizing it, we had told a magnified story that included one another.


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Jessica Amaro is the creator of #DreamBigWeekend – which encourages you to take a few days away from any distractions, to be around other women who resonate with you, and places a focus on living our best lives.

You can visit her website to see the Dream Big Weekend Experience at https://www.dreambigweekend.com/

Be sure to LIKE her Facebook page as well to see a recap of last year’s Dream Big Weekend trip. More to come from this year!

Thank you + Hello again

I appreciate you.

I can’t even begin to say how grateful I am for the friends and loved ones I have who called or sent messages checking in on little ole me during Hurricane Matthew. It was greatly appreciated all the same.

I’m also grateful to be typing this up in my own apartment space where thankfully there have been no damages due to the storm, the power still works, and everything is exactly how I left it. If I learned nothing from this weekend’s 24 hour coverage of the storm, I’ve learned to count my blessings, no matter how big or small.

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The Live 5 news team did an amazing job coming together these past few days to bring our viewers any information we could to keep them safe. As a producer, this is very important to me. I value those who love us and what we do because only a smidget of it is actually seen on camera. A whole lot of the work comes from behind the scenes with decisions on who covers what, how that is presented to the viewers and for how long.

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I didn’t get many pictures of the newsroom over the weekend, but let me tell you: it was a whole lot of hustle and bustle! Many of us spent the night at Live 5’s headquarters so that we could all safely and with rest make sure that we were ready for the day’s events.

We stressed.

We laughed.

We fellowshipped.

We were all together in one space. Not everything goes well 100%, but our main goal is what the viewer needs from us, and we all came together to get it done.

While many may still be feeling the effects of Hurricane Matthew, I want to send lots of encouragement and light your way. Make it to all of your destinations safely, and remember that my team and I are always on your side, no matter where you are.

-K

P.S. I promise, I will blog often. Look out for personal notes and things on Mondays ❤

 

Checking in -Millyrock and Blessings

Checking in.

It’s been awhile since I’ve been around, chatting about any subject.

That’s because for the first time in a long time, I spent more time living and less time dreaming.

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Representing the lowcountry well ❤ – Ann McGill, anchor at Live 5 news and I after a morning show

It’s been a crazy incredible two months since I’ve graduated from the University of South Carolina. Never would I have expected for my life to move so quickly. I’m honored that I even have the opportunity to do what I love day in and day out. And I’d like to think that the people I work with help me a great deal with making my job a bit easier.

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Weekend morning crew: Meteorologist Sagay Galindo and Anchor Hannah Mosely

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My executive producer, Chaunte Turner and I

Moving to the city of Charleston is a completely new beginning. Outside of the very few friends or people I know in the area, it’s a different lifestyle.  I must say though, between the area being gorgeous and the food being to die for, I can’t complain. And only driving twenty minutes at the least to a beach isn’t so bad either.

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I’m overwhelmed with all of the love and support that’s been given to me in the past month as well. From the love on social media, to the calls and texts. It truly means a lot that you believe in me as much as I’ve grown to really start believing in myself.

I’ve had to learn a lot of things coming into this new transition. The hardest being that not everything comes full circle as quickly as you imagine. I love my job, but my job is not the answer to all of my adulting responsibilities. It’s an addition and one that I’m lucky to love and not see as a job but as my career.

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Learning how to choose what’s best for me and to be unapologetic about that is something that I’m learning how to do better. 

You’ll find that life is a big game of compromise. Sometimes, it’s not always about you or what it is that you want, but what you can do that affects a larger platform.

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Snapchat-1892660913738496409.jpgWith my career at Live 5 News, I’m reminded of how many people actually count on me a day. From the moment that I walk in, my anchors, directors, and production crew are all counting on ME to have an idea. An idea that leads to building a show. That show building leading to better direction for ways my production team can make my ideas come alive.

I’ll admit, I admire my positive outlook on things that I set out to do i general. But often times, I do get nervous. I do fall short sometimes. and I’m learning that in the end, that’s okay. I’m learning how to fully accept that perfect and the imperfect. The ups and the downs.

My life is a dream right now.

Everything that I could possibly ever want has fallen into my lap *cues Chance the Rapper’s Blessings.*

And yet, I understand that the journey does not end here.

It was placed on my heart and mind to tell anyone that’s been in a stagnant place to not ever underestimate the blessings that God has coming your way.

Much love,

K

The World is your STAGE.

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On Saturday, June 11, 2016 “The Stage” was set in the private location of the Charlotte Trolley Museum on a street of Charlotte, NC filled with art and a lively energy that was infectious.

When entering the facility, attendees were greeted with the message:

“All the world’s a stage.”

And from then on, it truly was.

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From the neo soul and jazz vibes of the music played, to the lovely cocktails of the contributor, “Just a Sip.” The atmosphere of #TheStage16 was created for everyone to embrace each other and, well, embrace themselves for being present and in the moment.

I found myself soaking it all in. After all, I hardly could believe I had received an invitation to this magnificent event.

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The Stage was created to highlight creative + introspective individuals fulfilling their purpose.

The honoree class of #TheStage16 was a direct representation of that focus.

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Each honoree has made a name for themselves and has created a positive impact in their communities. It is a positive influence for those who attended the stage like myself who are just entering the realm of “the real world” and trying to decide which path to embark on.

I took away small things from each person’s introduction and words of advice.

“Be the change that you want to see.”

“Follow your passions and dreams. Money will come. That’s not your motivation.”

“Always be a reaching hand for someone.”

“No matter what adversity comes your way, don’t worry. God isn’t going to let you fail.”

“Everyone has a responsibility to make this world a better place.”

 

Even getting the chance to interact with friends and people I’ve met for the first time was an enlightening experience.

I remember sitting on one of the couches as I ran into two of my colleagues from the University of South Carolina. We had a full conversation about being the change we wanted to see in our communities and challenging others to do the same.

We also discussed how difficult that could be at times when others around you are not ready to see you make those strides. I responded with a couple of quotes myself.

“You have to be your biggest supporter, your biggest investor, your biggest everything.

I am lucky to be gravitating towards people who want to see positive change just as much as I do, but also being a new graduate and having gone through several transitions with friends and career opportunities, I realize the importance of valuing yourself.

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If you see no value in yourself and who you are, what you are capable of, and you don’t believe in your own dreams and your ability to carry that out, then the journey can be even more difficult because you’re no longer fighting the world, you’re fighting against yourself.

All of these enlightening thoughts came to me in this moment. The Stage.

Having seen what it’s like to see plans fail, friends come and go, opportunities enter into my life that I never imagined would be possible to achieve, I realize that the world truly is my stage.

Coming from the small town of Kingstree, SC where not a lot of opportunities are made available for young people with dreams who want to see the world because they are made to think that it will never be possible for them to achieve greater, it meant a lot to be standing in a room looking at individuals who have defied the odds.

Even the creator who made all of this possible, Mr. Bryant Kirk White, is and has always been since our first meeting, a living example that all of my visions have a canvas.

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Jeremiah 29:10 “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place.”

The next verse talks about the plans that God has once that hard work is completed. All put into perspective by this great.

Even as I am typing this, things are not all perfect, but things are all aligning in the greatest way possible, and I couldn’t be more grateful.

“All the world’s a stage. What will you do with it?”

For more information about ABevy Inc. or about one of it’s initiatives, The Stage, visit http://www.abevy.org.

To make a donation towards Abevy’s financial endowments that make young individual’s fulfilling their purpose possible, please visit: http://www.abevy.org/the-stage

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Queen City – The Birth of Dreams

The graduate life has been nothing short of fun filled, exciting and most of all, busy for me.

But it’s granted me the experience I’ve always wished to have.

I went from walking across the commencement stage to being on a road trip to Charlotte, NC where the real journey began.

Can you imagine having a dream you’ve always wanted to come true finally happening?

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DiVersitile of Columbia, SC — (left to right: R4L, Brittaney Chatman, Kanisha Keitt, Kendrick Retroversal Houser)

I had the pleasure of meeting 3/4 of this phenomenal group during my mentor, Brittaney Chatman’s production, “A Woman’s Suffrage” back in 2014. It was then that I realized Britt had other hidden talents — she loved music and was an avid performer. Along with that she was a part of a group, DiVersitile, made up of longtime friends who all equally love music. When Britt and I reconnected after graduation and she mentioned that she wanted me to be a part of a project that the group was involved in, I couldn’t say no.

This would mean that I would also get to work closely with Kendrick, who in addition to being a part of the group is also involved with his own platform, Good Food Radio, which stands for  Getting out our Dreams, Focusing on our destiny. 

It’s ironic that the two groups would come together in this instance as my journey with them both has seen this mantra come alive.

When you’re passionate about something, you stop at nothing until it’s done.  -Self quote

The idea of the link up is to get DiVersitile closer to that dream they discussed by finally recording their debut EP.

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For an entire weekend, I got really close and personal with these guys in a recording booth more fit for one person than two and a camera, and super comfortable space for playback and laughter.

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I watched magic unfold, first with music writing, then with the actual recording. It was amazing seeing what every individual  artist brought to the table. Brittaney had a very keen sense of detail — she could hear things within the music that she didnt like, or didn’t flow well that moved the project along progressively.

Kanisha had a knack for bringing it all together with her voice. She could harmonize and improvise. She has a creative spirit and energy that works and really makes things click.

R4L and Kendrick are the heartbeat and the dream makers. Without their knowledge of music engineering and also very constructive, but creative criticism of what works best for the overall song and project, I don’t know how this project could’ve been a success.

“Depending on the story that you’re telling, you can be relatable to everybody or nobody.” – Chance the Rapper

Music has a way of bringing a unique energy and lesson out of everyone. When I was younger, I had this perspective that all it really took to be a successful artist was to have a voice, the ability to write your own music and determination.

Well.

I was right about two for sure. Nowadays, it’s easier to collaborate with a songwriter if you’re lucky.

But it definitely takes alot more than just those things.

It takes alot of time and patience.

For this group, this IS a God DREAM.

But it was also something that won’t be taken lightly.

After a full weekend of recording till the wee hours of the morning and doing it all over again, a celebration is definitely in order once the EP drops.

When it comes to a dream, I’ve seen what it means to never let it cross your mind and not work until your end goal is met. This further shows me what my life will be like, especially over the next year.

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I’ve been learning to count it all as joy, the good times, the easy, the complicated, the unknown. It all leads to something grand. All leads to something bigger and better and more fulfilling.

I’ve learned that having the right people and energy in your circle is super important! You never EVER need to feel like you’re making “moves” and things happen all on your own. Sometimes, you NEED that shoulder to lean on and really get your feet on the ground running all over again.

So let me ask you,

what’s your dream?

How are you making it happen?

Who are you making it happen with?

xo

Khadijah

 

 

 

More Than A Kickback

“Have you ever been a part of something bigger than yourself?”

I’ve always heard this question being asked; in movies, in class rooms or casual conversation.

But Wednesday night, I actually had the opportunity to experience that feeling.

Earlier in the year, I had a sit down meeting with my good friend, DaQuan Blyther. We had worked with each other previously on his brainchild organization, Black and Consciousness Committee which raises awareness and expands consciousness about issues happening in the African American community.

He approached me about an idea. I assume because he knew that any idea he brought to me, I was sure to make sure that it happened. And indeed it did.

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More Than a Kickback would ideally be the space young adults could come to and network with artists and innovators, have a drink after work and turn up in the same space.

We communicated about this for weeks — a little over a month. And then, Wednesday happened.

Through spoken word that moved you, music that grooved you and maybe a few drinks that helped make the first two things easier, it was an unforgettable night.

I’m so grateful to have been a part of such an amazing experience. Something “larger than myself.” and I hope that there’s more to come of it all soon.

-K

For more information about Smooth Ent and the purpose of the organization, follow @smooth.ent on Instagram!