HomeEntertainmentMVSU Mass Communication hosts National Entertainment Director Johnnie Walker Walker shares his MLK experience during his visit
MVSU Mass Communication hosts National Entertainment Director Johnnie Walker Walker shares his MLK experience during his visit
January 19, 2023
By Zapouria Wadley
MVSU Mass Communication Student
On Wednesday, Jan. 18, National Entertainment Executive Johnnie Walker was the featured presenter for the Mississippi Valley State Department of Mass Communication Speaker Series.
“The series exposes students to professionals in the communications industry in an effort to enhance their learning experience,” said Dr. Carolyn L. Gordon, acting chair of the department. Gordon said the department is delighted that Walker is volunteering his time to share with students.
Walker began his career from humble beginnings as a country music radio personality in Grenada, Miss. She told how she started out as a receptionist at the station, but persisted in trying to convince the manager that she could make it on the air. His opportunity came when someone called in sick and the station couldn’t find a replacement. Thus, she became the first black personality on the air of this radio station in Grenada.
Over the years, Walker rose through the ranks in the entertainment industry, becoming nationally recognized as a successful black entertainment executive, music consultant and subject matter expert.
Walker has received several awards and made many notable achievements. She is the founder and CEO of the National Association of Black Female Executives in Music & Entertainment, Inc (NABFEME). This organization is dedicated to supporting and empowering women in recorded music, media and technology, sports, film and television, fashion and related disciplines.
During Walker’s visit to MVSU, she met with students, faculty, and staff to discuss her unique career path. One of Walker’s most memorable takeaways was his “Five Fs (Fixed, Concentration, Fighting, Fanatic, Faith)”. Walker explained that those five words helped her stay focused and ultimately achieve success in her career.
Walker was also instrumental in integrating Grenada’s public schools. Her high school class was the first class to enter public schools in Grenada as a result of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. She actually saw many of her friends who were beaten while trying to integrate schools. “Dr. Martin Luther King would come to school with us many times,” she shared with the students.
Speaking of Dr Martin Luther King, Walker was honored by her hometown of Grenada yesterday as she served as Grand Marshal for the city’s Martin Luther King Day Parade on Monday, January 16. “Oh, it was overwhelming and such an honor,” she told the students.
Students say they were inspired by Walker’s presentation. “I look forward to learning more about Ms. Johnnie Walker’s work in Memphis, as it is my hometown,” said Tahj Bradley, junior communications researcher at Mississippi Valley State University (MVSU).
Following the event, Walker shared in an exclusive interview his personal motto for life: “Work the job. Don’t let work wear you down.