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2022 Culture Disruptors List

For the men on our 2022 Culture Disruptor list, late nights and early mornings come as second nature. To be a disruptor means that these select men took a chance on themselves and followed a calling that was too loud to deny. It also means that after every tear they shed, a new idea came to life. The men on our list have been able to make a shift in how we are seen across different platforms, each controlling their own narrative. From media to the boardroom, our 2022 Culture Disruptors stay true to themselves and represent the different success stories of Black men.



William "Bam" Sparks

Company: B.A.M! Creative, Culture Wireless, Trap Music Museum

Position Role: CEO/Founder, CMO/Co-Founder, Co-Founder

Instagram: @bambesky


Photo Credit: Catteye Media

Tell us about your role/company?


To bring creative visions to life by connecting major brands to the Atlanta community, which drives impact for the underserved.


What does the term “culture” mean to you and its significance to our community?


Culture to me is making something out of nothing. An organic semblance that cultivates society and community excellence.


When was the moment that you realized you needed to be the change you wanted to see in your industry?


I realized I needed to be the change when I realized the people that did not look like me benefited from our ideas and our culture. There was a demand for Black executives to ignite innovation within the Black community.


What legacy do you hope to leave behind?


I want my legacy to tell a story of perseverance. I inspire to demonstrate what can be accomplished when we come together as a culture, capitalize on opportunities afforded to us, and recycle back into the community by offering financial literacy and mentorship.


What are you most excited about with the next generation coming after you?


I am most excited about the creativity, drive, and the access they have to be successful. There are talented creators that have the resources I didn't have and they are the next generation of culture disruptors.


Tarik Daniels


Company: WhatsintheMirror

Position Role: Executive Director

Instagram/Twitter: @Mistertelltales


Photo Credit: Franco Washington

Tell us about your role/company?


I founded WhatsintheMirror in 2016 as a social movement providing mental health and suicide prevention to communities of color through art and advocacy. We use art to end mental health and HIV stigma.


What does the term “culture” mean to you and its significance to our community?


“Culture” significance, is the visibility of all cultures including Black queer and trans cultures. It means adding value to our cultural contributions to our society and communities.


When was the moment that you realized you needed to be the change you wanted to see in your industry?


I began to understand the biomedical advancements in HIV prevention and care but also the increase in HIV and mental health stigma. I was inspired by others to tell my story of living with HIV to increase the visibility of those thriving while living with HIV. My hope was that with more visibility, we could save more Black queer and trans lives.


What legacy do you hope to leave behind?


I hope my legacy includes my work in preserving Black queer stories and experiences. I have the privilege of being a writer and activist because of the work that my ancestors did in making sure our stories and history didn’t get erased. I want to be a part of that legacy.


What are you most excited about with the next generation coming after you?


My motto is Black, queer and fearless. I am excited about how fearless the new generation is in doing justice work while promoting healing from generational and cultural trauma in our communities.


Steve Canal and Enitan Bereola

Company: FLOURYSH

Position Role: Co-Founders

Instagram/Twitter: @WeFlourysh


Photo Credit [Left to Right]: Steve Canal (Sommer Andrews) Enitan Bereola (Chris Parsons)


Tell us about your role/company?


FLOURYSH is the online marketplace that helps independent Black-owned brands get discovered and scale their businesses.


What does the term “culture” mean to you and its significance to our community?


Steve: Culture is a mindset and way of life that drives a community of people with shared beliefs. It is intended to inspire, motivate and encourage a lifestyle movement that will fully embrace you if accepted and becomes part of your day-to-day.


Enitan: The term “community” has recently been co-opted by culture, which suffers from an identity crisis. Not everyone who does it "for the culture” — does it for the community. Culture is a byproduct of community. You can’t dip your toe into culture if unwilling to swim with community.


When was the moment that you realized you needed to be the change you wanted to see in your industry?


Steve: The moment occurred after the murder of George Floyd. The motivation was there to be better as a society and community, which should have led to more tangible resources and access for Black-owned businesses. But more and more of those businesses were closing their doors due to the very same thing corporations had committed to helping and proving resources for to help guide and push through the pandemic.


Enitan: Since making it a priority to buy Black-owned brands and realizing I couldn’t get everything I wanted in one simple place. I had to travel, search Instagram, blogs and eBay, peruse magazines and rely on word-of-mouth to discover the brands I support today.


What legacy do you hope to leave behind?


Steve: The legacy being left behind is one of action that consistently leads to positive results and impact for businesses that align with our mission.


Enitan: My legacy is less about me and more about my Creator. We’re falsely taught superiority through history and tradition for the purposes of survival of legacy, dominance and pride. But your legacy is at stake when you refuse to work on you.


What are you most excited about with the next generation coming after you?


Steve: What I’m most excited about with the next generation is their connection to humanity and self-awareness. The understanding that it’s bigger than them which will leave to a more balanced society.


Enitan: This generation is fire! They don’t compete, they collaborate. The next generation keeps what works and discards what doesn’t. They’re methodical and strategic — I just hope they never discard truth."



Kyle Anfernee Simpson

Company: The Neighborhood Talk

Position Role: Owner

Twitter: @TNHTalk


Photo Credit: Kyle Anfernee

Tell us about your role/company?


I am the founder of The Neighborhood Talk. It’s an online community for the African American community. Growing up in my neighborhood, we would talk about pretty much everything from celeb news, relationship problems/advice, fashion, music etc… My job is to help the team stay on track, make sure goals are being met, and stay true to our culture.


What does the term “culture” mean to you and its significance to our community?


Taking pride in who you are and where you come from. One of the reasons our outlet has been able to thrive in a market that isn’t easy to jump into is because we are authentically us and that draws people in.


When was the moment that you realized you needed to be the change you wanted to see in your industry?


When I started seeing celebrities cross over into my field of work. Because of their popularity, it’s easier for them to land broadcast/hosting jobs. I majored in broadcast journalism and I knew if I didn’t branch out and start my own company then it would be years before I would be able to do the stuff that I’m doing now.


What legacy do you hope to leave behind?


I want to be remembered as someone who looked out for everyone and not just himself. It’s not fun at the table if everyone can’t put up. Support and build one another so we can reach a level of success together.


What are you most excited about with the next generation coming after you?


What I’m excited about with the next generation is how they tell the news and how it’s presented. I would’ve never imagined five years ago Tik Tok being a news platform for some. The way some of those young adults coming behind me are very creative and witty.


James DuBose


Company: FOX SOUL

Position Role: General Manager / Head of Programming

Instagram: @duboseofficial


Photo Credit: Cheryl Fox

Tell us about your role/company?


My role consists of making sure Fox Soul becomes the premiere destination for premium Black culture content while continuing to keep us on a trajectory to profitability.


What does the term “culture” mean to you and its significance to our community?


Culture means an environment in its totality; the rhythms and the blues, the ups and the downs, which is significant to the Black community because we have built our strong culture by overcoming the odds in a triumphant fashion.


When was the moment that you realized you needed to be the change you wanted to see in your industry?


I have always seen Black faces on-screen but rarely the totality of Black culture on a consistent basis. Most places show our falls, our setbacks, our shortcomings and I wanted to take that to the next level by showing those things but adding the victory that comes from the strength of our culture.


What legacy do you hope to leave behind?


I always say I want to be looked upon as a tree with many branches and those branches represent someone that I have had a hand in helping better their lives.


What are you most excited about with the next generation coming after you?


That they are starting to really understand how premium and valuable are culture is and finding new ways to showcase that to the world.


Gary Bushrod

Company: Amazon

Position Role: Head of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion for Amazon Music

Instagram/Twitter: @CatchGifUcan


Photo Credit: Ron Hill

Tell us about your role/company?


I lead the Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DEI) strategy for Amazon Music, one of the world's top streaming services for music, podcasting and creative content. My role is to create, refine and execute DEI goals specific to our organization.


What does the term “culture” mean to you and its significance to our community?


Culture is what surrounds us every day. It’s fueled by achievements, arts, and social behavior. When it comes to the Black community, I’m confident that it is our accomplishments, style, music and thought leadership among many other things that have shaped much of what we consider American culture.


When was the moment that you realized you needed to be the change you wanted to see in your industry?


It was actually birthed from my personal journey in corporate America. Too many times was I seeing my peers who were from dominant identity groups (i.e. white) progressing at faster rates than I. The term, "you need to work twice as hard to get half as far" was literally happening in my professional ecosystem. I began to become tired of relying on my managers to have my best interests at heart, and decided I wanted to lean into this work to help create a path for others who are dealing with the same roadblocks as I.


What legacy do you hope to leave behind?


I hope to be a shining example of someone who can thrive in a corporate role while shaking tables and enjoying the fruits of his labor. Work takes up so much time in our lives. I refuse to compartmentalize that part of my life and act as if the person I am while working is separate from who I am in real life.


What are you most excited about with the next generation coming after you?


I’m excited that they are challenging the status quo and are putting personal health and well-being before labor. My only request is that they do the research and demonstrate findings that support their reasoning for changing structures, keeping in mind that “inclusion” does, in fact, include people who are older than them.


Brandon McEachern, Marcus Allen, Darryl Perkins and Jermon Williams

Company: Broccoli City

Position Role: Founders

Instagram/Twitter: @BroccoliCity



Tell us about your role/company?


Founded by Brandon McEachern, Marcus Allen, Darryl Perkins and Jermon Williams, Broccoli City is a Black-owned social enterprise rooted in impact and entertainment that focuses on people and progress. We foster creativity and community growth by building innovative experiences that intersect technology, music, art, and social impact to celebrate Black culture and create meaningful Black change. We’re celebrating our 10-year anniversary of Broccoli City Festival this year, and partnering with Diageo who will be supporting us as we continue championing diversity and intersectionality while fueling the powerful Black voices of change and music.


What does the term “culture” mean to you and its significance to our community?


Culture to us, means community. When we launched Broccoli City, our mission was to foster creativity and community growth by building innovative experiences that intersect technology, music, art, and social impact. Through the different branches of Broccoli City, like BroccoliCon, our 5K Fit Fest Run, and Broccoli City Festival, we’re able to connect our community to culture and champion Black communities to thrive. Culture is at the root of our mission and we’re proud to partner with brands like CÎROC Vodka Spritz, DeLeón Tequila, and Crown Royal, who are also drivers of culture to amplify our message and create a more equitable world for Black millennials.


When was the moment that you realized you needed to be the change you wanted to see in your industry?


As HBCU alumni, we felt there weren’t many platforms that brought the same element of Broccoli Fest through the different branches of our organization. Through the power of music, we’re able to mobilize people, companies, and community organizations to work together to create a more equitable world for Black millennials. We realized the importance of having representation and taking up space, which a lot of times involves creating your own lane. Over the past 10 years, we have successfully mobilized over +20M people through Broccoli City events and our online platforms.


What legacy do you hope to leave behind?


We hope to leave a legacy of being innovators of change and impact by connecting communities through their love of culture in all facets. We never started this for status or recognition, we just wanted to merge all of our passions for a greater good – to champion the powerful Black voices in our community and provide them with as many opportunities as possible. Broccoli City is a vehicle for cultural evolution and celebration and we want to continue growing to continue impacting culture and community. Through partnerships with like-minded partners like Diageo, we look forward to amplifying our efforts and marrying culture with community through the power of music.


What are you most excited about with the next generation coming after you?


We are so excited to have a direct hand in championing this next generation, which is full of culture shifters, innovative thinkers, and diverse leaders. The next generation will continue to evolve our culture and unapologetically celebrate our community to create a more sustainable, inclusive society. We will continue to champion those individuals and are confident that they will unify communities and empower one another to thrive.


Check out the 2022 Culture Issue.



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