BET co-founder Sheila Johnson is detailing her journey as a businesswoman in her upcoming memoir, Walk Through Fire: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and Triumph.
Johnson recently sat down with Fortune to give some insights on what readers will learn about her professional life as the co-founder of the mega network, CEO of Salamander Hotels and Resorts, and the first Black female billionaire in America.
“I’ve suppressed so much in my life, and the pain has been terrible,” the mogul expressed. “Everyone else has been telling my story, and [theirs] isn’t accurate. I needed to take my power back.”
“There was no network that appealed to the African American voice. And our voices needed to be heard,” Johnson shared about the initial goal for the network, which took a significant hit after her then-husband and co-founder, Robert, known as Bob, was caught cheating and subsequently ended BET’s successful run.
After leaving the network, Johnson moved on and opened her luxury hospitality company, Salamander Hotels and Resorts, an entrepreneurial venture that introduced both new challenges and rewards.
“This was a town that was totally bankrupt but so bucolic,” Johnson said. “I thought that building [a resort] could become the economic engine, and I could visualize it.”
She won the town’s approval by one vote. “I knew if I could make it work, it would be historical,” she added.
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Source: Black Enterprise