A Conversation With Mother-Daughter Duo Shirley Walker-King & Valencia King By Dorothy J. Gentr
Shirley Walker-King and Valencia King are not your average mother and daughter.
For starters, they resemble sisters, have similar mannerisms and expressions and are both equipped with a love of God, self and others – specifically the African American community which they feel a special responsibility to uplift.
You can find the King women about and out interviewing nationally known athletes, entertainers and entrepreneurs for their syndicated radio show “Real Talk Sports with Valencia King,” which they created, produce and host. One day they’re asking Golden State Warriors star Draymond Green a question live on national television during the NBA playoffs; the next day chatting up with Dallas Cowboys’ quarterback Dak Prescott on his latest charitable endeavor.
The King women are also speakers, authors, community and civic leaders, motivators and entrepreneurs, changing the way we see women, women of color and women in business, sports and media. They hope their new television show: “About & Out With Valencia King,” will serve as the catalyst for such a change.
“About & Out With Valencia King,” described as a millennial talk show, features celebrities and guests from all walks of life who are currently “getting their shine on” in entertainment, politics, technology, social justice, business, sports, and other industries while leveraging their influence about things that matter most. The show, which will travel, showcases everyday people making an impact in their community and beyond.
From radio to television, the King mother-daughter duo is letting their voices be heard while at the same time, helping others share their story. Fuzionz Magazine caught up with them recently and talked with them about the show, transitioning from radio to television, challenges they’ve faced along the way and more.
FM: How did you come up with the name of the show?
SWK: The idea of the name came because people would always say ‘you guys are always out and about,’ in the mix sharing community events and on the scene. Once we started working with Vikki Wells of BeeTV Productions, the final three names were presented to the family for a final vote and About & Out won by a landslide!
FM: Why did you feel the need to transition to TV?
VK: Going from radio to TV was just a natural process. It was an easy transition from day one as we have always utilized social media. We would video record my radio show (Real Talk Radio with Valencia King) as an added bonus for my guest and put the clips of the show/interview on my YouTube Channel "Valencia King TV".
SWK: Plus, Oprah, Ryan Seacrest, Windy Williams and Howard Sterns all started in radio… so we’re in good company!
FM: Are there more opportunities there?
VK: Yes, we recently taped 2 episode of a show called The Dialogue with Valencia King for my YouTube Channel (due out this Summer). The Dialogue is an open forum discussion format I did in college and wanted to bring it back with a fresh adult millennial spin!
FM: I understand you all recently picked up some new hardware.
SWK: Valencia & I have recently been honored by the Garland, Texas chapter of the National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women’s Clubs, Ince the NANBPWC, INC. an organization with over 76 years of dedication to making an impact for individuals in communities throughout the United States and abroad. I was awarded the Business Woman of the Year Award and Valencia was awarded the Young Inspiring Business Woman of the Year Award. Both awards "recognized women who have endeavored to overcome the obstacles of gender and race to pursue their career while being an inspiration for young girls." Valencia is also the recipient of the Voice of the Freshman Intern Award from the University of North Texas as well as the UNT JAG Award for Aspiring Professional of the Year, the Home Depot Community Hero Award, North Texas Minority Chamber of Commerce Community Outreach Award, Garland NAACP Youth Image Awards and the Academic Ribbon Winner from the Texas Girls State Fair, Women’s Museum: An Institute for the Future.
FM: That’s wonderful! Congratulations. You are a very accomplished women indeed. With this foray into
lifestyle and entertainment television, have you ladies ever thought of doing a reality show?
SWK: Sure, why not! If it's an opportunity to be a part of a show that would be an inspiration for our community – yes would do it.
VK: Oh absolutely! I would see it as a great challenge to be my most authentic self on a platform like "reality tv" when most times, everything we see seems less than real.
FM: What are some challenges you faced in building your brand and working your business?
SWK: Getting over the fear of failure and success is the first thing most entrepreneurs have to face. We are from different generations so my biggest fear growing up was the fear of failure. So as a parent I reinforced failure is your avenue to success. Your failures, challenges and obstacles help build your success level, character and faith.
VK: For my generation it’s not about the fear of failure, we fail to think beyond the success of our goals. We often ask ourselves, if I make it...then what? The unknown of what will unfold after reaching a goal or a dream is one of the main reasons that millennials don't reach their potential.
FM: Will you continue with radio?
VK: Yes, radio has been transformed with the introduction of social media, podcast and streaming. I see radio always playing a role in our future endeavors.
FM: Which is harder - TV or radio?
SWK: From a production side TV presents more challenges and cost. TV involves a larger cast, staff, equipment, budget and planning. Planning a TV production involves a more comprehensive alignment with all involved from the production team, producers, writers, guest, sponsors, product placement, wardrobe and the list goes on. TV production is a visual connection, radio is audio so your content and voice drives your audience - that's a challenge in itself. Radio has truly prepared us for TV.
FM: Why is it important for you to tell your story? Why is your story relevant?
SWK: We feel our story is relevant because we are bringing the message of family working and building together towards bettering their community, one voice at a time. Our community needs positive vibes. We want to show relationships like ours exist in real life.
FM: I love how you emphasize family working together. Valencia how has your mom inspired you as you work together?
VK: My mom has inspired me by simply not being afraid to be an inspiration to herself. Watching her as a young child now into my adulthood has been a pivotal part of becoming the woman I am today. My mom exudes strength, confidence and an unmatched will to be true to her soul while balancing her life in heels (Be sure to get her books: Power Moms and Soul-to-Soul!) She is always being a beacon of light lighting they pathway for those around her. She amazes me every day with the unlimited love and affection she shares with the people in our community. Since I am an only child, I am more of an introvert with extrovert tendencies. I can be alone with me, myself and I ... She has shown me and even highly persuaded me to be more open and show those in my circle how much I care for them and their feelings.
FM: Talk more about your recent honors and what responsibility you feel to be role models to younger generation.
SWK: For me, the day I found out I was expecting a child, I knew I had to live life as an example. I could no longer just think of my life as me, myself and I. Ninety percent of the things, I do I do with the thought of how will this decision affect my family? The 90% is an inside joke I have whit Valencia and her friends when it comes to sharing my life's story or having those woman to woman conversations. (Shirley smiles as she says) Since social media was not around during my early adult life they can’t Google my mistakes. I have a right to some privacy so they only get 90% the rest is reserved for my memories and private moments. But really we need more local, hometown Sheroes to know they are tangible, reachable and teachable roles models for the young ladies in their immediate community.
VK: Being in direct contact with younger girls through my enrichment program, Confidently Speaking with Valencia King; has allowed me the privilege of standing in as a sounding board for young girls as they grow through life. Being honored by the National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women’s Clubs, Inc. (NANBPWC, INC.) as the Young Inspiring Business Woman of the Year was a surprising and humbling experience because this award recognizes women who have endeavored to overcome the obstacles of gender and race to pursue their career while being an inspiration for young girls. I read it and said, WOW – that’s’ me!
FM: Do you still face challenges as you build your brand? in the industry, how do you handle them?
VK: Yes, as women of color in a male dominated field (Sports) challenges are always just around the corner. There are times we have to deal with being overlooked or declined an interview or opportunity. If it’s not a man who feels privileged, it’s occasional another women who feels she doesn't want to speak or network because we are seen as a threat rather than a ally. It’s a double-edge sword. Players, coaches and fans are excited to see diversity in the locker room and a mother-daughter team at that. When faced with challenges, obstacles or set backs, I purely remind myself, I do this for the people. It makes it easier to handle because I do have the full support of both my parents encouraging me and telling me “the outcome will outweigh the sacrifice.” My dad looks me straight in the eyes and says “Hang in their kid” and I tell him, “Thanks for staying.” That’s another inside joke!
FM: What role has faith played in your career and in your relationship as mother and daughter?
SWK: We are faith-based family. Our faith is as much a part of who we are as a family as well as how we conduct business. As a military family we moved around a lot so I taught Valencia that having faith is just as important as having a religion. Her father and I taught Valencia that faith nor religion is limited to a building or book but a purpose. Having a strong faith and knowing what God has for you no one can change is my motto. Being in the entertainment business having good morale's and a Christian base has kept us focused and leading us in the right direction thus far.
FM: What advice do you have for up and coming and aspiring entrepreneurs?
SWK: I would make sure they know and understand that it's not going to be easy. Be prepared to do the work required to get the job done. Help others as you grow the invest will pay off in other areas.
VK: No matter the field of entrepreneurship you’re in, if you don’t see what you want, create it! I challenge all entrepreneurs to write down their current goals (if you already have, then go grab the list) and then ask yourself: are my actions today leading me closer to where I want to be tomorrow? Whether you like the answer you give yourself or not, the true growth comes from giving yourself an honest answer and moving forward from there. Believe in yourself.
FM: What message do you want to leave for our readers. Why should they be excited and ready to tune in to “About & Out With Valencia King?”
SWK: Viewers should be excited to tune in to see how we put in the work! Who we bring on the show, and how we connect our viewers and the community to what matters most!
VK: We want the readers to be inspired by our story and the progress we've made along our journey. We want to encourage readers and future viewer to keep fighting for their dreams and to put in the necessary work required to get there.
FM: Thank you so much for your time!! You ladies are truly inspirational. Be sure to follow them on social media at: