Connect
To Top

Meet Michael Benjamin of Big Black Nerd

Today we’d like to introduce you to Michael Benjamin.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Michael. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
“Four score and seven years ago…”

Ha, no…I’m kidding. Life for me is an adventure, a roller coaster, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the ride.

I love to tell stories and help others tell their stories, to engage the culture and connect the world.

My story starts in Beijing, China — no, really — as an Emma Bowen Foundation intern with NBC Sports Group covering the Games of the XXIX Olympiad from Beijing, China. I was able to not only create and champion dynamic storytelling but also engage and connect with cultures around the globe through sports and media.

I was hooked. And my life took off from there.

I finished Howard University as Phi Beta Kappa graduate, and count myself alongside Michael Eisner and Regis Philbin as an alumnus of the competitive NBC Page Program, And I doubled down on my Olympic experience with a second stint as an associate producer at the Games of the XXX Olympiad from London, UK, and earned an Emmy Award for my efforts.

Since then, I have devoted my life to showcasing quality and engaging content across multiple media platforms, with more than a decade of experience as a media professional. Along with the Emmy, I am also a two-time Cablefax “Overachiever Under 30” honoree.

Currently, I develop and manage content for a prominent LA-based sports brand, I am a published writer, and am developing a production brand with my brother and partner Byron Hopkins (Big Black Nerd). I love running and hiking and am actively involved in my faith and LA community.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
There have definitely been rocky moments and seasons, but I’ve gotten far thanks to faithful friends and loving community, a deep belief in Christ, and lots of mentors and confidants along the way.

I always dreamed about living in Los Angeles, and even though life threw me quite a few curveballs, I eventually landed in my dream city! I was discriminated against in high school — I won the nomination for class president in a landslide, but the White leadership of the school pressured my teachers into a recount (I still won, but that was traumatic). I was teased incessantly for being a Black Nerd but gained the respect of my peers and colleagues as I continued to chase my dreams.

I love to smile — it is my defiant act that keeps me moving forward in the pursuit of my goals. I truly believe that everything happens for a reason, that my life has Purpose, and my faith has really been the catalyst in helping me overcome many physically and emotionally dark periods.

Big Black Nerd – what should we know? What do you do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Big Black Nerd is an amazing production brand centered on fantastic storytelling, Black uplift and social progress. We started as a podcast but now specialize in commercial photography, video production, and fashion design. We speak to a powerful and beloved subculture of Black Nerds, and are proud of it!

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Success can be many things — a good cheeseburger hot off the grill, a smile from a friend, writing the perfect line for a commercial shoot, or a hug right when you need it. To me, success is maximizing the gifts and the air given to you from birth by Jesus, and loving and lifting up as many people as you can along the way.

I’m looking for walkers, not talkers. Don’t just talk about it, but be about it. One step at a time. Forward, always.

Contact Info:

Suggest a story: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

More in