Trey Anthony launches planner
January 11, 2018
If you are not bold enough to ask for something, chances are you may never get it.
When award-winning playwright & producer Trey Anthony learnt that Michelle Obama was making an appearance in Toronto last November, she contacted the organizers – Plan International Canada and the Economic Club of Canada – to find out if they were looking for an opening speaker.
Two years ago, Anthony invited Canadian television producer/director Clement Virgo to see her debut documentary, ‘When Black Mothers Don’t Say I Love You’.
“I didn’t know him at the time, but I wanted him to be my special guest on opening night,” she said.
Virgo accepted the invitation and the production company he runs with Damon D’Oliveira – Conquering Lion Pictures -- is partnering with Anthony and Carys Lewis, who received a grant from Bell Media’s Harold Greenberg Fund, to turn the documentary into a movie that Virgo will direct.
In her new lifestyle planner launched last month, Anthony encourages women to ‘bold ask’.
“When people ask me why I am so successful, I tell them it’s because I am courageous enough to ask for things,” she said. “There’s no harm in doing that.”
‘A Black Girl in Love (with Herself)’ is an empowerment journal designed for Black women.
“As a creative entrepreneur, I love planners and every year I would buy one to write down my goals and outline areas in my life I would like to improve,” Anthony, a former Women’s Television Network producer and Comedy Network and CTV writer said. “But even though I bought them annually, the planner never spoke directly to me as a Black woman. So what I did was buy a normal planner and make it into my own by filling it with quotes and sayings and covering it with images of Black women that empowered me. To make it more personal, I included pictures of myself and my loved ones.”
The personalized item soon caught women’s attention.
“I can’t tell you how many times I was stopped and asked, ‘Where did you get that and where can I get one’?” said Anthony, the first Black Canadian woman to write and produce a television show – ‘Da Kink in My Hair’ – for a major prime time Canadian station. “After hearing those questions countless times, it dawned on me that I should come up with my own damn planner.”
The pages are filled with encouraging affirmations and ‘bad gyal’ quotes that inspired Anthony to reach her goals. There is also space for women to write down their goals, jot down notes and a make a gratitude list.
“Not only do you have a dedicated book to write down all your plans and aspirations, but you have a beautiful planner that’s a reflection of you and caters to the needs and wants of the professional Black woman,” said Anthony, a 2009 Harry Jerome Award winner for excellence in the arts.
The planner costs $24.95 and can be purchased online at https://blackgirlinlovewithherself.com/
It will be launched in Toronto on February 3.
Anthony moved to Atlanta four years ago to pursue professional opportunities.
“That city has given me room to grow and expand my brand,” she said. “I just felt like I needed a change and a new way of thinking. It was if I had hit a glass ceiling in Toronto with nowhere else to go.”
She expects production of her first feature film to start later this year.
‘When Black Mothers Don’t Say I Love You’ is Anthony’s tribute to her mother and grandmother.
Leaving her four children behind in Jamaica, Enid Coley travelled by sea for 18 days to England where she worked 12-hour shifts six nights a week cleaning London trains.
One of those children, Angela Senior, dropped out of school at age 17 after conceiving a daughter, Trey Anthony.
Just before Coley succumbed to cancer four years ago, she told her granddaughter that one of her biggest regrets was leaving her children behind in Jamaica, particularly Senior, because she felt her daughter never forgave her.
Anthony said Toronto, New York and London in England are possible locations for the movie shoot.
“It depends on who we get to star in it and where the most funding is coming from,” she added.
Anthony wrote and produced ‘Da Kink in My Hair’ which won four National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People’s (NAACP) Theatre awards and was nominated for four Toronto Theatre Dora awards. It also ran for a week in October 2010 at New York University’s Tisch School for the Arts.
Global TV, which adapted the sitcom as a television series, cancelled the show after the second season. Anthony ran a wellness centre for women in downtown Toronto for two years before relocating to Atlanta.