Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Darkies in Love - No One Cares: B. Smith & Dan Gasby

I hate when people call B. smith the "black Martha Stewart" as if Martha invented hostessing, cooking, crafts, design, etc. B. is her own woman and her own brand. A former model who segued into the lifestyle industry, restaurant ownership and building a global brand.

B. was the first black woman to cover Mademoiselle magazine back in 1976 and appeared on over a dozen magazine covers during her modeling career. She is the successful owner of three restaurants, a line of housewares at Bed, Bath & Beyond and the spokeswoman for Colgate-Palmolive and Lawry's.

Dan Gasby began his television career in 1977 at a start up UHF television station, WPTY- TV, in Tennessee. Over a 7-year period, he rose from Account Executive to General Sales Manager of WAWS-TV in Jacksonville, Florida. In 1985, Gasby joined Camelot Advertising Sales, a division of KingWorld Entertainment, as an Account Executive in the National Barter Syndication division, where he sold Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy and the Oprah Winfrey Show, the three most successful shows in the history of TV syndication.

B. and Dan married in 1992 when she was 40 and he was 38. Here is what Dan said about their relationship:
"I'm Barbara's cut man, and she's my cut man," "A cut man is the guy in the corner of the boxing ring who cleans up fighters and sends them back to battle. We'll always be in each other's corner."
The two have collaborated on numerous projects, you can read all about them here.

Dan is currently the chairman of B. Smith Enterprises and helps with the day-to-day operations of the restaurants. He is also a member of the Board of Trustees at American University in Washington, D.C., and is a longtime member of the Board of Governors of the International Radio and Television Society Foundation.

Dan was a successful TV executive with plenty of "access" to non-black women. Yet he still chose an older black woman who had a child (B. has a grown daughter from a previous relationship). I have never seen any articles or features on the Gasbys in black publications. The majority of the press coverage I've seen has been in "mainstream" outlets like the New York Times and Harper's Bazaar.

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