How a Tyler Perry speech inspired a podcasting platform

CEO of SHEletta Makes Me Laugh is ‘building a table’ for herself and other African Americans

Inspired by a Tyler Perry speech, Sheletta Brundidge has launched her own podcast platform.

When Tyler Perry told the audience at the 2019 BET Awards that "while you're fighting for a seat at the table, I'll be down in Atlanta building my own," Sheletta Brundidge was listening.

Brundidge is a producer at WCCO Radio in Minneapolis and host of the Two Haute Mamas podcast.

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When Perry — who received the Ultimate Icon Award that night — spoke, Brundidge said she “felt that in my toenails.”

“He said to build our own table. So I started the site,” she wrote in a Twitter message. “Then he said help somebody cross. So I went and grabbed a few folks and brought them over with me.”

It was in Atlanta, during the She Podcasts conference this past October, where Brundidge learned to put it all together.

The result is the podcast platform SHEletta Makes Me Laugh. Among the podcasts are "The Teen Whisperer," with Minneapolis-based counselor Jason Clopton; "J.E.T. Setting Divas," with globe-trotting travelers Jeanette, Evette and Tina; and "Mommy & Me," which Brundidge does with her 13-year-old son, Andrew.

“We are perfect foils,” Brundidge said of her son. “But he comes up with his own topics. By the time we have our preshow meeting, he already has 10 ideas, and I pick the final two. He’s a natural.”

Why did Andrew get involved?

"I watch the news every morning and I only see a positive thing about a young black man about once a week. I wanted to help shine the spotlight on some of them and help them be known for what they're doing," he told KARE in Minneapolis.

Andrew was one of those positive stories in December. When a fire destroyed a building that houses the homeless in downtown Minneapolis, Andrew and brother Brandon decided to donate their Christmas presents to the kids who lost what little they had.

"I decided we should take some of our Christmas gifts and donate them to the kids and people that lost things in the fire, since they're probably having a rough Christmas," Andrew told CBSN Minnesota.

He gave his autographed Kyrie Irving basketball sneakers to one boy “to help inspire him and help him keep pushing through tough times,” Andrew said.

Brandon donated his new Uno card game.

“I decided to give it away because I was so excited to play it,” he said.

If the Brundidge name sounds familiar, it’s because another Atlanta entertainer inspired the family last year.

On June 4, Brundidge tweeted: “My son Daniel has #autism and doesn’t talk. We caught him humming the @LilNasX and @billyraycyrus tune the other day. Then Bless God, my baby started singing the song on his own. His therapists have started to use it in his sessions!”

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The Lithia Springs High School grad, whose real name is Montero Lamar Hill, even called Brundidge to offer her and Daniel his support.

“I’m happy that my blessings have rubbed off on you guys. And, yeah, I’m here to help in any kind of way that you need me to,” Lil Nas X told Brundidge when he called her at work. “You have my number, and I wanted to make sure you know that.”

In addition to "Mommy & Me," there is a podcast on her new platform that hits home for Brundidge— "Taking Authority Over Autism."

Brundidge and her husband, Shawn, have four children. The three youngest all have been diagnosed with autism. Her podcast “gives moms and dads the tools they need to succeed on their autism journey.”

Brundidge launched her new platform February 1, in honor of Black History Month.

"We're actually going to be making history in Black History Month and I'm so excited about that," she told KARE.