Now's the time for B. Smith to make her move.
When she was perceived as a phenomenon in a niche market, as an African-American tastemaker, she was allowed her success. But she has been confronted, in correspondence and on the telephone, by people who object to a mainstream lifestyle expert who is black. And, she said with trademark savoir-faire, "There are one or two people who think I'm too white."
Ms. Smith said she believed she was winning the day.
"They're finally not calling me the African-American Martha," she said. "I'm B. Smith." Recalling past rejections from retailers and manufacturers, and reminding herself of opportunities that seemed to appear for others, like Kathy Lee Gifford and Kathy Ireland, but not quickly for her, Ms. Smith asked: "Why did I have to work so hard to prove myself? You know, I get a little emotional about it, when I think about it like this."
Although it's a little scary how meek she appears in the presence of her husband.
Posted by ronn at April 25, 2004 02:22 PM