A Reflection of Light
Radio personality and emcee Becky Taylor is a woman that needs no introduction, seeing as how she’s an expert in the exercise. Taylor is Colorado radio royalty, her voice has been cascading through the ears of listeners longer than... well actually I don’t know because she won’t tell! In addition to Colorado radio, Taylor has been heard over airwaves all across the country during her heralded career.
Undisputedly, she is the voice of the Winter Park jazz festival, having hosted the event since almost its inception. She also displays her professional talents at Earl Klugh’s Weekend of Jazz at the Broadmoor; Seabreeze Jazz Festival in Panama City Beach, FL; and Warren Hill’s Cancun Jazz Festival. Taylor also does commercial production locally, as well as in Chicago for Simply The Best Voiceover and Audio Production. In addition, you can listen to her every weekend on WSBZ (seabreeze.fm). As Sade would serenade, Taylor is a smooth operator; and the consummate emcee. She is a favorite of many artists because of her balmy demeanor and effortless style. She doesn’t just make it look easy – easy envies her.
For someone who spends a tremendous amount of time under the stage lights percolating performers to the public, Taylor shies away from the spotlight when it comes to her personal life – with one exception – her daughter Brittany. Bring up her baby girl and Taylor will gush enthusiastically fromlimelight to moonlight about her only begotten child.
“Brittany brings out the best in me.” Taylor beams during our first conversation “I love her and I’m proud of what she has, and will continue to accomplish. One thing I am extremely proud of is how Brittany has grown into her own woman. Obviously I had an influence on her, and she considers DUS Publisher Bee Harris a foundational mentor. Also interning at Vibe and Upscale magazines helped a lot too. Along the way she’s absorbed everything and applied it to how she handles herself, personally and professionally.” Taylor continues “I think it is so important to mentor this next generation of media professionals, and I am super proud that my daughter is on the front lines.”
At two years past thirty, Brittany N. Winkfield is a media maestro, with a résumé of hits. She started out as a Photo Intern at Vibe magazine in 2006, before moving on to Upscale magazine two years later. In 2012 Winkfield launched her own print and digital magazine, Back2Basics with her husband Marcus. The media kit for Back2Basics touts the publication as “the premiere Christian lifestyle magazine.” After spilling ink on everyone from DeVon Franklin, Meagan Good, Willie Moore, Jr. and Kierra Sheard it’s hard for anyone to refute that claim.
“I’ve been blessed to have learned a lot from my mom, and other strong, positive women like Ms. Bee, whom I consider a tremendous mentor. Then add to that being able to intern at Vibe and Upscale. I also spent several years in marketing and as an event coordinator too. Thankfully, I was able to use all of my life experiences to my advantage when I started Back2Basics. Marcus and I jokingly call Back2Basics our fourth child. But sitting here six years and 34 issues later it is a surreal feeling. And I feel extremely blessed that there is going to be a compilation book of the best of Back2Basics coming out this summer.”
Family and faith are two of the basics in Winkfield’s life, the wife and mother of threeis a Seventh-day Adventist and also serves as Communications Director for the Central States Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. When not writing, hosting a podcast or shooting an interview for Back2Basics, Winkfield creates time to be a regular contributor to OUTLOOK, a digital and print publication that shares Adventist news and inspiring stories.
“Brittany is Superwoman!” Becky exclaims during our second conversation. “I don’t know how she finds the time to do everything that she does, being a wife and a mother, but I am in awe of her. She [Brittany] is my only child, and I know how much time, energy and effort it takes to raise one child. I don’t know how she does it with three, but she does have a wonderful and intelligent husband in Marcus. He is very supportive – the two of them are what marriage is supposed to be.”
Lacking neither, perspective or insight, Becky Taylor knows what it’s like to be a working mother. She had Brittany just as her career in radio was starting to flourish. If Becky was number one, Brittany was the bullet, traveling everywhere with Becky Taylor, emcee and mommy dearest.
“I don’t think she told you, but my mom is actually a really good photographer.” Brittany laughs while on memory lane. “She’s the reason I got into photojournalism to begin with. I remember at a young age finding pictures that she took when she was in high school in an old box in her closet or our basement and being amazed by the quality [of the pictures]. I mean they were top quality, professional type photos, framed and everything. I was so mesmerized by them.”
To understand Becky Taylor and her daughter Brittany Winkfield is to understand looking at a reflection of light captured in a moment of time, framed by mutual adulation.
It is rare to have a mother and daughter duo that enter the same profession, each thriving of their ownaccord, while spinning the medium forward for generations to come. After experiencing the duo, my time with mother and daughter reminded me of an important lesson:
The ideal parent doesn’t raise a child to be the best they can be, they raise a child to be the best for that which has yet to be.
By that measure, the best of Becky and Brittany—is still yet to come.
Jamil A. Shabazz is a Colorado native. A graduate of Metropolitan State University of Denver; earning his BA in African American Studies He is the founder of Shabazz & Co. Publishing and author of two novels. Not Another Night, published in 2016 and its sequel, Hiding Behind The Night (2018).