Filmmaker, TV Personality and Award-Winning Journalist.
Clay is a New York City-based, television personality and award-winning journalist. His work covers various topics: pop culture, sexuality, race, religion and social justice.
Clay is a graduate from Rutgers University, Phi Beta Kappa, with a B.A. in English and African-American Studies. Clay has provided commentary for television networks such as MTV, HLN, ABC, MSNBC, BET and FOX. He has contributed to numerous print and online publications such as The Advocate, Huffington Post, The Root and Gawker. He has interviewed various celebrities, including Clive Davis, Whoopi Goldberg, Kathy Griffin, Beyoncé Knowles, Denzel Washington, Wes Craven, Hilary Swank, Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, Janet Jackson, Queen Latifah, Jennifer Hudson, Jodie Foster, 50 Cent, T.I., Jada Pinkett-Smith, Chris Rock, Tyler Perry, Kevin Hart, Diana Ross and others.
On the speaking circuit, Clay spoke at Newark’s Academy Street Firehouse (an organization for youth who are directly or indirectly affected by HIV/AIDS), the City College, New York University (NYU), University of Miami and others. In addition, he has been a panelist for several events at NYU, ranging from diversity in the work place to LGBT issues.
Clay was the host of Clay Cane Live, a weekly call-in radio show on the legendary WWRL 1600AM. After 86 years, the station aired its final broadcast in December 2013. WWRL 1600AM in later years was home to radio programs from Reverend Al Sharpton and Ed Schultz. Clay Cane Live was featured by Jet Magazine, The Advocate, GLAAD and MSNBC’s theGrio.com.
Clay is currently the Entertainment Editor for BET.com and a member of New York Film Critics Online and the Broadcast Television Journalists Association. He is also the co-editor and contributing writer of the anthology For Colored Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Still Not Enough: Coming of Age, Coming Out, and Coming Home. He also contributed to Where Did Our Love Go: Love and Relationships in the African-American Community. Lastly, Clay is the creator and producer of Holler If You Hear Me: Black and Gay in the Church, which can be seen on BET.com/HollerIfYouHearMe.
Sexuality, Religion and the Black Community: Whether the issue is HIV/AIDS, the structural underpinnings of homophobia, the intersections of gender, race, sexuality and faith, Clay offers a unique perspective. Articles on this topic include the controversial September 2010 piece for The Advocate "Eddie Long and the Black Church," a June 2012 piece "Beyond Same-Sex Marriage" on MSNBC’s theGrio.com In addition, Clay's debut film Holler If You Hear Me: Black and Gay in the Church, which was released in November of 2015 on BET.com.
Racial Identity: Coming from a diverse background and a student of African-American Studies, Clay is always been vocal about racial identity. One of Clay’s most popular articles is the March 2011 piece for the Washington Post online magazine, The Root, titled, "Halle Berry and the Resurgence of the Tragic Mulatto," which tackles myths surrounding biracial identity.
Gender Identity: From the start of Clay's career, he has called for gender equality in his work, including transgender equality. One of his most popular pieces is for Gawker, "How Sex Workers Taught Me to Hustle," is an example of how Clay connects the real-lived experiences of people to the social activism of today.
Diversity in Media, Arts and the Workplace: As a journalist for LGBT and urban publications, Clay speaks about the importance of diversity. From the speaking circuit to journalism, Clay is an advocate for the marginalized and nameless faces who require diversity to thrive from the workplace to the arts. As he says, "The future of diversity goes beyond mission statements, anniversaries and speeches."
Pop Culture: As the Entertainment Editor for BET.com and the former radio host of Clay Cane Live on WWRL 1600AM, Clay is constantly in the mix of all things entertainment from film to music. Clay talks about the effects of pop culture on American culture, especially for the African-American community. He has interviewed various celebrities: Michael Moore, Vanessa Williams, 50 Cent, Chaka Khan, T.I., Spike Lee, Raven-Symoné, RuPaul, Regina King, Patti LaBelle, Gladys Knight, Donna Summer, Lil' Kim, Audra McDonald and more.
Tips for Writers and Journalists: As a professional journalist, Clay offers advice for aspiring writers of all backgrounds. Having written for mainstream, gay and urban publications, he offers tips on how to get published and expand your career.
Social Networking and Personal Branding: Clay addresses social networking etiquette and how to effectively use new media to build a personal brand. As a journalist who started as a blogger, and is now the Entertainment Editor at BET.com, Clay offers expertise on building a career, tips on social networking and how to turn a common Facebook and Twitter account into a media vehicle. At the 36th NABJ Annual Convention, Clay was a featured panelist for “Blogging and Beyond."
It was absolutely delightful to have you with us at U.M. You have already made a very positive difference in the lives of many of our students, and I thank you again for your candid and caring speech/presentation.
--- University of Miami
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