The Electric Personality: Antre’chelle Dorsey talks perseverance, motherhood, purpose-driven r
If you know The Electric Personality, chances are you have no idea who Antre’chelle Dorsey is.
The mother, college graduate, self-made reporter, and Houston host said the embodiment of being “electric” began on September 9, 1980 (the day she was born). When asked what gave her the motivation to leave a 13-year banking management career to pursue an education and career in media, her answer is quite simple— “It’s my calling.”
Elaborating, Antre’chelle said she decided to take a leap of faith the day she was promoted during her annual review while living in Arkansas. A married woman at the time, the newfound journey was the beginning of the end for some things in her life.
“At that point, I didn’t know what I was going to do or how,” she said. “My manager asked ‘What does your real life look like?’ and I said, ‘I’m supposed to dress up every day and talk to really cool people, and just get to know them and tell their stories, and then boom. Just like that, the journey began.”
Initially thinking she wanted to be a publicist, she said the “spirit” asked her, “‘Why do you want to be behind the camera when I told you to be in front of it?’ I’m not meant to be a traditional news girl. I tried.”
While her dream began to blossom, the transition also marked the end of a marriage. Antre’chelle said her partner at the time was initially very supportive of her new lifestyle but wasn’t certain if he could handle the changes as they progressed.
“He had just turned 50 and said, ‘I love you, you’re going to be famous, but the buck stops here for me,’ and I was devastated,” she said. “I really had to just look around and say, ‘Okay, if you lost the one thing that you’ve thought you’ve ever wanted, which was being married, does this really mean that much to you?’ and I was like ‘well– hell yeah!'”
Even though the revelation felt like a bomb had been dropped on her, she does give him credit for being a great supporter and excellent provider. Antre’chelle says he even asked her, “What kind of man would I be to stop your dreams? You’re made for this.”
The break was clean, but still painful for her. It would later become a blessing in disguise as it led her back to Houston.
Antre’chelle has had the ability to set herself apart from many who desire a career in media through her unconventional journey. When asked what she feels makes her different than some trying to navigate their way through entertainment reporting and hosting, she said, “I’m electric, period. Electricity cannot be contained… I cannot be put in a box, and that has hindered me and helped me in a lot of ways. No one will be able to say they had a hand in my success, except God,” she declared.
“When you know who you are and when you know what you want, that’s scary for a lot of people,” she said, referring to people who haven’t always been so accepting or understanding of her mindset and personality.
A graduate of Texas Southern University, Antre’chelle gives much credit to the Houston-based HBCU for her professional growth and development. While working for KTSU as the first social media correspondent, she said she would oftentimes broadcast live for events and her platform grew. She eventually became known as “The Electric Personality” by others.
A 35-year-old woman in college, Antre’chelle said she was initially afraid before she went back to school, because she was older than many of her other peers.
“My young peers were competing with me, and I had to let them know, ‘Hey, we’re not competing, baby. I’m in a lane by myself, so let’s learn from each other,'” she said. “That motivated me to create a sense of community and say, ‘No, I’m not competing with y’all. I’m going to work with you all.'”
Another organization that fueled her passion for public speaking and media was the debate team.
“Debate was my baby, and only because when you’re a raw talent, you can be just that– raw,” she said. “I feel like debate smoothed those edges for me and gave me a place to channel all of my creativity.”
Antre’chelle said her coaches, including the legendary Dr. Thomas F. Freeman, helped and inspired her in many ways. She eventually became the first female president to ever serve two terms in the team’s nearly 70-year history and joined Sigma Pi Alpha Fraternity.
“KTSU was my job, but the debate was my home,” she said proudly. “I made that clear, and I’m thankful for those experiences because I don’t know how I would’ve gotten through college. Being freshly divorced, it kept me sane.”
Throughout her undergraduate experience, Antre’chelle also became a part of another family that showed her the true meaning of sisterhood– Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
“I did a lot of research because I like to fly solo, but I am thankful for my initiation. I am thankful for being bonded to 91 other women,” she said. “I have five younger brothers. I don’t have any sisters… They have shown me sides to myself that I didn’t even know I had.”
When it comes to relationships, Antre’chelle has learned a lot, especially when it comes to having a partner that understands your purpose.
“He ended up being my tutor,” she said as she revealed how she was introduced to Allen, her boyfriend and father of her son, Axum Nova. “He ended up seeing a performance that the debate team did that I was a part of and he joined. He wasn’t there for me. I wasn’t there for him, and we merged. Now, who would have thought that he was also over 30 and divorced? It was just so funny. We went on a study date, and three years later, we never left.”
Antre’chelle said what makes her relationship with Allen so dope is how their goals and dreams matched.
“During our study session on our first date, he said, ‘The number one thing I want to do is get an internship at KTSU.’ At first, I was like, ‘Are you kidding?'”
Allen vowed to help her pass her class if she helped him to get an internship with the radio station.
“When we joined forces, we overtook the university,” Antre’chelle said. “His purpose aligned with my purpose.”
Antre’chelle says she has had to get past the fear of “shaking up” people while choosing not to worry about the outcome in order to follow her dreams.
“I have had people tell me, ‘You’ve missed your moment, you should do other things,’ or ‘Girl, why you taking everything from these kids?’ Once they figured out my age, some of them didn’t like that. They just felt like I was in the way,” she said.
She had to eventually tell herself that the college experience was hers to enjoy as well. She even revealed an administrator at Lone Star College suggested she just be a “regular college student” and not be as ambitious due to her age.
“That almost took me out, because it was still in the beginning. It was still fresh. I was almost within the first year of the journey,” she said. “I’ve never in my life gotten anywhere in my life playing it safe, and I just feel like I’m just not going to start now.”
Motherhood is something Antre’chelle said she knew she was destined for. She looked at her son Axum as an addition to her family, saying she declared he was going to adjust to her.
“I’m not going to stop what I’m doing, because everything I’m doing is for him,” she said. “I knew I was building for my legacy, and God just had to give me my legacy a little early to keep me focused.”
Antre’chelle said Axum went to class with her and Allen, explaining that she feels the journey exposed him to education at an early age.
“I can’t say that motherhood is easy, but it has definitely helped me a lot.”
A new five-part web series that Antre’chelle has created called Eating with Sis gives a spotlight to some of the dopest women she knows. While treating the ladies to a meal, she collects a plethora of advice in hopes of encouraging other women and amazing life stories.
“When you’re eating together, it builds community, it builds our bodies, it builds our minds, and it creates a sense of togetherness,” she said while explaining the concept of the show which screams women empowerment. “Food is the window to the soul. It’s comforting. I really felt like if I grabbed these people that have been an inspiration to me, or people that I’ve always admired, and I’ve had these forreal conversations with them and I put them in an element to where they have no choice but to get comfortable and talk, then it’s gonna hit the people that need it the most.”
Advice that Antre’chelle has for women that are currently in the shoes she was once in is simply to “Go for it.”
“It will hurt, but the reward is going to be so sweet,” she admitted. “You have to go for yours, because your purpose will become frustrating to you.”
Tune in to watch Eating with Sis every Wednesday on Antre’chelle’s website at www.antrechelle.com.