Jalen and Shelby Dorsey are not your average couple. They are, however, one of the most unique couples that I have ever had the pleasure of interacting with.
Jalen, aka DJ LiTEBRiTE, has become a popular DJ in the south-central region and Shelby is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. One of the most unique things about their relationship is how they met. In early 2011, high school student Jalen slid into Shelby’s DM’s via Twitter. And was curved viciously. But fate wouldn’t let it die there. That fall Jalen finally got to meet her in person in front of the financial aid building at Southwestern Oklahoma State University in Weatherford, OK. Eventually after several months Shelby, the popular junior at SWOSU and Jalen the freshman basketball player, an unlikely couple were brought together and have been a force ever since.
Early on – as with all relationships – there were struggles but there was a balance that was found for Shelby as a mom of a precious daughter (affectionately dubbed “#TwitterlessTatum”) and college upperclassman as well as with Jalen being an athlete and supportive figure in her life without overstepping bounds.
Jalen is coming off possibly the biggest year thus far in his career and talked about how having Shelby’s support is what ultimately drove him to work as hard as he did.
AJ: “Jalen, man last year was a hot year for you. Almost every time I hopped on Instagram you were working an event to build your brand. It’s obvious you worked your ass off.”
Jalen: “Yes, thank you.”
AJ: “Shelby, how important did you see it to be that major pillar of support for him?”
Shelby: “I feel like the career couldn’t have been made without me playing the part that I needed to play. There were times where it was ‘me me me me me’ and he supported. And there were several times in the year where I’d say, ‘you HAVE to go. You HAVE to keep going.’ There were times I knew that he could do his best if I stepped out.”
Jalen: “There are times that I want her to be involved. And every time I am cautious and aware of her feelings to still make sure I am available. I had a huge year last year but with her school stuff, it was a mental toll on her and an emotional toll on both of us. There were times where I had to get back home because we had things to do. I wanted to make sure that I was doing my best and then getting back to my family. It feels good to be at our best together.”
Aside from their entrepreneurial endeavors, my favorite thing about this couple is how open and active they are when it comes to racial equality in our country. Being an interracial couple, they are not blind to what is going on. Shelby grew up in an extremely diverse family and there was always an understanding of sorts that fueled her passion on this topic. She shared how recently in public she found herself on guard due to mannerisms from people near them. From a very young age, Shelby wanted her daughter to know an important lesson:
“Early on I wanted her to know that as a white woman, not to be a toxic white woman that takes up a black woman’s space. You can have a black boyfriend, all black friends but DO NOT take up their space from them. I want her to understand the space that she was wrongfully given in society. I don’t think white people understand that.”
Being in an interracial relationship and eventually marriage, Shelby wanted it to be known that she was in the relationship for who Jalen was and is as a person. And it matters to her that she is loved by Jalen, “despite my whiteness, not for my whiteness.” I think one of the most impactful statements she made was that “we do not have to talk to black people about racism because they’re living it every day…both black people and especially white people need to understand and be more educated on Systemic Racism. It affects everything even down to the hair products in Walmart.”
Jalen said he’s given confidence in the family they will raise in knowing that her words have a 100% feeling of truth behind them. Knowing she stands by those words is what helps him as a black man.
“Her being who she is has helped me established who I’m going to be. So we set the precedent throughout all of the environments that we move through.”
The Dorsey’s want to be a bright light (pun intended) not just in terms of business but also in regards to racial injustices. There is a positive message from their family that is necessary in our world today. Challenging us to do what matters both in the public eye and behind closed doors. Ignoring what negativity comes their way and refusing to sacrifice their integrity to appease the norm that society has put in place is a driving force behind their message of equality on all levels. In 2019, the Dorsey’s are looking forward to achieving their goals including financial literacy for them both, Jalen as a businessman reaching his six-figure income goal as a DJ and hopefully making a new addition to their family.
If you haven’t already, make sure you follow Jalen (@djlitebrite93 & @briteslitesent) and Shelby (@shelbydorsey) on social media. There’s always something fun, insightful and challenging between them both. I personally am honored to be able to call them both friends and can’t wait to see what the year has in store the empire they are building.