Entrepreneur Sheila Johnson’s trailblazing success

ABC News’ Kyra Phillips sits down with the first Black female billionaire, Sheila Johnson, to discuss the importance of investing in people, community and culture.
6:48 | 02/27/21

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Transcript for Entrepreneur Sheila Johnson’s trailblazing success
Finally tonight as we celebrate the final days of Black History Month this weekend a reminder action that history is still being made at right now by some pretty incredible people. And that in clues as Sheila Johnson she's a powerhouse in business and media and has spent decades making the boys swept. But don't define or buyer wealth what means the most and this TrailBlazer. Is making sure she's paying it forward. This is like taking risks feels long. It sounds like. Because Sheila Johnson has been a risk taker all her life. So it shouldn't be a surprise that she just learned how to play the cello. During coping yeah. What is it about music. That contributes to the success. Of a human being. When you're sitting in an orchestra playing with a string quartet you have to watch you have to listen I can read people's faces I can tell whether they're lying to me. Or whether they're telling me the truth are they're just playing with me. A fearless focus bit lent this University of Illinois music major. And teacher took quite a fortune. Co founding black entertainment television in 1980. Soon to become the first black woman billionaire. After its sale. Profits that it's now become passion projects for managing operating. And investing in people. Communities. And culture. That emboldens her brain. Salamander hotels and resorts. What did you pick a word salamander does speak only animal that can walk through fire and still come out a lot. A walked it started when she was dad in boulder in an all white school during segregation. Her light skin keeping her under the racist radar. A Covert resilience that eventually letter here to middle burg Virginia. A town built by slaves hundreds of years ago and a bold business deal that would define her destiny here. Remember coming in the town every day and I noticed a gun shop with a confederate flag in one. It distressed me so much. Many call my lawyer and I think there's this bill Henley had your ass. And I said let's see if I can diet. And I ended up buying the bill. I comes down. And turn it into a market. From integrating and influencing the boardroom. To the big boys to the owner's box. Sheila is also the only black woman to hold a stake in three pro sports teams. I can be. In a sweet. And there's all these white males up there and listening to now. They have been our only acts together they have played golf together and and I remember one time there was another deal gone down in them box. And I went over to and I heard them say Michael Jordan's name and like. Well wolf. How many females see you haven't invested in the ass. And they go on our eyes that I'm investing well we've closed I should know you're gonna open it back up and I became an investor. From a man's world hats and mentor. Johnson hasn't just invested in sports she's invested in women and I didn't make you feel the C year players. Protesting for social justice. When I saw him come out on the court. Can turn around with a bullet holes on the back of there. Shirts. Has said. I can't believe they're doing this. Boy are they Brady that was my first thought. The second saw was someone can go home Hugo girls you're really making a statement here and then that's when I got guns bomb. News and fearlessness. First. The Sheila Johnson gifts that keep on giving you grew up in the same apartment building in Detroit as Rosa Parks. Status chair and then you have Sheila Johnson. Giving you a front row seat. To an opportunity. Absolutely anything is possible. And like giving fifty women and men of color a full ride to Harvard. Kimberly Dowdell is a Sheila Johnson felon and now one of only 500 black women architects in the country she was Montrose. You invest in the person's. Day invest in the world. What mama G represented is the fact that black women. Are excellent and can be excellent and can change the perception of of what it is to be a plaque on it. They are now on running for office. Here now doctors say in different hospitals. I have one young lady who is now are Claire conferred Supreme Court justice Sonia so my hair so mouthful. I have. Another young man who was homeless he's now working for Samsung. I mean they're all sounds success from so proud of them mentor ship easy. Being a mom how do you raise. Humble hardworking kids. When your wealthy. We learn to say no. And you can't OK with the notice that in the know that definitely made me a better person. And like his mom's an adventurous on turf renew or. Brett Johnson is one of the youngest black luxury menswear designers globally. I'm in my mom always talks about an inference you have to have thick skinned. And cheap to that end degree. But use that as fuel we use that as motivation. It to keep. Push him forward and is it harder to be a successful woman who's been forced her to be successful black woman. People always say you know you're very successful black woman and and I see myself as a woman. You can pin any label on main winner in the evening and combing a light skinned black while I whatever they want them. I do is fine. I'm a woman and a woman who had a mother that always said. You should never lose your power. Which brings us back to conquering did cello. How sweet The Sims.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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