12.06.2011

Education Summit Inspires Young Black Males to Overpower Negativity with Positivity

by Brother Jesse


It is hard enough to get young Black boys to get up on time for school let alone up early on a Saturday morning. Throw something educational in the mix instead of entertainment and your chances may get even slimmer.

Hold up. Wait a minute. That's a stereotypical pandemic that we assume has infected the entire population of the minds of our youngsters. For the record: It’s not totally true.

Evidence of this happened this past Saturday on December 3 when noted community servant Deric Muhammad partnered with Lone Star College once again to host the 2nd Annual SMART’N UP Black Male Summit on Education at the Lone Star College Victory Center in the Acres Homes area. Alicia Jackson, a brilliant mother of two set of twins, assisted greatly to ensure the entire day flowed smoothly from 9am – 2pm.

Just like last year, the young attendees forsook their beds, window shopping at the mall, cartoons and Wii systems to arm their most important weapon: The Mind.

Deric Muhammad kicked the morning off with a message about the importance of the putting the right information in the mind. “Anything you put in your mind you will become. If you want to get different results in your life you have to put different information in your mind,” he said.

It was during last year’s summit that Brother Deric announced that he would be leading by example and enrolling at Lone Star College. He has made his word bond by taking classes online and on campus. I personally witnessed him once cramming to take an online Spanish test at our mother’s home. He has also shared with me how he has enjoyed certain discussions in a class. Proud of you big brother!


Ok, back to the summit. He went deeper into how we all can get knocked down by negativity and trials, but we all have the choice to “punch back.” Since he’s a huge fan of boxing, he put on the gloves to drive the point home. With the help of boxing trainer Juan Muhammad, he threw several punches and even broke a little sweat. (smile)

What do you do after you "get hit"? You punch back!...Depending on how you look at the situation will determine if it is negative or positive. You can be a master at it if you put the right information in your mind,” he said. Next the boys attended three consecutive workshops by Durce Muhammad, Robert Moore, and some guy named Brother Jesse. 


Durce Muhammad’s PowerPoint on the true power and purpose of education provoked deep thought and moments of laughter due to his excellent ability to connect to his audience. He closed out by giving a scenario showing what would happen if people with certain skills were stranded on an island together. One island had people on it such as a doctor, architect, carpenter, engineer and the other island had a rapper, pimp and a star athlete. His point: Which one would be able to build something up to sustain their lives on the island?

Robert Moore is one of the top laptop distributors in the city and said when he desired to step out on his vision, he had many doubters. He also walked everyone through the bad decisions he survived to become the successful entrepreneur he is today. Never let anyone take you off course when God has given you a vision,” he said.


In my session, I spoke on “Information Warfare: Taking Control of the Black Male Image.” It was based on the principle taught by the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad: You don’t have to condemn a dirty glass. Just set a clean glass up next to it. I shared strategies on how we can take control of our images by creating our own media, using available online tools to promote the positive things being done by the Black community and eliminating excuses. I closed by saying that one definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results. Well, it would be insane to keep expecting the White corporate-controlled media and Hollywood to portray us in a positive light. We have to do it.

After the workshops, everyone enjoyed lunch and further dialogue. What a great way to spend a Saturday morning. Let’s continue to SMART’N UP!