BLACK365 Knowledge Bowl

FORMER AT-RISK AFRICAN AMERICAN MALE FINDS INSPIRATION THROUGH HISTORY Jamaal Brown Created the BLACK365 Knowledge Bowl to Inspire Other Youth  LOS ANGELES, Calif. (FEB. 25, 2014) – High school graduation rates among African Americans are at an astronomical low. Only 47 percent of young Black men receive their high school diplomas and one in four African American males who dropout ends up in prison. The problem today is that young African Americans are not being totally empowered or inspired through their education. Jamaal Brown, an entrepreneur, scholar, and father, found the key to changing those numbers around through this phenomenal and life changing creation, the Black365 Knowledge Bowl.  While in high school, Brown was sure his only choices in life were to become a drug dealer, gang member, or athlete. But it was when the voices of his ancestors began to call out from the pages of Black history that his eyes and heart opened up to a world of endless possibilities.  As he began to read and study, he found his purpose in life – empower, uplift, and inspire the world through the stories of history that are rarely ever told.  After becoming his high school’s first-ever African American valedictorian, more »

Your Friday Story, A Fine Line

Here is your Friday story, A Fine Line Courtesy of Insight of the Day Tears poured from her eyes as if there was no tomorrow, and in a sense, for her, there were no tomorrows. That was her reality. Her daughter was in the Shock Trauma Intensive Care Unit (STICU), having sustained a severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) as well as numerous other injuries. The 17-year-old patient, still in a coma, had been injured two months earlier and the mother had just been told, “You know, with this kind of injury, your daughter’s current condition might be the best she’ll ever be.” The nurse who told the mother that night that terrible prognosis might have been 100% correct. But, no mother wants to hear words like that from a nurse. Mothers just want to hear, “Everything is going to be fine. Your daughter (or son) will one day be able to get married, go to school….One day this will merely be remembered as a terrible nightmare.” However, we all know that “bad things happen to good people,” and sometimes unfortunately, there is no “happy Hollywood movie ending.” No matter how hard the staff tries, people pass away at hospitals all the more »

Here is your Friday story, Unleash The Superhero In You courtesy of Bob Proctor Within every human being, exists an infinite supply of creativity, strength and wonder. You are capable of more than you know. Let me tell you about a real life Superhero I know. His name is Mike Berkson. Mike Berkson was born a few minutes after his twin brother David, on February 4th, 1989. Shortly after birth, Mike was diagnosed with cerebral palsy. Doctors told his parents that he would not be able to talk and he would never be a student in a regular classroom. By the time Mike was 3, he was not only talking up a storm but had a thirst for vocabulary. Mike sets BIG goals. Mike excels in English and History, is creative in writing short stories and has ambitions in film making. Mike lives in a Chicago suburb and now attends high school. He loves rap music, Seinfeld reruns, movies, girls, and many other things most teenagers are interested in. Mike is unique in that he has to work around some obstacles in his day to day life that you and I will never be faced with. Because he is confined to more »

Here is your Friday story, What Special Someday Are We Saving For? courtesy of Bob Proctor My brother-in-law opened the bottom drawer of my sister’s bureau and lifted out a tissue-wrapped package. “This,” he said, “is not a slip. This is lingerie.” He discarded the tissue and handed me the slip. It was exquisite: silk, handmade and trimmed with a cobweb of lace. The price tag with an astronomical figure on it was still attached. “Jan bought this the first time we went to New York, at least eight or nine years ago. She never wore it. She was saving it for a special occasion. Well, I guess this is the occasion.” He took the slip from me and put it on the bed with the other clothes we were taking to the mortician. His hands lingered on the soft material for a moment. Then he slammed the drawer shut and turned to me. “Don’t ever save anything for a special occasion. Every day you’re alive is a special occasion.” I remembered those words through the funeral and the days that followed when I helped him and my niece attend to all the sad chores that follow an unexpected death. I more »

Your Friday Story, One Giant Leap

Here is your Friday story, One Giant Leap, courtesy of Bob Proctor It was a Monday night in October 2008 when I felt a strange pain inside my chest. My body was telling me something and I needed to listen. For five years, I had been a top dog at a major coaching company. I had a prestigious title, got a ton of recognition, coached incredible people, and was making good money even as the U.S. economy was sliding down the tubes without touching the sides. The problem was that I no longer felt aligned with the company energetically. Okay, I am being nice. The truth was that the company had dismal direction from its owners and it was extremely painful to work there. This was a pathetic, sad, fear-based environment, and I felt like I had zero integrity staying. All the prestige, recognition, and money may have satisfied my ego, but they meant nothing to my body and soul. That’s why I felt like I was manifesting a cancerous tumor. Though this was the first time my body had reacted so intensely, in my heart I knew I was in a dead-end situation for a few years. Even so, more »

Your Friday Story, Arthur and the Witch

Here is your Friday story.  Arthur and the Witch – courtesy of Bob Proctor Young King Arthur was ambushed and imprisoned by the monarch of a neighboring kingdom. The monarch could have killed him but was moved by Arthur’s youth and ideals. So, the monarch offered him his freedom, as long as he could answer a very difficult question. Arthur would have a year to figure out the answer and, if after a year, he still had no answer, he would be put to death. The question…? What do women really want? Such a question would perplex even the most knowledgeable man, and to young Arthur, it seemed an impossible query. But, since it was better than death, he accepted the monarch’s proposition to have an answer by year’s end. He returned to his kingdom and began to poll everyone: the princess, the priests, the wise men and even the court jester. He spoke with everyone, but no one could give him a satisfactory answer. Many people advised him to consult the old witch, for only she would have the answer. But the price would be high; as the witch was famous throughout the kingdom for the exorbitant prices she more »

Here is your Friday story,  Everyone Needs a “Me” File – courtesy of Bob Proctor During a dinner with friends I mentioned an e-mail I’d received from a 13-year-old thanking me for the way my commentaries had influenced his life. I was clearly proud of the note, and Sally Kinnamon said I should save this and other affirming mementos and put them in a “Me” file. At first I thought she was being sarcastic, but she assured me she was quite serious. Sally came upon the idea while training in-home nurses, who often work in isolated conditions with little or no affirmative feedback. She gave each nurse an empty folder labeled “Me” and instructed them to put every form of grateful or complimentary feedback into the file, including cards, notes, letters, and positive performance reviews. She said that this folder should be taken out and read whenever any of them felt unappreciated or questioned the value of their work. Sally acknowledged that most of the nurses were initially reluctant, fearing it was too self-indulgent, egotistical, or just plain silly, but she explained it’s not a bragging file to show others how good we are. Rather, it’s a private collection evidencing more »

To chase down a dream!

To chase down a dream! By Tyer Perry Sorry I’ve been MIA but we just finished the movie, For Colored Girls, and I have to tell you, I have new respect for Ntozake Shange’s 1975 writings. Listening to these words spoken through the voices of Phylicia Rashad, Kerry Washington, Tessa Thompson, Macy Gray, Kimberly Elise, Thandie Newton, Whoopi Goldberg, Janet Jackson and Loretta Devine, made me not only respect the brilliance of the material, but also pull out everything in me to do my best to give it the care and attention to detail that it deserved. Out of all that I’ve ever done in my life, nothing has taken more out of me than this film. It is remarkable.   Being so drained, I decided to take a few days off. Yesterday I was hiking a mountain in Hawaii with a friend. I was laboring up this beautiful green pastured mountain, looking down at my feet trying to be sure of my footing, while at the same time trying to catch my breath from the altitude. At times, I would make big steps, sometimes all I could do was take small ones. The terrain was uneven and rough at more »

Your Friday Story, Acres of Diamonds

Here is your Friday story, Acres of Diamonds. Courtesy of Bob Proctor One of the most interesting Americans who lived in the 19th century was a man by the name of Russell Herman Conwell. He was born in 1843 and lived until 1925. He was a lawyer for about fifteen years until he became a clergyman. One day, a young man went to him and told him he wanted a college education but couldn’t swing it financially. Dr. Conwell decided, at that moment, what his aim in life was, besides being a man of the cloth – that is. He decided to build a university for unfortunate, but deserving, students. He did have a challenge however. He would need a few million dollars to build the university. For Dr. Conwell, and anyone with real purpose in life, nothing could stand in the way of his goal. Several years before this incident, Dr. Conwell was tremendously intrigued by a true story – with its ageless moral. The story was about a farmer who lived in Africa and through a visitor became tremendously excited about looking for diamonds. Diamonds were already discovered in abundance on the African continent and this farmer got so more »

Here is your Friday story, What You “Know” Can Get in The Way! courtesy of Bob Proctor There are those that say, “The older you get, the harder it is / the longer it takes to learn.” Then there are those that say “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” Scientists have done studies on how children learn at an accelerated rate compared to adults, etc. Yada, yada, yada… I believe this has become largely “excuses” for most people to not learn or to only go half way with learningsomething new. I have discovered with my own learning that I personally accelerate when I don’t let what I think I already “know” get in the way of the new information I’m trying to take in. For instance – I have been a trumpet player since the 3rd grade and have been both a “talented” little boy and a “not so lucky” player. In high school, the message of “wanting to be a professional player was a reckless career choice and would carry with it disastrous results in life,” was constantly fed to me by “authority” figures… “You’ll never have a home, never have a Family, etc.” So I essentially stopped more »