ABOVE: Black Male Summit Presenters: (l-r) Brandon Barnes, Chad Muhammad, Jamail Johnson, Abdul Haleem Muhammad, Deric Muhammad, Deric Childress Jr., and Reginald Gordon
The “Smart’n Up” Black Male Summit recently made an impactful return to impact Black youth in the Greater Houston area, with a packed house at St. John’s Church in Downtown Houston. Pastor Rudy and First Lady Juanita Rasmus opened their church home to the Black Male Summit for this important meeting.
The theme for this year’s summit was “No More Excuses.”
Attendees came looking for solutions, resources, and inspiration, with the hope of solving the problems Black men and Black boys face daily.
Black Male Summit founder, Brother Deric Muhammad, spoke about the younger generation’s desperation to become famous.
“Fame is a drug,” said Brother Deric. “These young men will do anything to get it. If they can’t get your attention doing the right thing, they’ll get it doing the wrong thing.”
“Some of them would rather be somebody on the front of an RIP t-shirt than be a nobody walking around in real life,” Brother Deric continued.
The delicate subject of Black men’s health was also discussed by Deric Childress Sr., a father of three who suffers from diabetes.
“I stand before you right now in kidney failure,” Childress Sr. confessed. “But it could have been prevented had I taken better care of myself.”
Childress Sr. suffered a diabetic coma last October. He almost lost his life.
“As Black men, we must do a better job at taking care of ourselves,” Childress Sr. added.
Childress Sr. then introduced his son, Deric Childress Jr., a recent graduate of the University of Virginia, who spoke powerfully to his generation about the importance of youth activism and getting involved in the fight for justice.
The torch was then handed to Pastor Jamail Johnson, who spoke about the animalistic portrayal of Black male teenagers and how to overcome negative stereotypes.
“If you don’t know who you are you will spend the rest of your life pulling up someone else’s flag; not even knowing that you have a flag yourself,” said Pastor Johnson.
Chad Muhammad, owner of Universal Realty, spoke to the young crowd about real estate and the critical importance of land ownership.
“You were all born into real estate,” Chad emphasized. “Land is everything. You can’t get away from it so you might as well benefit from it.”
Chad was followed by Brandon Barnes, who spoke about the importance of investing.
YouTube sensation Philip Scott spoke about the reality of being a Black man in America, and how to use the power of your voice. Scott is the owner of The African Diaspora News Channel, which has over 1.3 million subscribers.
The Black Male Summit was livestreamed worldwide on his channel.
Reginald “OG1” Gordon closed out the Summit with a no-nonsense, animated message about the dangers of street life, and the horrors of prison.
Gordon was previously sentenced to 200 years in prison at the age of 16 and has been on a quest to save the next generation from the jaws of America’s prison walls since his release 30 years ago.
The Black Male Summit is an educational forum that focuses on the unique challenges that Black men and boys face in America. It was inspired by the 1995 Million Man March and has been a staple in the community for 12 years.
“This year’s summit was the best one yet,” said Brother Deric.
To learn more about the Black Male Summit visit www.dericmuhammad.com.