You Can Make It Happen: A Nine Step Plan for Success
Who Are You? A Success Process for
Building Your Lifeís Foundation
Diversity: Leaders, Not Labels: A New Plan for the 21st
Build Your Own Life Brand
Teens Can Make It Happen: Nine Steps for
* * *
Steps to Success
Stedman Graham was born
on March 6, 1951 in Whitesboro, NJ, a community founded
in 1901 by a group of prominent African Americans which
included Booker T. Washington and Paul Laurence Dunbar.
Stedman attended Middle Township High School where the
6í6Ē phenom starred on the varsity basketball team.
After earning a Bachelorís degree in Social Work from
Hardin-Simmons University, he played professionally in
Europe for a few years before returning to the U.S. to
work on his Masterís in Education from Ball State.
high-profile relationship with Oprah Winfrey has perhaps
overshadowed the long list of business and charitable
accomplishments accumulated over the course of Mr.
Grahamís impressive career as Chairman and CEO of S.
Graham & Associates, a management and marketing
consulting firm specializing in the corporate and
educational fields. A prolific writer, he is also the
author of ten books, two of which became NY Times
bestsellers. And he has taught at several colleges,
including a course on leadership at the University of
Illinois and one on strategic management at
Most importantly, Mr.
Graham has exhibited a lifelong commitment to community
via Athletes Against Drugs (AAD), a non-profit
organization he founded in 1985 which remains dedicated
to developing leadership in underserved youth through
scholarships and education. Recently, Stedman talked to
me about his work with AAD and other projects.
* * *
Hi Stedman, thanks so
much for the time.
Itís my pleasure.
I have a friend,
Franklin Moore, who claims heís a cousin of yours. Is
that true or has the brother been making it up all these
Itís true. Heís my
closest cousin, my favorite cousin. Where do you know
His younger son, Joseph,
and my son have been friends since they were in
Thatís great, Josephís
Small world. Tell me
whatís going on with Athletes Against Drugs?
The focus of the
organization, which is really known now as AAD
Education, Health and Sports is the positive, not the
negative. Being in this business for 25 years has taught
us that itís not about the drugs but about providing
positive choices, keeping yourself active and keeping
yourself busy with activities, the proper curriculum,
and special events like taking kids to games. Thatís how
you keep our youth off drugs.
Where is the
Weíre operating out of
Chicago. Thatís our home base. But we do programs all
around the country in coordination with various teams
and various athletes. We provide programming in the
schools, class curriculum, tutoring, and sports field
trips. And we have athletes come speak in the schools.
Weíve done all that for years. So, weíre really strong
in terms of programming.
Didnít you have a big
Well, we had our annual
golf tournament where we bring in a lot of athletes.
Itís one of our fundraisers. This year was our 25th
I told my readers Iíd be interviewing you, and they sent
in a lot of questions. FSU grad Laz Lyles says she heard
that you teach at Full Sail University, which she says
is an amazing arts college. She wants to know, what
attracted you to this school, and what youíre teaching
I teach identity
education and development. I teach people how to find
their passion. I do it using a nine step plan. I also
teach them how to develop a bigger vision once they have
that passion. The thing that attracted me to Full Sail
is that they have their passion already. So, what they
needed was the other eight steps.
The curriculum that I
teach encompasses all that. Itís especially pertinent to
folks who already have an identity in terms of their
job, their future employment or career path. [For more
info, see Stedmanís book,
You Can Make It Happen: A Nine Step Plan for Success.
Beckham asks whatís happening with AAD, but you
already answered that. Sheís another person who says she
knows you. Sheís in public relations in Pittsburgh where
she used to be a TV anchorwoman for one of the
Right, absolutely, yeah.
Beekman who is vacationing on a vineyard in
Vacqueyras, France as
we speak, says, ďI know you
have a background in education. Do you support early
childhood educational programs which help young
African-American males bridge the achievement gap, even
before the first grade?Ē
Totally! I have a
ten-week program in the high schools, which weíd like to
push down to the middle and elementary schools. And we
also have a program for parents and teachers. So, weíre
very much proponents of helping kids develop an identity
as early as possible in their lives.
Kegler from Lufkin, Texas asks, what is the lifestyle
you see for yourself in ten years?
Iíd like to be able to
travel around the world working with organizations and
institutions to help educate as many people as possible
about how to develop an identity for themselves, about
how to find out who they are. And Iíd like to teach them
information making it relevant to their own
Jersey boy Larry
Greenberg asks, ďDo you have any plans to come back to
your hometown, Whitesboro, this summer?"
Iíve been going back to
Whitesboro, working in the community where I grew up,
for the last 21 years. I havenít missed a Labor Day
celebration yet. And I donít expect to this year.
Hisani Dubose asks,
what is your PR firmís specialty?
We have a marketing and
management consulting business. What we do is focus on
is the books that Iíve written and the content that I
have, and other projects and ventures, including
seminars, speaking engagements, online training and
development, and on serving our strong existing client
base to set up win-win situations.
Childrenís book author
Irene Smalls asks, whatís your goal for the future?
My big goal is to
develop a strong operational structure and alliances
with our partners to build a better distribution network
to deliver our content.
asks, what advice do you have for those whoíd like to
start their own business in this challenging economic
I would say, make sure
you focus on what you love and what youíre passionate
about, so that when times get tough, you can overcome
Marcia Evans asks are
you still associated with
Armstrong Williams and do you share his political
Iíve known him for a
number of years. Heís been a friend of mine. I try to
not allow my personal relationship with him as a friend
get mixed up with his political aspirations. Also, I
donít make judgments about people just because they may
have a different point-of-view from mine.
Reverend Florine Thonpson asks what is your most
powerful, spiritual source of strength?
My most powerful,
spiritual source of strength is knowing that God is
love. So, when I focus on love, and put that in my
heart, then I have the power of a strong, spiritual base
Mia Mask asks, do you think President Obama has
handled the BP oil disaster well?
I think Obama has done a
great job, based on what he was handed at the start of
his administration. I also believe that he needs the
support of the whole country. There are so many people
trying to tear him down. America needs to come together
as a country to figure out how we can support him as the
President, including the BP disaster
Is there any question no one ever asks you, that you
wish someone would?
No, but thatís the
toughest question Iíve been asked.
question: Are you ever afraid?
I try not to be.
The Columbus Short
question: Are you happy?
Happier than Iíve ever
The Teri Emerson question: When was the last time you
had a good laugh?
The bookworm Troy
Johnson question: What was the last book you read?
How the Mighty Fall by Jim Collins.
Heather Covington asks, what are you listening to?
The last thing I
listened to was a CD that came with
What is your favorite dish to cook?
When you look in the
mirror, what do you see?
I see hope!
If you could have one
wish instantly granted, what would that be for?
For all the people who
have dropped out of school and who donít think theyíre
good enough to understand who they really are and that
the process for success is the same for everybody, if
you understand it.
The Ling-Ju Yen question: What is your earliest
I was running in the
backyard and scraped my leg against a sharp edge of a
rusty chair that severed a big piece of meat out of it.
Tavis Smiley questions. First, how introspective are
Iím a Pisces, so Iím all
Second, what do you want
your legacy to be?
That I succeeded in
teaching people how to maximize their potential as human
Well, thanks again for
the interview, Stedman.
Thank you. This was fun.
Man, youíre good!
I get a lot of help. If
you notice, most of my questions come from my readers
and from celebrities.
youíre the conduit, so you gotta be good to organize it
all. Take care.
posted 19 July 2010
* * * *
By Lorraine Hansberry
I can hear Rosalee
See the eyes of Willie McGee
My mother told me about
My mother told me about
The dark nights
And dirt roads
And torch lights
And lynch robes
faces of men
Faces of men
Dead in the night
* * *
Writer Lorraine Hansberry's
sober eulogy of the death of Willie McGee weighed heavy on the
hearts and minds of the American Left. On May 8, 1951, a crowd of
five hundred lingered outside the courthouse of Laurel, Mississippi,
to witness the execution of yet another black man convicted for
allegedly raping a white woman. His 1945 lightning trial resulted in
a guilty conviction delivered in less than two and a half minutes by
an all-white, male jury, setting off a heated five-year legal
struggle that drew national headlines. Despite an aggressive appeals
defense team who attempted every legal maneuver in the book, the US
Supreme Court ultimately chose not to intervene. With the legal
lynching of the Martinsville Seven in February, Ethel and Julius
Rosenberg's conviction in March, followed by the execution of McGee
in May, 1951 was a bad year for Left-leaning lawyers (Parrish 1979;
Rise 1995). Most discouraging, national news sources like the New
York Times and Life magazine red-baited the "Save Willie
McGee" campaign andóas Life reportedóits "imported" lawyers (Popham
1951a; Life 1951). Few felt McGee's passing with as heavy a heart as
his chief counsel, thirty-one-year-old Bella Abzug.
Before Abzug became a representative in
Congress and a leader in the peace and women's movements, she confronted the
Southern political and legal system at the height of the early Cold War.
Retained in 1948 by the Civil Rights Congress (CRC)óa New York-headquartered
Popular Front legal defense organizationóthe novice labor lawyer honed her civil
rights . . .
* * *
* * * * *
Super Rich: A Guide to Having it All
By Russell Simmons
Russell Simmons knows firsthand that
wealth is rooted in much more than the
market. True wealth has more to do with
what's in your heart than what's in your
wallet. Using this knowledge, Simmons
became one of America's shrewdest
entrepreneurs, achieving a level of
success that most investors only dream
about. No matter how much material gain
he accumulated, he never stopped lending
a hand to those less fortunate. In
Super Rich, Simmons uses his rare
blend of spiritual savvy and
street-smart wisdom to offer a new
definition of wealth-and share timeless
principles for developing an unshakable
sense of self that can weather any
financial storm. As Simmons says, "Happy
can make you money, but money can't make
* * * * *
The Warmth of Other Suns
The Epic Story of America's Great Migration
By Isabel Wilkerson
Ida Mae Brandon Gladney, a sharecropper's
wife, left Mississippi for Milwaukee in
1937, after her cousin was falsely accused
of stealing a white man's turkeys and was
almost beaten to death. In 1945, George
Swanson Starling, a citrus picker, fled
Florida for Harlem after learning of the
grove owners' plans to give him a "necktie
party" (a lynching). Robert Joseph Pershing
Foster made his trek from Louisiana to
California in 1953, embittered by "the
absurdity that he was doing surgery for the
United States Army and couldn't operate in
his own home town." Anchored to these three
stories is Pulitzer PrizeĖwinning journalist
Wilkerson's magnificent, extensively
researched study of the "great migration,"
the exodus of six million black Southerners
out of the terror of Jim Crow to an
"uncertain existence" in the North and
Midwest. Wilkerson deftly incorporates
sociological and historical studies into the
novelistic narratives of Gladney, Starling,
and Pershing settling in new lands, building
anew, and often finding that they have not
left racism behind. The drama, poignancy,
and romance of a classic immigrant saga
pervade this book, hold the reader in its
grasp, and resonate long after the reading
* * * * *
The White Masters of the
The World and Africa, 1965
By W. E. B. Du Bois
W. E. B. Du Boisí
Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization
* * *
Ancient African Nations
* * * * *
If you like this page consider making a donation
* * * * *
Negro Digest /
Browse all issues
* * * * *
The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan
The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll
Only a Pawn in Their Game
Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for
George Jackson /
* * *
The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg
Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804
January 1, 1804 -- The Founding of
* * * * *
* * * *
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update 24 February 2012