Most of the Black African American Middle School boys that I ask what they intend to become when they grow up, without hesitation will immediately respond with one of the following three answers: a professional basketball player; a professional football player or a rap singer. The rest will hunch their shoulders and say, “I don’t know.”
None of these children could tell me that there are only 32 professional football teams in the NFL, and each team has 53 players, toaling 1,696 players. Nor could they tell me that there are only 30 NBA teams with a maximum of 15 players per team, totaling only 450 players. None of them could tell me in detail what they had to do to get to college in order to be allowed to play on a professional sports team. Worst of all, most said they were not doing that well in Middle School and they really did not like school. Although I did not pursue the numbers, I would venture to say that there is less than 500 professional rappers who are able to legally support themselves and their families in the entire world. What do you think the odds are that any of these children will reach their goal/dream?
Chapter 7 of author Tom Burrell’s very informative book, “Brainwashed: Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority,” is titled, “Buy Now, Pay Later, Why We Can’t Stop Shopping.” In this chapter, Mr. Burrell informs us that the NBA Players Association’s statistics reveals that about 60% of retired basketball players are financially broke within five years of their retirement.
Mr. Burrell identified an exception to those statistics-Mr. Earvin “Magic” Johnson and he referred to Mr. Johnson’s book, “32 Ways To Be A Champion In Business.” After reading Mr. Burrell’s book, I immediately purchased Mr. Johnson’s book and just completed reading it last night. Of the 40% of NBA retired players who maintain their financial wealth beyond the five-year mark, Mr. Johnson seems to tower above all of the rest financially, morally and philanthropically.
“32 Ways To Be A Champion In Business” consists of 32 chapters (32 was Magic’s jersey number) all of which begins with the title, “Magic Move # (1-32), with each chapter referring to a specific topic, such as, “Guiding Vision, Entrepreneurial Passion, Customer Care” and so-on.
Let me tell you that I am not a fan of any sports, including basketball. While attending Thomas A. Edison High School in Philadelphia, Pa. I went to some weekly basketball and football games until I started working part-time after school and was unable to continue warming the bleachers. During my Navy days, I would “hang” with the Brothers and watch college and professional football games on TV in order to be in the “in crowd.” I have only gone to one professional football game in my life and that was to root against Dan Foust and the San Diego Chargers for their racially discriminatory treatment of Quarterback James Harris. I have never watched a professional or College basketball game neither on TV or live. As you can see, I am dispelling the myth that Black African American males are addicted to ball games by confessing that I have never played a game of basketball in my life and I can count the number of baskets I made on one hand. No, I have never had a “basketball jones.”
After my dismal first
year semester of college, I decided to join a new team-study hall. I literally threw my one TV in the trash and picked up books. Since then, I have only watched one professional football game, when the two Black African American Head Coaches (Tony Dungy of the Colts & Lovie Smith of the Bears) played against each other in the Superbowl.
This being said I sincerely say that after reading Mr. Johnson’s book, I am now a genuine fan of his, although not for his basketball prowess. I am his fan for what he has done off the basketball courts and in the inner cities of America. Mr. Johnson’s “Magic Johnson Foundation’s Community Empowerment Centers” are located throughout urban and rural America where more than 240,000 people, mostly Black African Americans have received training and assistance. His business enterprises have employed over 30,000 people, again, mostly Black African Americans. In addition, Mr. Johnson has enabled more than 400 families to move out of subsidized housing and into their own homes.
Mr. Johnson wrote his book, “32 Ways To Be A Champion In Business” as a blueprint for all aspiring entrepreneurs as well as anyone wanting to positively alter their current financial situation and reach their dreams. This is a very well written, thought-provoking and inspirational book and I encourage everyone to read it for themselves, for their love-ones and then insist that their children and their children’s children read it.
In the chapter “Magic Move # 26, entitled “Change Management, on page 241 of my Kindle version, Mr. Johnson said, “It helps to let everyone know that while there is always risk in making changes, the biggest risk is not to change.”
Oh what a blessing it is that my people do not read, think or use common sense, says the Pastors, Pimps and Politicians.