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  • Antonio

Lesson 1 | There's More To This World Than What We Know

I'm starting off with this lesson because if it wasn't for this none of this would exist. There would be no blog, no YouTube page, no podcast, no Instagram content. None of the "unconventional" things that I've done would have come to fruition. I was born in West Philly, to a lot of people they just think of it as that cool place that Will Smith is from. But in reality, it's deeper than that. While I love West Philly for what it's made me, there's much more to it. A lot of it isn't pretty. It's the hood, and while most of us know what that means, a lot of us don't so I'll explain. There's violence, lack of nutritional food, and a general lack of direction. Like a lot of young black men from the inner city the common route to "success" was to rap, play ball, or sell weight. That was all that most of us knew. Those were the only ways we thought we could make it. However, as we can see that wasn't true.

If it wasn't for my mom, family, and the internet I would've been a statistic. If my mom didn't instill the fear of God in me, I could have become a violent kid headed to jail or the grave. If she hadn't told me EVERYDAY, and I mean everyday, that I could be anything I wanted to be, and do anything I wanted to do, I would have thought like a lot of my peers. If it wasn't for the black men in my life like my father, grandfather, and uncles, I wouldn't have seen examples of success obtained honestly. I saw all of them work hard and go to work and earn money the right way. They had wives, their own homes, cars, and kids. To me that was amazing. To me that was success in itself, they had all made it out of the hood in an honest way. Lastly, the internet. While it has it's pros and cons, if it wasn't for the internet I wouldn't have known that there was anything for me outside of West Philly. I watched YouTube and saw black people in New York and Hollywood having the time of their lives. I didn't know how they got there, and I didn't care, all I knew was if they could do it, so could I.

I had to learn that there was more to life than what was around me. To all the people and things that have influenced me over these 21 years I am forever grateful. I thank you for showing me another way. I promise to do the same for the generation after me.

You Can Be More.