Leonard Smith is the product of a broken home. The streets of Oakland, California raised him during the turbulent time of the 1980’s and created his belief system. The same streets that taught Leonard many lessons were both a gift and a curse. His name is well known on the streets and in the various Juvenile Detention Centers throughout the city of Oakland. Leonard has to constantly navigate between his feelings and his method of survival. The story of Leonard Smith is a cautionary tale of tragedy and triumph. Leonard’s life embodies what many youth face every day on the streets of every major city in America.
Get Out Of Your Own Way
Compiled By: Charron Monaye
Get Out Of Your Own Way: Overcoming Adversity to Live In Your Truth Out Loud is a collection of personal short stories from C.E.O.’s and Entrepreneurs who have learned the valuable lesson of focusing on Faith, instead of Fear!
Shattering the Barriers of Single Motherhood
Master Certified Single Mother Life Coach, Author, Speaker and Single Mother Academy Founder, Sang Thi Duong, has been advocating for Single Mothers for the past 20+ years, and what began as a personal journey has since grown into a movement … Read More
How I Survived Without Chemo Therapy: One Woman’s Story From Diagnosed To Thriving
By Sabrina Moore Sabrina Moore can’t explain how she went from knocking on death’s door to fighting cancer with no chemo, but she can tell you how she’s kept cancer from stifling her life and stealing her joy. Sabrina … Read More
Respect Your Choices: Finding Balance in Success
Twenty years ago, Vaughn J. McNeill, was a man struggling with his identity as a bi-racial man, being adopted, divorced, bankrupt, and homelessness. Determined to break out of a defeatist mindset and chasing dead-end dreams that were holding him back from success, Vaughn victoriously changed his life. Today, he lives the life of powerful choices.
In his book, Respect Your Choices: Finding Balance in Success, Vaughn shares his methods to creating a life that is rich in every way possible. Focusing on the three areas of life that must be refined to bring about positive outcomes – Purpose, Respect, and Choices, he identifies the framework upon which a fulfilled existence is built. Respect Your Choices offers thought provoking lessons, actionable plans, and personal experiences, and then makes clear that respecting your choices will help you find balance between your outlook and outcome.
If you change your perception, you change your outlook and once you change your outlook you change your outcome. Your outcome can be either positive or negative, as it’s relative to you!
by Jaguar Wright & Charron Monaye
Jaguar Wright— mother, culinary queen, original member of the Okayplayer Collective, and Soul/R & B vocalist who has performed with the likes of: The Roots, Jay-Z, Al Green, Terri Lynne Carrington, and a host of others — candidly shares her story of the fame, fortune, setbacks, and success that she experienced as a recording artist.
They say, “life imitates art far more than art imitates life”; this could not be further from the truth for Jaguar Wright. Her new book project, The Woodshed, reveals how Jaguar’s personal and artistic journey intertwined with her struggles as an eclectic artist who could only seemingly thrive in her own creative space. Her story began on the streets of North Philadelphia, which shaped a series of life events leading her to sign a deal with MCA Records. Jaguar created and performed music that spoke to her extreme highs and lows. Her business struggles in tandem with her personal struggles with divorce forced Jaguar to pick up the pieces and learn how to create a new masterpiece without losing her creativity and the heartbeat of her artistry – her career as a vocalist. At the pinnacle of her struggles, Jaguar was subjected to incarceration as a consequence of protecting her child, but all in all – the tough battles gave Jaguar a new voice.
Combining her story with bold advice and fierce wordplay, Jaguar Wright teaches, motivates, and gives the real nitty-gritty truth about surviving as an artist while trying to be true to self.
THE BLACK BLOOD IN MY HEART
The Black Blood In My Heart tells the story of a young woman’s experience and escape from domestic violence. Through her ordeal, she had to learn how to escape from her abuser, reclaim her dignity, reconstruct her life, and rediscover her peace. Domestic violence doesn’t just happen “out there” somewhere. It happens in every state, city, and town.
In this “real-life” story, La’Mena Marie shares her personal accounts of being battered, raped and humiliated at the hands of her husband. When we take the vows of marriage, never do we expect for the phrase “Til death do us part” to be a literal action that our spouse attempts to make a reality. But when La’Mena said, “enough was enough” her attorney told her to write down the particular events to build a defense case in court to help her break free.
What was supposed to be a timeline of events to build a case against her ex-husband became a window into this woman’s story, this Diary! Every woman who has left an abusive man—every woman who has yet to leave—will find encouragement and hope from the voice of La’Mena Marie, a woman who broke free.