Open Letter To George Twopointoh/Gratitude to All of My Brothers

Brother George,

I got to read your blog the other day about being committed to what God has in store for you and the trials and tribulations that we often go through to “charge the dream.” And then it reminds me of why I come to your blog, the videos, or anything you’re doing at the moment. So I hope that you bear this for a second homie as I “throw out my own roses.”

In the fall of 2004, when I was in graduate school at Georgia Tech we had the chance to connect in the walkway coming into Lenox Mall and we got to chop it up for about an hour on the shit we were trying to do. Interestingly enough being from Morehouse and never having a real conversation before then I was caught off guard by the sincerity in the declaration you made about doing Any 1 Man (I think this was before the Philly show), and the fact that you already had a master plan even if you were still shaky on the details. I don’t remember talking much, but the profoundness of what you talked about hit me because I was dealing of the depression of questioning my own purpose and place. So for me, searching on the internet for Any 1 Man and your latest hustle was part of a pilgrimage of sorts, because a brother just wanted to know that someone else was reaffirming their dream as much as I was trying to do. And when Benny gave me the DVD at the Candle in the Dark in 2006 as I was fighting my own demons of going back and finishing graduate school…I watched Any 1 Man as the embodiment of black manhood as the embodiment of a dream perfected through hard work, faith, and perserverance, gave me the courage of continuing my own dream of ending up at Morehouse College, Wheeler Hall, Office 310 and trading places with Dr. Taqi as Dr. Smith.

And so the seasons changed. As your work, dreams, and mediums of artistic expression changed. I also worked harder than a motherfucker to understand and cultivate my own craft of political science, international affairs and the African Diaspora. And in the process I ran into countless other brother’s who embodied the spirit of George Peters III. From Simeon Woods with Mays Hall International Consulting Group destined to create change on all of those trips to the UAE and Dubai to brothers like Christopher Cooper teaching professional development courses at Emory and letting me sit in the class for free, sitting next to Ahmariah Jackson at the unemployment office on Martin Luther King talking about the shit we had to remain committed to doing, or watching Chris Williams get his Morehouse degree after ten years of fighting to do so somehow reminds me that each brother throughout the years I’ve encountered has understood the power of reaching out: to let me into their dreams while I was still trying to find my own. So its funny that at those moments when this Ph.D reminds me of my own insanity or I am gripped by the fear that my own forms of intellectual expression might not ever see daylight, I reach out to other brothers around me which remind me of the conversation we had in 2004. In the artwork of Fahamu Pecou and the hip hop of Jeff Johnson I observe the same spirit of determination, hustle, grit, and unbridled courage and genius that shines through anything you do. When my brother Anthony Morrow scores another basket or when Mike Johnson rushes the quarterback, I am reminded of those life affirming lunchtime conversations of black humanity at Georgia Tech with my brother Tim Brown or the many times Reggie Wilson let me steal those political science books. It still means a hell of a lot to me to know that so many other brothers bought into my dream as much as I did, and was willing to sacrifice themselves to get their dreams out in a similar fashion. Since those very first ships brought us here, and in the smallest ways black men are always watching, encouraging, and inspiring other men to fight for the dream…it has been the spirit of a people and a nation still waiting to reach its full genius. Its weight is still on our shoulders, and I see daily examples of how we are committed to taking it. The stories of each of these brothers in this note is as profound as your own, for which I am eternally grateful and humbled by the journey we continue to take. It is time that we as black men embrace our own greatness and the achievements and accomplishments of those around us who look like us.

When I find myself lecturing or at a conference, I am consumed by a strange freedom. The revolution cannot or will never be televised because it is being LIVED. The black renaissance of leaders, artists, scholars, which many people attribute to the past, is LIVING because its fire burns within all of us. I do what I do here as a young scholar trying to get his voice out because I have no other choice but to do as you and so many other brothers have done and continue to do…TO PROVE AND ACCOUNT THAT I HAVE ALSO LIVED. My dream remains that one of these days we will all sit down at the table and break bread because this is our destiny, it is God’s will, which we must pursue to the fullest, or die trying. In humility of this life and all of its gifts, I pay my respects and tip my fitted cap to all of the brothers in this open letter who continue to strive to be great while remaining true to themselves and their craft in the process. Cheers to us. Amandla Awethu.

In Brotherhood. I remain.

Levar Lamar Smith (the brother on the way to the food court)
Link to an old post that Levar inspired


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