The Black Man Can heads back to the midwest for its next League of EXTRAordinary Black Men feature. The Black Man Can would like to introduce Author, Educator, Evangelist, Motivational Speaker, Poet, Radio and TV Host, Eddie Connor Jr. Brother Connor sat down with The Black Man Can to talk about his books, non-profit ventures and why we must think critically in a chaotic world.
TheBlackManCan: Eddie, you serve as TV Host, Community Correspondent, and Producer on CBS & CW50 for the program, “Street Beat”. Could you provide us with more insight on the content and focus of this show?
EC: The program, “Street Beat” is all about infusing and injecting positivity within the lives of viewers, particularly in the city of Detroit. It’s no secret, we all know throughout the United States that Detroit, Michigan has been marred by much controversy in recent years. We’ve become so desensitized to negative news, that many residents are living their lives with a “business as usual” mindset. As a community correspondent, I seek to change the gamut of the game by providing cutting edge commentary and showcasing positive stories, organizations, and young people who are injecting life back into our city.
TheBlackManCan: As a teenager you were diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. Now you’ve not only survived cancer, you are thriving in life. How did you overcome such a huge obstacle?
EC: I am alive today because of God’s healing power! I recognize that I have overcome what others have died from. The experiences that I have endured with chemotherapy and radiation, hair loss, psychological and physical pain, identity crisis, and inner personal trials have propelled me to be more triumphant.
God has given me the strength to endure beyond my struggle with cancer. I have lived through dying places, turned stumbling blocks into stepping stones, and persevered from cancer, to conqueror, to more than conqueror. A committed mindset, undying will, faith and fortitude, gave me the strength to overcome the odds and obstacles. The worst situation brought out the best in me so that I can use my testimony to bless and bring out the best in others. We can never become victorious, if we continue to view ourselves as victims. In spite of cancer, I decided that “I CAN” overcome with my determination and the strength of God’s healing power.
TheBlackManCan: You have authored three books: E.CON the ICON, Purposefully Prepared to Persevere and Collections of Reflections. What ignited the spark for these books and which one do you hold closest to your heart?
EC: My inspiring story of overcoming cancer truly ignited the spark to write my books. I wanted to give hope and inspiration to people by sharing from the depths of my soul, about my strength and struggle to survive. The book held closest to me is my first book, “Purposefully Prepared to Persevere” which is the essence of my story, where I provide insight into my struggle with cancer. My second book, “Collections of Reflections” is a three volume set of powerful poetry that will inspire you and the third book, “E.CON the ICON” is the most controversial, where I redefine one’s personality not based on their profession or possessions, but in who they are as a person. In our celebrity driven culture, “E.CON the ICON” is all about redefining your identity. Your value is not about what you have, your true value is based upon who you are. Whether you’re age 6 or 106, you will be able to relate to the messages within all three of my books. Each book has drama, action, entertainment, mystery, suspense, and all of the intangibles. Most importantly though my books have a message with substance. I have literally poured my heart and soul into the pages of each book and I know you will be uplifted by reading each of them.
TheBlackManCan: On your website, I noticed something that really stuck out to me. You said, “We must think critically in a chaotic world.” Please share how important that phrase is for people today.
EC: We must expand the parameters of our minds to go beyond “limited thinking.” Many of us have been told “we can’t” for so long that our minds have bought into the myth, leading us on a detour to destruction in order to offset our destiny. We’ve got to have the tenacity of a tiger to take back our communities and the ebullience of an eagle to soar above negativity to the stratosphere of success.
TheBlackManCan: You have a wonderful relationship with your mother. How instrumental is she in shaping the man that you are today?
EC: What can I say about my Mother? I have the greatest Mom in the world. She truly is my backbone and anchor. I wouldn’t be here without her. She assisted and nurtured me through cancer when I literally had nobody else.
As human beings we are all predisposed to hereditary traits that are passed down by our family members. I believe that my mother passed down to me the power to persevere and dogmatic determination. I grew up in a single-parent divorced household, where my Mother tried as hard as she could to be both Mom and Dad. A Mother can never truly replace a Father, but to this day, I jokingly tell her “Happy Father’s Day” every year because she stretched herself to provide and raise me in a manner of excellence. I’m proud of my Mother, Dr. Janice K. Connor, because she recently received her 2nd Ph.D. and has set the bar of success very high for me. I have a lot to live up to. She has also authored a book, “Propelling Faith” which provides hope and comfort to all dealing with life’s challenges.
TheBlackManCan: Can you tell us more about your nonprofit Youth on the March. What is the mission of this organization and plans for the future?
EC: My nonprofit, Youth on the March is all about impacting young minds in today’s perilous times. I am educating youth and developing programs to challenge our youth to channel their gifts and talents within, in order to pursue a positive means for greatness. Our youth are incredibly talented but many are lacking development and exposure. My nonprofit seeks to provide that. I also speak to a number of youth at community centers, schools, churches, conferences, workshops, and various other venues in order to give hope and inspiration.
TheBlackManCan: Can you share more about Open Door Ministries International and its focus?
EC: Open Door Ministries International was birthed by my Mother, Dr. Janice K. Connor. She has been on the mission field for 25 years to Jamaica, Haiti, France, and the British West Indies. The mission and focus is to develop, enhance, and encourage individuals in all areas of their life. Dr. Connor has facilitated seminars, relationship conferences, home visitations, street and prison ministry, convalescent ministry, serving as school liaison, and continual evangelism throughout the U.S. and abroad. I assist her at times by traveling abroad to Jamaica and working with the youth. Open Door Ministries International provides a safe haven of hope to many who are struggling to overcame many situations. She supplies less fortunate families with clothing, food, and the message that God loves them.
TheBlackManCan: You are truly an inspirational Black Man and represent what it means to be a EXTRAordinary Black Man. Where do you see yourself in five years?
EC: In 5 years, I see myself continuing to be an instrument of inspiration.
I aspire to inspire as many individuals as I can via traveling more internationally, motivational speaking, developing youth programs, opening businesses, writing more books, etc. We can change our communities if we change the mindsets in our communities, and that’s what I desire to do. I want to be a beacon of inspiration and hope for all people.
TheBlackManCan: What advice would like to leave for the youth that will read this feature?
EC: I say time and time again that our youth are NOT the next generation. Our youth are the NOW generation. Now is the time for our young people to dream bigger than ever before and do more than ever before. Many of our youth are hurting, coming from broken homes, seeking acceptance and searching for their identity. There is hope and there is healing, I am a product of both. It’s time for our youth to pursue not only formal but self-education that enriches the soul and discover their purpose, in order to manifest their destiny.
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Join Eddie for his Blog Talk Radio Tour entitled “Purposed to Persevere” on Oct. 10th-16th with various Blog Talk Radio Shows!
To join the “Purposed to Persevere” Blog Talk Radio Tour and for Media Inquires or Booking Request, contact T. Marie at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our mission is to actively promote a positive black male image. Welcome to the Spotlight: League of EXTRAordinary Black Men. Here, we spotlight black men weekly who are having a positive impact in communities across the country. These men are actively promoting a positive black male image each and every day. If you know a man that should be spotlighted please send an email to email@example.com In that email please state who you are and why you are nominating this individual. Please leave your contact information and the contact information of the individual you are nominating.