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Paul Porter

Industry Ears

We have all grown accustomed to the same sorry images of young Black men. The sports star, the rapper that mug shot on the 11 o’clock news. Always in trouble the image that makes you watch your back, clutch your purse or lock your car suddenly whenever that young Black male face appears. The premeditated media game is working because your watching and not wondering why you never see more.

Last year, I met a 24 year Basheer Jones, after a youth panel during the NAACP 100th Anniversary Conference. What I saw that day and almost everyday since then has changed my thought process and the inner soul I possess. Because what Basheer does on a daily basis for me is more then many of the organizations, activist and pundits we too often celebrate, watch or admire.

At the tender age of 23 Basheer Jones began hosting a morning talk show at Radio One’s Cleveland outlet. As the youngest Talk show host in the country Basheer tackles issues that CNN or your local radio station barely touch. Education. Coming from a tough beginning and graduating from Morehouse College, education became his beat of life. Cleveland continues to be the poster child for what is wrong with our education system. With the highest drop out rate of any major city and Forbes Magazine recently naming Cleveland the WORST city to live in Basheer easily could have left town.

Less then a year ago The Basheer Jones Foundation was founded and what it does for the kids of Cleveland qualifies as Breaking News. Everyday after his 6 to 9am morning drive slot Basheer visits schools in Cleveland. Zero funding and with little to no support he talks and more importantly listens to children with a candid ear and a warm heart.

So the next time you hear that familiar story of Tiger, Mike Vick or Ray-Ray going to jail or the knuckle head rapper or stuttering young Black man saying “I didn’t do it” news clip, ask yourself why you never see or hear about young men like Basheer Jones.

Doing the work back home like we all should.

Article courtesy of: Industry Ears