Former NFL star Martellus Bennett appeared on the Tom Joyner Morning Show to speak about writing books to inspire children of color.
Since retiring from the league in March 2018, Bennett has published three children’s books through his company, Imagination Agency. His first two books, Hey A.J., It’s Bedtime and Hey A.J., It’s Saturday, were influenced by his daughter, Austyn Jett Rose Bennett, because of the lack of representation of characters who look like her.
With his latest offering, Dear Black Boy, the 2017 Super Bowl champion wanted to expand that message to boys of color, who may only see themselves in superstar athletes.
“It’s a discussion amongst boys of color with what sports mean to our community, and the idea of breaking us out of that,” he said. “I consider sports to be low hanging fruit for us. It’s like what everyone knows that we can do.”
Bennett explained that Black boys need to see examples successful men who look like them in other industries.
“The NFL is 75 percent Black, so you know you can do that,” he stated. “But the tech industry is only 7 percent
The former professional baller’s message is that you “don’t have to dribble a ball to be successful.” By becoming a children’s author, Bennett feels he is a living testimony that you can define
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Christina Santi is a news and culture writer for EBONY.com. Born and raised in the Bronx, New York, she considers herself a well-read, not so traditional feminist with a heavy interest in music, fashion and pop culture. Christina currently lives in New York City, where she refers to her Cuban & Jamaican descent often while writing about her experiences as a first-generation Afro-Latinx in America. She also devotes time writing personalized reading material for her tutees and turning ideas into words for streetwear brand, PUER By Noel Bronson.