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By now, you should be up on TEDx talks, which are chats with global thought leaders with focused messages that are just short of lectures but quite a bit more than monologues as well. They are speeches given by people who know what the heck they are talking about that converge principles of technology, engineering, and design, but at the same time are free of any type of agenda. They are originally based off of TED conferences, which are exclusive because you have to get invited to them, but TEDx is something more democratic, so it has become really popular.

TEDx has even stretched toward our communities to speak to us on common sense-based ideas that are easy to grasp. My favorite is “Our Black Year” author Maggie Anderson‘s chat on why supporting Black businesses is good for everybody.

But I’d like to show you five more that relate specifically to Black males and how we can move forward.

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Here, Shaka Senghor (pictured top) explains how he went from lockdown to enlightenment, but also how it came about through self-examination and writing.



Speaking of incarceration, it needs to be driven home that the prison enterprise industry (because that’s what it is), profits off of dysfunctional and impoverished communities like a vampire preying on the vulnerable. So human rights attorney Bryan Stevenson sheds an honest light on why we put people in jail, what it does to us, and ultimately why it is universally detrimental.



So let’s turn north. Henry Rock comes in to talk about Charlotte’s City Startup Labs and their efforts to focus on Black male entrepreneurship. This incubator is actually a very important place, which is rare in this country, and focused on planting seeds of creative venture mentality — rather than low expectations — among brothers.



TED has even reached Jamaica. In this video, “The Apprentice” winner Randall Pinkett, who is also a management technology and information technology consultant, talks about “The Entreprenuer’s Mind-Set.” And he speaks the truth: “Entreprenuership is not just something you do, it’s a way that you think.”




Finally, let’s go global. In this one, South Africa’s DJ Black Coffee, who is arguably the best House music turntablist in the world right now — I mean this cat is BAD! — speaks to an audience in Johannesburg about Africans taking responsibility for their future, a message that resonates in Black communities in America. Fear of making big decisions and waiting for them to come from Europe is stagnating: “African solutions will come from Africans.”



For more videos from TEDx, check out their YouTube channel: TEDx Talks.

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Madison J. Gray is a Brooklyn, N.Y.-based multimedia journalist specializing in urban issues and criminal justice. He writes for NewsOne on the subject of Black males in America. Follow him on Twitter: @madisonjgray


TEDx Talks: Why They Speak to Black Folks and Why You Should Listen  was originally published on