No More Excuses: Black Men Stand Up!!

By Eric D. Graham
Updated: November 1, 2008

Ex-Minnesota Viking Robert Jackson.
Photo courtesy of

Ex-Minnesota Viking Robert Jackson. Photo courtesy of

NORTH CAROLINA — Ex-Minnesota Viking Robert Jackson’s booming voice and physical prowess captured the attention the members of Vic Smith’s Male Mentoring Program as well as the few females admirers this past October at James Sprunt Community College’s Monk Auditorium.

“Mothers you are doing a great job but mothers can not teach a man how to be a man.” said Jackson, who was promoting his new book, “No More Excuses!! Black Man Stand Up!!”

“You can’t not teach us how to be a man if you are not a man.”Statistically, 60% of all black families are headed by single mothers. As a result, Jackson held no punches and addressed the issue head on.

“We have for many men growing up without their fathers. If the fathers want to “punk out” and run out then let them do that but we are suppose to be REAL men in this room” yelled Jackson.

“It is called raising another man’s child. It’s all our responsiblity to raise all of these men even if he is not your… he is yours.”

Even though Jackson was an athlete, himself, he informed those in the audience to stop looking up to athletes and warned those participating in sports not to let colleges “pimp” them by using their bodies physically without receive anything in return.

“In college, they use me to run up and down this field. I’m going to use them to get an education” said Jackson, who attend Western Kentucky University, where he received his BS in Industrial Technology and lettered four years in both football and track.

Jackson said that many athletes fail to take advantage of their scholarships by skipping class or leaving school before graduating and suffer for it later in life.

“In my second year in the league (NFL) I blew out my knee…” he said.

Even though his injury ended his NFL career prematurely, Jackson was still able to prosper due to his college education. He, in fact, became an award winning Specialty Representative with Teva Pharmaceuticals and had brief career as a teacher in the Indianpolis public school system.

During the entire presentation, however Jackson spoke with the intensity of a college football coach before a homecoming game yet sounded more like a southern baptist preacher as he constantly made reference to God, the Bible, and the importance of prayer.

“I am a Christian…”Jackson confessed.

“We have to start praying again. Yeah I said it…We took prayer out of the school and all HELL broke loose” she said with a stern look on his face.

Jackson continued by saying young Black men lack discipline and have a lack of understanding of their history and said it upsets him especially when he hears them say they don’t care about the up-in-coming election between (Barack Obama and John McCain) “You don’t care. Do you know how many folks died in the 60’s on their way to the polls” he exclaimed.

“We have to teach these brothers their history….”

Historically, the things Jackson said was simply a re-package verison of the Honorable Louis Farrakhan’s message and efforts to raise the level of consciousness of Black men at the historical Million Man March which occurred on October 16 1995 in Washington, D.C, where over 2 million Black men gathered peacefully and pledged to take back their communities.

“We need Real brothers stepping up. We can not do this by ourselves but we can do it collectively as a group” he asserted.

The ex-baller turned author and motivational speaker demanded the Black Men in attendance to be accountable for their own actions .

“These young men in here watch every move we make.” he explained.

“What they see; is what they will be”

“One thing about my son, he watches the way I walk, the way I talk, and he even tries to dress like me” Jackson added.

“So, if he see me curse out his mom, that’s what he is going to do with the next woman in his life. If he sees me calling her “B’s” and “H’s” that’s what he is going to do…”

Jackson, who opened his presentation talking about a young Black man, who never met his father, lived in poverty, raised in a rough neighborhood, picked on, kicked out of school, sexually and physically abused, robbed and assaulted, sat on the bench, and had anger issues ended his speech by revealing to the audience that the person he was describing was in fact himself.

But despite all of those obstacles, he was able to overcome all them against all odds.