The Power of Words: "Keep Hope Alive"

The Power of Words:

As a young man just starting my career, the words "Keep Hope Alive!" were, to me, simply the concluding remarks of a speech by Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr. As soon as he uttered them, I breathed a sigh of relief knowing that it was almost time to go home. Little did I know that these words would resonate through my life in ways I couldn’t fathom at that time.

Serving as Rev. Jackson's assistant and personal security was far from easy. I juggled multiple responsibilities including keeping track of speech documents and traveling across the country through different time zones, with added sleepless nights being my reality. I vividly recall one incident when exhaustion overcame me, causing me to leave a speech on a prior flight. To my amazement, the power of Rev. Jackson – was fully displayed when the captain turned the plane around just so we could get that critical document.

Yet, it wasn't just the day-to-day logistical challenges that astonished me. The sheer magnetism and influence wielded by high-profile figures like Rev. Jackson became even more apparent during our impromptu visits to major events – imagine walking into the Oscars without tickets! All it took was the sight of his face, and perhaps the presence of our dignitary protection team, and we were in. You have to love that!

Another memory etched in my mind was a photo session in Atlanta. You can only imagine my surprise when years later I saw my picture in Rev. Jackson’s book. I was a part of history, bearing witness to the journey of a Black presidential candidate who was creating a path for future Black politicians, like the esteemed Barack Obama.

Journeying with Rev. Jackson had its moments of awe, like when I stumbled upon my photo on the front page of the New York Times alongside him on Luther King’s birthday in New York. It was during such occasions that I had the honor of meeting the inspiring Rev. Al Sharpton who later became a good friend. I enjoyed my time with Rev. Sharpton, his sense of humor, and dinners with my family all added to the rich tapestry of my experiences. He would be pivotal in my career from providing letters of recommendation to writing content for my first book, Rent-A-Cop Reboot.”

Why do I share these memories? It's more than just nostalgia. It’s about the profound influence these men had on my life. The lessons that I learned helped fuel me as I transitioned from a personal assistant to an entrepreneur and author. The words "Keep Hope Alive" held a weight I only fully grasped much later in life, as they became my rallying cry during my battle with Stage 4 Colorectal Cancer as well as other challenging moments I’ve endured.

The message is clear: in the face of adversity, when the odds seem insurmountable, always remember to "Keep Hope Alive.” Hope, combined with resilience, can turn the impossible into a miracle. It's a lesson I learned nearly 30 years ago, and it still holds true today.