Today’s Guest: Charles W. Cherry II, attorney, publisher, Florida Courier and Daytona Times, author, Excellence Without Excuse: The Black Student’s Guide to Academic Excellence
Watch this exclusive Mr. Media interview with Charles W. Cherry II by clicking on the video player above!
Mr. Media is recorded live before a studio audience of television stereotypes of students including Urkel, Lionel Jefferson and the cast of ‘A Different World’ … in the NEW new media capital of the world… St. Petersburg, Florida!
Charles W. Cherry II didn’t have to write a book.
He could have swallowed hard on his experiences as an African-American student, good and bad, kept his thoughts to himself and moved on with his life as a rising young attorney and heir to a black media empire of newspapers and radio stations.
But he didn’t.
CHARLES W. CHERRY II podcast excerpt: “I came to the University of Florida’s law school during Affirmative Action. But all we black students knew was it gave us a chance. We got in the place, but we had to stay.You’d get a chance to come in and produce but they didn’t give away any grades when I was there. Every A, B or C that I earned, I earned. Affirmative Action was a chip on my shoulder because of the hostility that some of the instructors and my fellow classmates had that black students shouldn’t even be in the school at that point (in 1978).”
Instead, Cherry wrote a book geared to underachieving black students that attempts to teach them the essentials of learning and studying in an education system that often shows blacks little of the mercy and wiggle room white students encounter. He offers straight talk about gaining confidence and why grades matter even when it seems like they don’t.
Most important, for a generation of young men and women who may have grown up in one-parent or no-parent homes, in neighborhoods struggling to overcome crime or drugs, Cherry provides a voice that many black students have never heard.
CHARLES W. CHERRY podcast excerpt: “Blacks were always, historically, a people to be managed or reckoned with — but not citizens who are part and parcel of what I believe is a great democracy in this country.”
It says, quite simply, “Yes you can. Yes you will. And I can show you how.”
Cherry’s message is one that President Obama echoed just yesterday in announcing a new outreach initiative aimed at helping young men of color.
“None of this is going to be easy. It’s not a one-year proposition. It’s not a two year-proposition. It’s going to take time,” Obama said. “We’re dealing with complicated issue that run deep in our history, run deep in our society and are entrenched in our mines.”
CHARLES W. CHERRY podcast excerpt: “There is no budget function Obama’s initiative for young men of color; there is no law. And once that personal interest of Obama’s is gone, or once he’s out of office, what happens?”
Cherry’s opinions in today’s interview are blunt and not always what you expect. He has strong views on a number of subjects, including President Obama’s recent initiative, Affirmative Action, the University of Florida law school and more. If you’ve got teens in high school or college — of any race, creed or color — this is worth your time!