April 26, 2014 LIVE 10 pm ET
OUR GUEST: Agyei Tyehimba
Author Activist Educator
Joining us is Agyei Tyehimba in a discussion of his work, philosophies and newest book, " "Truth for Our Youth: A Self-Empowerment Book for Teens"
Agyei Tyehimba was born and raised in the famed 'Sugar Hill' section of Harlem. His parents - George and Adrienne Stith - gave him the best of both worlds. His mother emphasized the importance of character development, education and charity, while his father developed street sense and a love for Black history and culture. As a child, Agyei, then known by his born name Quentin, excelled in football, student government, and poetry.
Mr. Tyehimba entered Syracuse University in 1986. As a Syracuse University undergraduate, Agyei became Editor-in-Chief of the Black Voice Newsletter in 1987. As two-term President of the Student African American Society, Mr. Tyehimba published several editorials in the nationally acclaimed Daily Orange newspaper, and was featured in various local newspapers and radio and television programs. He participated in successful efforts to hire more Black faculty, and to strengthen the African American Studies Department. While his organizing efforts brought notoriety (he was threatened with expulsion, and received numerous death threats), they also earned recognition and validation; Mr. Tyehimba received the Malcolm X Award for Leadership, the Fannie Lou Hamer Award for Outstanding Service, and the Syracuse NAACP Freedom Fund Award. In the academic arena, he received the HEOP Outstanding student award, and was named in graduate school to the National Dean's List.
During his undergraduate years, Agyei delivered opening speeches for such notables as Nikki Giovanni, Naim Akbar, Kwame Ture, Martin Luther King III, and Susan Taylor. Agyei's work at Syracuse University caught the attention of student organizations at neighboring universities who began inviting him to speak about his experiences and to provide political consultation. This led Agyei to become a professional motivational speaker in 1990. His topics included student activism, racism, and the urban drug epidemic. The author delivered presentations at Syracuse University, Cornell University, Colgate University, Morrisville College, and a number of colleges within the State University of New York system.
In 1995, Mr. Tyehimba began graduate studies at Cornell University's prestigious Africana Studies & Research Center. He became President of the Africana Graduate Student Association and coordinated a student activist conference featuring Kwame Ture as the keynote speaker. Mr. Tyehimba wrote and successfully defended a thesis about the movement to create Black Studies Departments on college campuses in the 1960's. As a graduate student Agyei gave presentations to teenagers residing in the Louis Gossett Jr. Residential Center for Youth, a detention center for troubled female teens in Lansing, New York. Inspired by the Million Man March in 1995, Mr. Tyehimba and a number of other concerned men in Ithaca, New York founded the October 16th Rites of Passage Program. This organization of Black men provided structured and developmental mentorship, recreational and educational activities for a cohort group of Black male teens over the course of two years. As the educational coordinator, Agyei created and facilitated activities to help the teens develop life management skills like time management, fundraising, budgeting, decision-making and career planning. Under the mentorship of Dr.James Turner, Agyei earned his Master's Degree of Professional Studies in Africana Studies.
Agyei taught 5th and 8th grade Social Studies in New York City public schools for 4 years. In the year 2000, Mr. Tyehimba co-founded the Knowledge and Power Preparatory Academy (KAPPA) Middle School. Between 2002-2003, Tyehimba taught African American Studies at the Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC). Among other classes, Professor Tyehimba taught Ancient African Civilizations, African American History 1619-1865, and Modern Black Political Thought.
From 2003-2005, Agyei coordinated an after school program for high school students in the Bronx, New York. In addition to providing college application and admissions assistance, he helped students gain summer employment in the fields of their choice and developed workshops to help them develop life management skills.
In 2002, he approached legendary kingpin Azie Faison about writing his life story. Mr. Tyehimba's goal was to steer youth away from drug dealing and other counterproductive activities. In 2007, Simon & Schuster published their book, Game Over: The Rise and Transformation of a Harlem Hustler, which received national press and continues to be commercially successful.
In addition to teaching, Mr. Tyehimba has provided numerous workshops to help parents understand and exercise their rights and to advocate for their children's academic success. Agyei currently coordinates Boys To Men, a group providing mentorship and life management skills to middle school boys between the ages of 10 and 13.
Tyehimba's other books include:
<*> The Blueprint: A Black Student Union Handbook
With "The Blueprint: A BSU Handbook," educator, author, and activist Agyei Tyehimba provides Black college students with all the information they need to effectively lead Black Student Unions on college campuses. Chapters include "The Purpose of a BSU," "Leadership Training," "Maintaining Archives," "Alliances," "Programming," "Propaganda," "Utilizing Media," "Building Morale," "Making Decisions," "The Anatomy of a Movement," and much more. Easy to follow, and chock-full of useful information, this groundbreaking book will put student leaders and their organizations way ahead of the curve.
<*> Game Over: The Rise and Transformation of a Harlem Hustler
by Azie Faison, and Agyei Tyehimba
Agyei Tyehimba has co-written a book entitled Game Over: The Rise and Redemption of a Former Harlem Hustler which was released on August 7, 2007. Published by Simon & Schuster, Game Over chronicles the life of former Harlem hustler Azie Faison.
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