‘I Am King’ on MLK Day

On Martin Luther King Day Jan. 15, Antonio Javar Hairston will host his third annual “I Am King” daylong seminar at the Harlem YMCA to engage, educate and inspire some 100 young Black men from the community, writes Cyril Josh Barker in Amsterdam News.

Hairston began his “I Am King” initiative in 2014 to inspire young Black men. Throughout the year the initiative focuses on workshops that cover finance, mental health and education. It’s also a space for young men to tell their stories about things they are dealing with.

The sessions are intergenerational for Black men to share their life experiences and learn from one another. “I Am King” focuses on four pillars: fitness, dialog, brotherhood and literacy.

“This event symbolizes so many things,” Hairston said. “What better day to empower young men that on Martin Luther King Day, when we’re celebrating a man who stood for justice and freedom. Most people are off work, kids are out of school and they can do something productive, feel and understand what Dr. King did.”

Antonio Javar Hairston Photo via Amsterdam News)

Hairston, who grew up in Miami, said he “wanted to change things from the inside out.” Go to Amsterdam News for what he says is the “big issue that people don’t talk about,” how he came to NYC, and the tragedy that marked his first foray in social justice.

Also read stories in Amsterdam News on how “King’s fight for economic justice was largely ignored by mainstream media,” and “how he grew from being known as a peaceful preacher to being one of the most feared Black men in America.”

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