The Come Up: A Guide For Young Men Navigating Through Life

Creating The Come Up

I published my first book, The Come Up, about a decade ago. That was just around the time when Trayvon Martin’s tragic murder sent shock-waves around the world. The timing of Trayvon’s death was significant for me. I had a son who was around that same age at the time. He walked to school and to nearby friends’ houses, so the thought that this could happen to him scared me. Because the manuscript for this book was a work in progress, I decided I needed to publish the book right away. This book evolved from a letter I wrote to my younger self that explains my experiences, their consequences, and shares a road map on how to avoid the same fate. Taking my troublesome teens into consideration, it was a beacon of advice for younger me, and for countless young men in similar situations. Therefore, the book needed to help navigate them through the twists and turns of life. I decided to publish the letter as a workbook -a collection of instructions, guidance & strategies.

What’s Going On?

Fast forward to the present, and we find ourselves amid a concerning wave of car thefts in Rochester, NY. For me it’s nothing new. I remember watching the movie, New Jersey Drive. It was written by Nick Gomez and produced by Spike Lee. The movie is about a group of young men who stole cars in New Jersey for joy riding. This fictional movie was based on writer Nick Gomez’s experiences joyriding in stolen cars as a teen.

I recall a time when I was part of a group of car thieves in the tenth grade. We were unaware that there was a greater need to be accepted by our peers because the world rejected young men who looked like us. The allure of this seductive sense of belonging overpowered the understanding of any bleak and uncertain future. In our minds, the future was bleak and uncertain anyway. Such is the paradox many young men face today, one that I have experienced firsthand. The problem persists and The Come Up, has become more critical than ever. It aims to bridge the disconnect between the present and the future. This connection empowers young men with tools to change how they view themselves in this world and make informed choices

 Why “The Come Up”?

My life is a testament to the pitfalls that misguided choices in our teenage years can inflict upon our lives. Through my experiences, I aim to demonstrate how detrimental decisions can rob us of crucial years and opportunities. Think about the compounding effect. Whether it’s money, knowledge, or growing a network of friends over a lifetime, each adverse decision can set you back significantly.

The Come Up is more than just a book; it’s a toolkit to help young men make informed decisions. First, it explores the often-overlooked connection between our present actions and future consequences. Second, it allows readers to see the potential for growth and success, even in the face of daunting challenges. Lastly, it emphasizes the cumulative impact choices have on our lives, and guides them towards decisions that can positively shape their future.

With repeated incidents of violence and wrongdoing against young men, there is a glaring need for better mentorship and guidance. The Come Up aims to be that guiding light, encouraging young men to strive for a better future, irrespective of their current circumstances.


If my book prevents one young man from choosing the path I once did, it will have served its purpose. It’s an earnest attempt to spark transformation in our communities, and help young men see beyond their immediate situation. More specifically, it focuses on guiding them to understand the profound impact their decisions can have on their future. The key is to remember that it’s not just about averting a single criminal charge; it’s bigger than that. Ultimately, it’s about reshaping a life that offers fulfillment and success, not just acceptance.

If you know someone who might benefit from The Come Up, follow the link!


2 thoughts on “The Come Up: A Guide For Young Men Navigating Through Life

  1. […] I have three book series that echo the themes I’m finding in my work. These series include, The Come Up, Marvin, and Urban Development. I find myself returning to the idea that nurturing these growing […]

  2. […] urban renewal, business development, social entrepreneurship, and home ownership. My novels, like The Come Up series and Urban Development I & II, aim to redefine the narrative about urban […]

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