Page 1

producers 10 ESSENTIALS







THE ALL-NEW 2010 FORD TAURUS SHO Don’t apologize for the fact that you love to drive. Roll proud with a 3.5L EcoBoost™ twin-turbo V6 direct injection engine that delivers 365 horsepower and 350 lb. ft of torque. A decklid-mounted rear spoiler and the seriously sleek lines bring it home. ©2010 Ford Motor Company

MISSION The word ‘producer’ conjures up images of movers and shakers, visionaries and forward thinking people moving to make things happen and essentially keep the world turning on it’s axis. From awe-inspriing artists and authors to sensational singers and songwriters the men on the following pages are the luminaries of our time. These are the men of our time who visualize the possibilities and seize the opportunities to direct the course to quality living. They are the stars and the star makers, the forward thinkers who realize they are the masters of their destinies. Athletes and artists, businessmen and doctors, producers and songwriters, all share a common thread — they aspire. Here are the stories of men who throughout the course of their careers have been given to embracing challenge and overcoming obstacles. They are the optimists and the pragmatists who recognize that what they dream the can achieved. FMC chronicles the accomplishments of African American men who without fail continue to pursue excellence across a spectrum of artistic endeavors and vocations. We applaud their talents and their relentless drive to remove barriers and claim their respective prizes. The greatness that is housed in the character of these men of stature is indicative of their “Can do” spirit and their innate sense of the inherent value in achievement. The immense satisfaction derived from

accomplishment inspires creativity and fuels ambition. The designer of the Ford Taurus, also an African American man, subscribes to a similar set of mantras which foster a commitment to excellence. His vision and capacity for identifying the attributes of a quality vehicle and assembling the components for a quality driving experience are indicative of the caliber of the company he represents. These producers of art, film, literature and music and medical procedure and technology share the attributes that lead men to become champions and leaders in their communities and mark a blueprint for cultural progress. The character traits outlined in each of the sections of FMC are the essential tenets for formulating an individual approach for remarkable careers and meaningful living. From captains of industry to community volunteers, the men of color represented here are to be heralded and emulated at every turn for their dedication to raising standards, both socially and professionally. They are as reliable as the vehicles featured and are sure to continue performing at pace that makes them worthy of individaul and collective accolades. —Munson Steed

No. 4


ESSENTIALS OF A MAN’S WARDROBE One basic rule to remember is never confuse fashion with style.


MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE The question about championship-level boxing hung in the air for a fraction of a second as Sugar Shane Mosley quickly sizes it up.


THE MEASURE OF A MAN Musicians are often inclined to wander from cut to cut in an effort to progress from basic to complex melodies during production.


MELVIN VAN PEEBLES It was ironic that Melvin Van Peebles’ most famous filmmaking production was 1971’s Sweet Sweetback’s


Baadasssss Song.


THE FAITH TO MOVE In a world where get rich quick schemes pop up by the millisecond, one man seems content to cast his lot in life through the use of his own recipe for success.

No. 6



producers 02.10

32 42

36 60

66 No. 7


Bernard Hopkins 70 Despite looking resplendent in a tailored suit, reclining with a GQ lean, intensity rises off Bernard Hopkins like smoke off a block of ice.

Blueprint 80 Doluptatio odion ea conulput wis dui ea feugue molorerat wiscipi smodolore cortis dignit augait vel eum veliquat, quat lore do con ulputpat, quisi. Unt init, con henim velisi.

Tenacity 90 Doluptatio odion ea conulput wis dui ea feugue molorerat wiscipi smodolore cortis dignit augait vel eum veliquat, quat lore do con ulputpat, quisi. Unt init, con henim velisi.

Vigor 100 In spring 2009, nearly a year before I departed ESPN as its premier NBA analyst – the greatest job I ever had -- I was watching television with my parents and two of my four sisters.

No. 8

Adulation 120 Doluptatio odion ea conulput wis dui ea feugue molorerat wiscipi smodolore cortis dignit augait vel eum veliquat, quat lore do con ulputpat, quisi. Unt init,

No. 9



No. 10

No. 11

Steve Ewing has been kicking tires and getting customers approved for car loans for more than two decades now. As president and CEO of Atlanta-based car giant Wade Ford, the Montclair, N.J., native climbed the ladder of success with catlike dexterity

to take some business courses. I needed to

and remained relentless in his drive to

understand the numbers, and what debits

achieve his objectives. “The desire to

and credits meant versus who Shakespeare

achieve is something you can be taught,

and Chaucer were,” he explains matter-of-

or you can inherit a solid work ethic


from your parents ... I have always been

Five Ford franchises later, it’s more than

someone who was reaching and thought

evident that he made the right choice.

to do the best that I could. I wanted my

Ewing admits there were some obstacles,

things to be the best I could make them.

which might have been daunting for a

As I was coming along, I knew there was a

lesser man or presented an opportunity to

lifestyle that I wanted to have.”

exploit a situation and use it as a rationale

Although the ultra successful auto

to bail. “I don’t look for excuses. The

dealer earned a degree in journalism and

biggest obstacle is getting our people to

initially planned to cultivate a career in the

come and support our businesses. And

media, the enterprising Ewing made an

that’s something that happens across the

abrupt and possibly risky career decision

board. At the end of the day, I want to sell

and changed gears altogether.

cars to all people,” he says in the composed

“I was impatient. I had the confidence to know that whatever business got into I

and confident manner he’s best known for. Ewing’s mantra is a simple one: “The

was going to make it successful. I had been

proof of one’s ability is measured by

working in the car business and went from

results. When you have a job to do,

salesman to sales manager to general sales

do your job. and when you have an

manager. Ford had education courses that

opportunity do it to the best of your

you could take at the time to get you up

ability ... somebody will notice your

to speed on accounting, so I decided then

dedication,” he concludes.

No. 12

No. 13

No. 14



Ford Motor Company has placed one of the most important considerations of its business into the hands of Frederiek Toney. And if exuberance is an indicator of capability, they’ve absolutely made the right decision. As the corporate officer of Ford Motor Company and vice president of the Ford Customer Service Division, Toney spoke of his purview within Ford as if he were introducing his family: “We are responsible for customer service-- meaning that we interface with all of our customers, including dealer and consumer, so whenever there are issues that need to be resolved, it comes to this department’s attention.” He continued proudly, “We also are responsible for delivering parts to dealers all over the United States and making sure the dealers have what they need on the shelf to take care of their customers. “In addition to that, we have the service technicians through our service engineering organization, where we create the technical training materials as well as work with our product development community to ensure that we have easy maintenance and quick fix processes for any engines or new products that we put into the field. We also have a responsibility for our extended service business, and our field sales and service organization, who call on our dealers and take care of them.” It’s no doubt that Toney’s sincere commitment to the end customer–internal and external--along with his team’s, has positively influenced the company’s bottom line. In the midst of a recession, Ford finds itself on “the upswing.” “We are definitely trending in the positive direction,” he said. “Much has gone into that, including about four or five years ago with what we call a Way Forward plan, then crystallizing that plan when Alan Mulally [Ford’s president and CEO] came on board and we put in place the ONE Ford plan, which essentially speaks to the way we treat each other, the behaviors and the consistency with which we manage and interact on a personal basis and professional basis with each other, with our dealers, with our customers ... all to support some consistent objectives, including restructuring ourselves to be competitive.” Such leadership, of which Toney is firmly established as part the brain trust, has led to helping Ford to turn the corner to operating profitably, and most notably, gaining an additional 1% share of the automotive market. “We are a full two years ahead of where we thought we’d be,” he said. I think that our product is extraordinarily competitive ... it’s best in class. Every new vehicle that we put out is leading in its class, in fuel efficiency, quality, safety and value. Ford has decided, if we put our name on it, it’s gonna be best in class. Being good is a choice.” In that vein, Toney has chosen to be passionate about what he does, which can only lead to being the best--with class.

No. 15


Ford Taurus 2010 W H E R E T H E FA M I LY S E D A N M E E TS LU X U RY

When you check out the newly designed Ford Taurus, the first thing that catches your eye is the makeover. As you make your way around the vehicle, more impressive features are revealed—like its athletic shape, the Taurus’ sharp new profile and its striking definition. To add to that, the powerdome hood, bold new projector beam halogen headlamps, recessed parking lamps and a sleeker three-bar grille, all mark significant improvements. Take a look inside, and you’ll notice that the roof is lower … to preserve headroom, the seats are lowered too. On the dash, the instrument panel showcases a plethora of blue lit gauges and small black buttons, all cleverly placed to display the seamless, classy design and the engineers’ craftsmanship. An impressive set of cutting-edge features come standard on the 2010 Taurus offering both convenience and safety. There’s the Adaptive Cruise Control with Collision Warning, Intelligent Access with Push Button Start, Blind Spot Information System with Cross Traffic Alert and Ford SYNC with voice-activated navigation to control your cell phone or iPod.

No. 16

Once the feast of mechanical changes is digested, make room for dessert. New features for 2010 are the Easy Fuel capless refueling, the SecuriCode keypad for keyless entry (SEL, Limited and SHO trims), headlamps with autolamps, the MyKey parental control program to restrict the car’s speed to 80 mph for the inexperienced driver, a manual tilt/ telescoping steering wheel; and available add-ons include high

all-wheel drive (AWD) is offered on the latter

intensity, ambient lighting for dark roads, a

two. All of the models come equipped with

10-speaker premium audio sound system,

the Duratec 263-hp 3.5 liter V6 engine and

heated/cooled front seats, second row heated

a 6-speed automatic transmission. With

seats, and multi-contour seats (for both

the exception of the SE, all trim levels offer

driver and passenger to reduce fatigue, while

the sportier driving options, the SelectShift

integrating a six-way lumbar support and a

transmission offers manual shift control

rolling pattern massage).

and downshifting rev-matching capability.

Front-wheel drive is available on the SE, SEL and Limited Edition trim levels, and

The high-performance SHO (Super High Output) has the brand’s signature Eco-Boost

No. 17

turbocharged 365-hp 3.5 liter engine, a 6-speed automatic transmission and AWD, which smoothly jolts like a dose of caffeine for the unsuspecting driver. Standard equipment, not mentioned previously, on the SE includes 17” alloy wheels, automatic headlights, all power accessories, a 60/40 split folding rear set, steering wheel audio controls and a six speaker stereo system and CD/MP3 player. The SEL adds 18” wheels, heated side mirrors, automatic climate control, satellite radio and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. Other upgrades available on specific trim levels include 19” alloy wheels, rear parking sensors, leather upholstery, a 12-speaker Sony branded premium audio system and Sirius Travel Link. The sporty SHO adds a glossy black dash trim, xenon headlamps, upgraded leather trim, a rear spoiler and dual chrome exhausts tips. An added bonus, the SHO can be equipped with 20” summer tires and a rearview camera. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gives the 2010 Taurus its highest accolade, a Top Safety Pick rating, based on results of front-, side- and rear-impact crash tests.

No. 18

{ Tenacity }

Men Among Us There are exceptional men among us. These men took their young years, most against great odds, to prepare themselves to be the best in their chosen fields. Most of these men understood early how racism, white supremacy, worked and therefore resisted its traps and temptations and fortified their bodies, minds and spirits to rise against its evils. These men are in the tradition of Martin Delaney, W.E.B. DuBois, Paul Robeson, Malcolm X, John Coltrane, Arthur Ashe, Romare Bearden, Thurgood Marshall, A.G. Gaston, Marcus Garvey, Martin Luther King Jr. and others. Exceptional men known and unknown are many among us. Some of them are your fathers, grandfathers, uncles, teachers, ministers, coaches, friends and mentors.         Being a man of African ancestry, a Black man in America, for most of us has been like pushing a plow in a dry field without a horse or mule. Most often, we have had to navigate life through the worldview, ideas, culture, systems and prejudices of others that have forced many of us into mediocrity, a blinding hopelessness and destroyed a good percentage of us. Being born Black and male, one’s development into Black manhood is often, in America, a dangerously paralyzing journey. Because of the dangers and the many traps set to steer Black boys away from being responsible men, it is critical that we understand that being a man is not just a function of biology. Just as important are culture, community values, current knowledge base, spiritual connectedness, positive self-concept, familial relationships, friendships, brotherhood, work and a work ethic, health, loveships, a winning and creative attitude toward life, intelligence and a willingness to learn, grow and change when necessary.         Many Black men have missing moments in their lives and therefore must make a serious commitment to internal reflection and change. To that end, I suggest the following:   1.    Have regular conversations with someone you trust, preferably an older man—father, grandfather, uncle or close male friend.

2.    Participate in activities that build self-esteem, such as improving upon your education, part-time school in the evenings or on weekends, or a combination of both. If you have a high school education, consider community college; it’s probably the most democratic institution of higher education. 3.    Work in an area that gives you satisfaction and joy, bringing out the best in you. 4.    Nurture relationships that are understanding, living and special. 5.    Find a new environment—a new community that can aid and stimulate the growth potential in you. 6.    Maintain a frame of mind that insists that you are not a victim but an adult who is experiencing temporary problems that you can fix. 7.    Listen to your own life-affirming spirit and locate a spiritual and faith community that complements your needs. 8.    Exercise and eat properly. Keep your weight down and stay in shape. If you look good and feel good about yourself, you will radiate a positive aura. 9.     Study, study, study. The more you understand the intricacies of life—personal and public—the better you will be able to handle most things that come before you.  10.   Consider making the public library a regular stop during your week. An active library card is a must for people seeking to build their minds with current and up to date information and knowledge.         Most exceptional men understand and incorporate the lessons of history in their lives. We are here because strong men and women preceded us and created the paths we now tread upon. We are not without examples, contemporary and historical, that offer bright directions. Look closely at your immediate community. Don’t forget your own family. There are thousands of men who are all around us, waiting to be asked for help.      Haki R. Madhubuti, Ph.D. Poet, Founder and Publisher of Third World Press University Distinguished Professor, Professor of English, Director of the MFA in Creative Writing Program at Chicago State

How Intelligence Can Change Lives In spring 2009, nearly a year before I departed ESPN as its premier NBA analyst – the greatest job I ever had -- I was watching television with my parents and two of my four sisters. We watched then-Senators Barack Obama, Hillary Rodham-Clinton, Joe Biden and others during a presidential debate. I watched my family as they nodded their heads in agreement, mimicking informed citizens knowledgeable of the issues at hand, knowing full well that no one was remotely aware of how significantly politics affected our daily lives. Sadly, that included me as well. One can only wonder what that says about most of us living in today’s society. It was on that day I experienced a transformation. I made a personal and private pledge that ignorance was no longer an option and its eradication would take effect immediately in my life. For those who would have this to say, “Way to go, Stephen A.! That’s the way to handle your business,” I’d ask them to pause for a moment and refrain from giving credit. Their praise implies that I had a choice. To me, none existed. It was a necessity back then. It still is now. Ignorance is not bliss, after all. Not now. Too much damage has been done. There’s a reason Negro slaves literally sacrificed their lives for our right to learn to read and write. They knew intelligence could not only

change lives, it could change a culture and a generation. To be real and honest, the mission of change isn’t complete yet. In fact, especially because we’re now a nation with a Black president, one could argue that we’ve actually taken a step backward, not forward. Few of us could have anticipated the backlash of an Obama presidency and whether White America would say one of two things: “A Black man has been voted into office as the leader of the free world, so don’t come to us about racism anymore;” or “If young Black males could just be like Obama, carry themselves like Obama, educate themselves like Obama, they wouldn’t have to worry about racism at all.” Sure, it’s sad there are some people who feel that way. But its worse that Black America never saw the shift to racial absolution coming. Are the lives of Black Americans better today? Take into consideration statistics from October 2009 when unemployment was at 10.2% nationwide, 15.6% in the Black community and nearly 30% among young Black males. Now ask that question again. Perhaps, even better, it’s time for Black America to ask what role we’ve played in our own state of ignorance. There are libraries and bookstores everywhere. How many of us visit them? How many of us take the time to read? We’ve got a two-party political system where politicians who are filled with strife spew rhetoric from both sides of the aisle, yet stand in unison when it comes to chasing the almighty dollar. Somehow one party has gotten away with ostracizing the other from the Black

No. No. 20 20

community – while Blacks are oblivious to the detriment to our own community. This is not a call, by any stretch, to encourage anybody to abandon one party for another. Moreover, it’s a call for Black America to educate itself; to wake up and recognize that by being transparent in our support for one party and our disdain for another, we ultimately disenfranchise ourselves. After all, if one party has our vote in the bag while the other simply ignores us because they know we’re not going to vote for them anyway, who’s really out there working on behalf of a community that’s one-sided? Who’s really representing us when it comes to job creation? Healthcare? Education? Who’s genuinely fearful of the issues that arise when the needs of the Black community aren’t serviced? This is our opportunity to allow our pursuit of real education to begin. We must recognize that the people who are allowed to enact legislation should be forced to actually work for our vote. This will provide accountability to a community largely manipulated and ignored since the civil rights movement. Only then will real education begin. Suddenly, instead of scoffing at fiscally conservative Republicans who we’ve been led to believe are against us, we’ll aim our ire at moderate Democrats holding the nation’s healthcare bill hostage so they can procure funding for their individual states in pursuit of re-election. Instead of looking through rose-colored glasses at everything our Black president does, we’ll actually address real issues and disagree without being disagreeable. Maybe, just maybe, instead of picking up either Newsweek, Time magazine, The

Wall Street Journal, The New York Times or The Washington Post, we’ll read all of them. We’ll compare and dissect news and opinions to grasp some semblance of the truth. Any educated person knows that approach is better than depending on so-called leaders to do it for us. Particularly the ones already bought and paid for. From FDR to JFK, LBJ to Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and beyond, it’s cool to recognize the games being played on Capitol Hill. That is, right up until the moment we realize all of the jokes are on us. Then the fun is over. Merely talking about basketball and other sports doesn’t scratch the itch. When all is said and done -- whether working part-time or full-time, renting or owning a home – no one is spared. We all pay taxes. We all answer to the overseer of the system we live in. We’re accountable to unknown authorities and schemes. Doubt it? Then you haven’t asked yourself how a bunch of folks on Wall Street cost you your job or why they’ll end up costing you more money when a tax increase comes down the pipe. Maybe most folks are happy not asking those questions. Ignorance does have its moments of bliss. But when has ignorance ever had its benefits? How much has it cost our community? If you haven’t asked yourself that question before, maybe it’s time you do. It’s never too late to get educated, unless you feel you already are. Then you’re a lost cause anyway. By Stephen A. Smith

No. 21 21 No.

producers 10 ESSENTIALS

Starring DWELE




Producer 3-12-10  

Producer Magazine