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Van Jones joined Roland Martin Thursday on “NewsOne Now” to discuss the new book, “Reach: 40 Black Men Speak on Living, Leading, and Succeeding.” The book edited by former NAACP president and CEO Ben Jealous, is a collection of personal as well as intimate essays from 40 prominent African American men who share their stories of success.

Jones, a contributor to the book, spoke with Martin via Skype about how important it is to have African American males speaking form their vantage point about living, leading and succeeding.

Jones, an American environmental advocate, civil rights activist and president of Rebuild The Dream told Martin, the book is an “important  breakthrough.”

“It is an opportunity for somebody if you aren’t African American male or know one and your wondering how am I going to get from A to B to C to get to my dreams — is it even possible,” said Jones.

See also: Van Jones On How To Be “An Owner, Not Just a Consumer” [VIDEO]

“These are very intimate essays and stories that really get you under the hood of the car, of the engine, of the hope, of the dreams of the challenges that we go through trying to get where we are.”

“Overcoming is kind of what we do,” said Jones. “For 400 years that is what we’ve had to do.”

He added, “I think the genius of Black folk is to make a way out of no way and to find faith in circumstances and situations that a lot of people would give up hope on.”


In this timely and important collection of personal essays, black men from all walks of life share their inspiring stories and ultimately how each, in his own way, became a source of hope for his community and country.

Reach includes forty first-person accounts from well-known men like the Rev. Al Sharpton, John Legend, Isiah Thomas, Bill T. Jones, Louis Gossett, Jr., and Talib Kweli, alongside influential community organizers, businessmen, religious leaders, philanthropists, and educators. These remarkable individuals are living proof that black men are as committed as ever to ensuring a better world for themselves and for others.

Powerful and indispensable to our ongoing cultural dialogue, Reach explodes myths about black men by providing rare, candid, and deeply personal insights into their lives. It’s a blueprint for better community engagement. It’s an essential resource for communities everywhere.

Listen to Martin and Van Jones discuss the ground breaking book, “Reach: 40 Black Men Speak on Living, Leading, and Succeeding” in the audio clip below.

Be sure to watch “NewsOne Now” with Roland Martin, weekdays at 9 a.m. EST on TV One.

Subscribe to the “NewsOne Now” Audio Podcast on iTunes.

Black Men Inspire: 40 Prominent African Americans Share Their Views On Living, Leading And Succeeding  was originally published on