Mound Bayouian pens story on choices
by Paisley Boston
Jun 27, 2014 | 1969 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Jimmie McKnight said he is no stranger to adversity and in his book “It's Not Easy Being Me,” he elaborates on his struggles.

He is set to host a book signing at the Senator's Place on July 1 at 6 p.m.

"The book details the life of a young man by the name of Lewis. He is a troubled child who grows up in Atlanta. The main character faces a lot of trouble at school and on the streets. A teacher reaches out to Lewis and places him in a mentoring program," said McKnight.

"The book basically explains all of the challenges and changes that Lewis experiences during the time that he is enrolled in the mentoring program. He is able to transition from being a troubled youth to reaching a midpoint, where he is left with a decision to remain on the right path or give in to peer pressure," he added.

McKnight, a native of Mound Bayou, is a motivational speaker, consultant, and educator on both the collegiate and secondary level.

"My parents taught me that life is all about servitude. My father was my inspiration for writing this book. It is dedicated to him. He worked very hard in the community and molded me into the man that I am now. He was a coach in Mound Bayou for 40 years," said McKnight.

His goal is to see the Empowerment Program empower at-risk youth all over America.

"I wrote this book to help inspire individuals to become more actively involved in the community, especially with young people. I was inspired to write this book because I taught for years Atlanta and during the time that I was teaching there, I was enrolled in a mentoring program for at risk youth. I got a chance to see the impact that mentoring programs had on youth," he added.

"In the Black community, we have children who are isolated and do not have positive influences to pattern their lives after. They are exposed to the wrong elements. Young men see drug dealers and they think that this is the only way that they can be financially successful," continued McKnight.

He also said he would like for this book to be an alarm that is sounded to all Black men who are successful.

"If successful people do not do anything to help not only their own children, but other children as well then they are not really living a purpose driven life and they are not really solidifying all of the things that they are intended to do during their brief time on earth. It is time for people to become more active in the community. I am a firm believer in 'doing' instead of 'speaking,'" he said.

McKnight said the book is a fictional depiction of what individuals can accomplish.

He also said he would like to use the funds that are generated from book sells to help empower at risk youth.

"As the book progresses, Lewis makes the right decision and remains on the straight and narrow, while his friends journey down the wrong path. The book explains how a community outreach program changes the life of this distressed young man," he added.

McKnight is working on a second book, titled “From The Cotton Fields of the Mississippi Delta to the Mississippi Hall of Fame.”

He will read the first two chapters of the second book, during the signing.