Friday, June 14, 2024
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A Second Chance

Life has a funny way of handing you lemons and telling you to make lemonade. Mine somehow always manages to be spiked by the time I’m done with it. Sometimes, the world judges you for how you make your lemonade. If you’re not following, I’m saying that society isn’t so fair if you have made a mistake or two in your past. They label you, make it harder for you to find work, and we have all seen someone “clutch their pearls” when a surly person passes. However, that isn’t ALWAYS the case. Sometimes people make an AMAZING transition after being served a molded lemon.
Brian Jones is the owner of the brands “To Haters With Love” and “Black, Beautiful & Brilliant.” His mission is to uplift, motivate, and empower people, with a concentration on urban youth, formerly incarcerated citizens, and Black women. Jones’ brands were birthed from the notion of taking control of your destiny. He has done this with his brand and by being an example of what can be achieved with faith and determination.
Jones was incarcerated at the age of eighteen for the serious crimes of attempted murder, armed robbery, and felony firearm possession and he served eighteen and a half years in prison. During his incarceration, he was housed at seventeen different prisons ranging from minimum security, to maximum security. He was determined to utilize his time by reading over 1,000 books while incarcerated, taking paralegal correspondence courses, and training in mediation. Eventually, he became involved in a program that gave him the platform to teach others critical thinking, effective communication skills, conflict resolution and mediation.
He has taught classes at Goodwill Industries, the Matrix Center, worked with Ceasefire as a motivational speaker to gang members and leaders in the Greenroom, Gifting Dreamers, and spoken to youth in Highland Park’s juvenile facilities. In addition, Jones completed his paralegal Associate degree in December 2016, with a 3.92 grade point average, and is finishing his Bachelor’s at Eastern Michigan University. He has worked as a paralegal for attorneys in Pontiac, Michigan and Metro Detroit, and is a small business owner.

Jones believes that our bullies as children were our “Haters”. The statistics that say we can’t accomplish certain things because of the environment we come from are our “Haters”. The people that say we we’re not beautiful because we don’t look a certain way, are our “Haters.” Whatever, or whoever does not want to see us succeed are our “Haters” and should their hate should be part of our motivation to succeed. His Black Beautiful and Brilliant brand is designed to remind Black Women that they are indeed Beautiful and Brilliant, and the Mothers of civilization.
Talk about making lemonade out of lemons?! What an inspiring story of determination, focus and perseverance! In life, we don’t always make the best decisions, but that doesn’t mean that we are bad people. It’s all about how you choose to move forward. What will you do with your lemons?



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