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From Gordon Parks to Donald Glover: The New Appreciation of the Renaissance Man 























             I know this sounds corny, but the first time I heard the name Gordon Parks was when Larenz Tate uttered it in Love Jones (1997).  I was immediately drawn to the name.  Maybe it was the slick coolness in which Darius Lovehall name dropped him to impress Nina Mosley or maybe his name was just that powerful to make me want to learn more.  Either way; he was officially on my radar.   That fall, his book “Half Past Autumn: A…

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Emotional Crutches, Security Blankets, and Why I’ve Only had 2 Addresses 



















     I’ve always been enamored with individuals who’ve moved regularly throughout their entire lives.  There are those that grew up in households where a parent was in the military, those who grew up in families where quick shifts in income meant multiple moves and others who just don’t like being stationary in one spot for too long.  For years when clients and friends have confided in me about their lack of family pictures, it’s followed by, “We‘ve…

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Parenting to your Strengths 

My grandfather had story for every situation & obstacle in life.  He constantly used his past experiences to help me (try to) avoid mistakes and guide me.  My grandmother never shared many personal stories.  Most of her parenting was through the muse of prayer and bible study.  My grandfather on the other hand rarely used religious teachings to get his point across to me.  For the most part he was a pretty proud Christian, but was also at his best when he used his own familiarities to relate to me…Read more

Entrepreneurship, Damon Dash, Guilt, and Understanding Your Personality  

Damon Dash made quite a buzz on the Breakfast Club when he challenged everyone to be their own boss.  Most of what he said was on point but it deeper than just, “not wanting to call another man boss.”

There are 3 big things I would like everyone to think about here.

1.     Don’t’ feel “guilty” if you aren’t the type to start and run your own business.  It doesn’t make you less of a man or a bad example for your children.  Millions of people have the mental stamina to push themselves through undergrad, post…Read more

My Grandfather, Athletes, and Me  

    To say I wasn’t quite that athletic as a kid is like saying an elephant isn’t quite that big.  I wasn’t fast, didn’t have the best coordination, bad hands, and a little on the clumsy side.  But hey; I had a lot of heart! Lol  My grandfather knew this which is why my participation in sports was viewed as a recreational outlet at best. 
    Fast forward 20 years and now I’m an AAU dad whose 15 year-old and 11 year-old sons have more athletic ability than I could have ever dreamed of.  I talk to the dads of…Read more

Rusty Barbell/Loss/Passing/Fight& Endurance 

Sometimes when you run into old acquaintances after a long absence; their appearance tells the story before their words do.  Today I ran into Steven.  A twentysometing year-old cat I used to share small talk with at the gym.  He looked awesome; as if he never missed a day at the gym when in reality he hadn’t been in over a year because of money issues. 
After the typical hand slaps and greetings were exchanged; he opened up about being separated from his wife, the problems he was having seeing his son…Read more

New Creativity, New Venture, New Road- 

New creativity, new venture, new road.

Looking back; I remember being 12 years-old writing poems in the back of math notebooks,  14 years -old using a GE Boombox, a Radio Shack mixer, and a cheap turntable to record my on raps.   I worked to navigate my way to and through the fields of journalism, stage & page poetics, and wedding photography. and Finally: there was the task of resculpting and reshaping my physique after being overweight for about 7 years , All I have ever wanted to do was create. Thats it.…Read more

Bullying, Being Broken, Makes Me Want to Holler 



By now the bullying situation between Jonathan Martin and Richie Incognito of the Miami Dolphins has sparked an endless amount of conversations and debates. But the very first time I heard the story, I thought of a book I read when I was 22 years old. It was Nathan McCall's “Makes me want to Holler.” The book was a memoir of the author's life and one of the main underlying tones of the book was about “being mentally broken/weak.”


The author gave several types of examples of individuals that were…

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Goal Setting, October, and Keep Going 

It’s October!  The month of “Indian Summer,” burnt orange leaves, apple cider, hay rides, pumpkins, costumes, haunted houses, and candy corn.  It’s also the 10th month of the year; which means you have 3 months to complete your 2013 goals. 
Did you attain them already?  Have you even started yet?  How far are you?  Did you get frustrated and walk away?  Chalk it up as a loss?  Do you even remember what your 2013 goals were?
 If you really don’t want to answer any of the above – then don’t.  Who cares anyway…Read more

Rejection, Book Deals, Photography, and Dreams Deferred  


On August 15,2008; I saw the email pop up in my inbox, closed my eyes, said a little prayer, then clicked the open button and it went all downhill from there.

“Dear Kahn,

After all this time, I'm afraid that I am writing with the disappointing news that we have decided to pass on your poetry collection. Ultimately, poetry is a hard sell in the marketplace and this feels too limited in  its audience to really break out commercially. You have been more than patient with us and I'm truly sorry that I

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Rental Houses, Comforts, Vices, & Letting go to Pursue  

 Back in 2005 my wife and I decided to jump into the wonderful and stressful world of owning rental property.  Our first property: a 2-family flat with no work needed and already occupied with tenants seemed like a decent/conservative investment for our first time out.

The tenant on the bottom flat was named Dianne.  She lived there with her 3 children, husband, and her rent was covered by the government’s Section-8 Housing Program.   She was nice, sneaky, friendly and conniving all at the same time…

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Piano Lessons, Jealously, and Fighting For Your Goals  

I remember sitting in front of my mother’s maroon piano.  Seconds seem like hours and hours seem like days.  “Practice,” yelled my grandmother from the other room.  Thus, I commenced to play Schubert, Chopin and Mozart.  Wishing I was outside at the same time.


The experience; to sum it up – I hated it!


I didn’t like the piano, I didn’t like practicing the piano, and I had stopped wanting to learn after the first month I got started.  Piano lessons were like quarter machine gum: after a few chews…

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Love Letter to Black Women about Health and Obesity 


Over the past few weeks I’ve come across various statistical reports which say that half of African American women in this country are obese (49.5 percent to be exact), diabetic, or both.   Initially ladies; I discounted this as nothing but inaccurate statistics.  Ballooned up numbers trying to make black women look bad and feel worse.  But then I started paying attention and asking questions like -   -Why when I visit my aunt in the nursing home there are more of you than me? -When I go to church… Read more

Happiness, love, Careers, and Sports  


You can look at any of my participation in organized sports from middle school to high school and I guarantee you that I was far from an “impact player.”  Without going into too much embarrassing detail – I really can’t think of any major contribution during my stint of high school football.


However I can assure you that none of this ever bothered me.  Why?  Honestly; I loved the game (football) and that was the only reason I played.   I could watch the game for hours, not matter who would be playing…

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Restraint, Self-Justifications, Dessert, Hats, & Shoes 


You decided to join friends/co-workers for lunch today.  It’s a Monday and you’re super proud of yourself.  You hit the gym hard all weekend, avoided the bad fats, unhealthy carbs, and ate mostly lean protein and veggies.  Consistency is the main thing that’s been hindering your health and weight loss goals and it seems you have found it.  After a lunch of chicken breast and steamed broccoli, your friends decided to order dessert.  When the waiter ask if you are ordering any dessert for yourself- you…

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Marriage, weight loss, your way, my way, nuggets and absolutes 






I know happy marriages where one spouse practices a differently religion than the other, some where one spouse doesn’t practice a religion at all, and others where couples are opposite in weight, height, color, income, careers, interests, or health.  I know happy marriages that have survived addiction, incarceration, inconsistency, and infidelity.  I don’t use the word “happy” loosely.  These are not observations but actual details shared with me during conversations with folks who have been…

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Consistency VS. Transformations 

 Question 1#

What’s more inspirational; the woman that gains 150 pounds and then loses it and looks better than ever?  OR the woman that never gained 150 pounds in the first place because she has always done everything right?


Question 2#

What’s more impressive?  The son that started his own real-estate business from scratch and is now a millionaire? OR the son that inherited his father’s real-estate business and took it from a million dollar business to a billion dollar business?


Question 3#

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Whoudda, couldda, shoulda, what ifs, and wishes and having a short memory 


I wish I had taken that internship at the radio station when I was in college.   If I had it to do all over again, I wouldn’t have sold all my stocks 10 years ago.  I really wish I could have finished filming that movie.  I shoulda’ sold my old camera equipment earlier when it carried more value.  I whoudda’ got that shot if the dummy with the Ipad hadn’t got in my way. I couldda’ saved so much more money when I was younger.


If you are haunted by questions and thoughts such as these than you are making…

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Go for the PASSION not the HUSTLE 


Every so often I’ll receive a request to take “party photographs.”  You know – Tupac/Rolls Royce/Mansion air brushed background type photos.  I’ll very politely decline the offer.  I don’t decline because I’m booked or because I think I’m “too good” for that type of photography.  Trust me; I know several photographers who make 2 or 3 thousand shooting events like that.  I turn those gigs down because I’m not passionate about that form of photography and I look at it as more of a “hustle” than an “art…

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Weight Loss, Surgery, Depression, & Your Journey 


A few weeks ago, a story was posted on various internet news outlets about a woman who lost over a hundred pounds but found herself no happier than when she was fat.  The woman had received Gastric Bypass Surgery and when it was over – she still had the same depression issues that she had before she lost the weight.


2 Angles here I want too explore-


The first is “depression.”  It’s so ingrained in our culture to want to fix the “outside” first when the problem is actually in the “inside”.  Because…

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Cookies, Booty Calls, Cinnabons, Muscles, Fats, & Understanding Insulin 


Once a week, you can catch me nose deep in a pile of cookies, cinnabon, or a few slices of pizza.  “Most” times I have just finished my workout and it’s probably late evening.  This is my official Cheat Meal and it’s treated like a college booty-call; in &out with not feelings or attachments - just instant gratification (lol). And it’s extremely important for a number of reasons.


First let’s get the science out the way first and explain insulin.


Insulin is a hormone that enables your body to void…

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Things the 37-year old Kahn would tell the 18-year old Kahn 

  1. Stop investing money in things that yield you little like clothes, cars, jewelry, & people.
  2. Listen to your grandfather now, he’s always right.  This will save you money & mistakes in the near future.
  3. You’re going to start falling in love with miscellaneous goals and pursing them sloppily.  STOP and think things through.
  4. In about 5 years you’re going to buy your first camera. Learn how to use it and don’t buy anything else until you do (because you’ll be
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Suicide, Rape, Victims, Sharing, & Dark Secrets 

Between the ages of 16 and 23, I can honestly say I’ve had at least 20 conversations with various young ladies who revealed in me that they were raped or sexual abused by a family member, family friend, or ex-boyfriend. Most of them were acquaintances, friends, classmates, or co-workers who confided in me during in-depth dialogue.

Also between the ages of 23 and 30, I’ve had at least 20 conversations with young men and women who confessed they either “attempted” suicide or seriously “contemplated”…Read more

Embarrassing Ambitions, Barry Sanders, Rock Gods, & Loving Life 


I remember being 13, football tucked firmly between forearm and chest, and running through the house like Barry Sanders.  A fake against the loveseat in the living room, a spin move off the dining room table, and a dive into the couch in the den – TOUCHDOWN.


Though I had nowhere near the physical gifts of Barry Sanders: there was soooooo much fun in pretending I did.  There was an extreme amount of joy in those unrealistic daydreams.


Fast forward 24 year and I can embarrassingly admit that I still…Read more

Role Models, Examples, Giving, and Hard Work 


I’m far from a perfect father and I don’t claim to know everything about parenthood or raising children.  But I do understand the importance of setting “examples.”  I understand because my grandparents were awesome examples.  The main constant with both of them is that they always treated everyone with a lot of respect, dignity, and class.  Now that’s not to say everyone deserved that respect-lol! My grand ma had to be the most “giving” person ever invented.  It seemed that during the holidays every one…Read more