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Character, Color and Content

February 14, 2018 by  
Filed under Highlights

Character, Color and Content


Eric Troy

I have been blessed to work, mentor, speak and develop programs throughout the country for more than three decades in the area of black male leadership. In my experience, the one common bond for black males — as it relates to leadership and character — is that you must have “street credibility.” This means that your say-to-do ratio must be 100%. So, if you said you are going to graduate from high school, protect your young brothers and sisters, get a job, get a college degree and become an entrepreneur or even President of the United States — then do it by any means necessary.

In paying homage to Black History Month and the great warrior Congressman John Lewis, it is crucial that we expose our young black males to true leadership — and then empower them with it at an early age. In 2017, America witnessed a new era of black male leadership in government: Lt. Gov.-elect Justin Fairfax in Virginia; Randall Woodfins as Birmingham’s new mayor; and Shannon Hardin of Ohio, President of the Columbus City Council, to name just a few.

Character is defined as “the mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual.” One’s mental and moral qualities are traced back to the root of how one was raised and the exposure to different perspectives. The key to anyone’s character is that it is distinctive to that individual. There is only one you — and you alone are responsible for establishing your character and reputation.

So, true leadership is based on you being you (character), celebrating your true self (color), and expressing that you are a king in your appearance, speech and writing (content).

It was Dr. King who dreamed of “a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” A NEW DAY IS HERE!

Eric Troy M.A. is the President & CEO of Eficionado, a Gahanna, Ohio-based brand transformation strategic partnership agency. He has over three decades of experience in education, advertising, marketing, media relations and sports development in both North America and South Africa — working with Fortune 500 corporations, and advising MLB, NFL, and NBA athletes in the area of brand and image marketing. Eric is considered an expert on black male leadership and community engagement, and has been featured on NPR and ESPN Classics. You can follow him on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and reach him by email at

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