Sherilyn Bennett and Mrs. Gwen Carr set their sights on Dallas to encourage and equip readers with new book

Sherilyn Bennett and Mrs. Gwen Carr set their sights on Dallas to encourage and equip readers with new book

Sherilyn Bennett, compiling author of “boy: Defending Our Black Sons’ Identity in America” is coming to Dallas for a book signing at the Pan-African Connection on Saturday June 12th (Noon-3 PM). As the world watched George Floyd’s life slip away beneath the knee of now-convicted former officer Derek Chauvin, Bennett knew that she needed to do something. After hearing the once again infamous epithet, ‘I Can’t Breathe”, Bennett sprang into action.

What began as a call to action to other mothers on social media morphed into the book project affectionately referred to as “The Boy Book.” Bennett’s two sons were victims of systemic racism and racial profiling on their respective college campuses, so Bennett wants to ensure this behavior doesn’t continue. In the process of hosting conversations with mothers, Bennett discovered that her son had withheld details of what he’d experienced, desiring to protect her from secondhand emotional horror.

It’s Time For a Check-In with Our Sons

Bennett not only included stories from mothers around the country, but she has also included ahistorical perspective from foremost African-American historian and lecturer, the late Dr. Patricia Hilliard Nunn, a mental health perspective from Stephanie Brinkley Wellon, LMHC, and a legal perspective from Najah Adams, ESQ.

“There is a history of black men being sacrificial lambs…it has to stop. The lynching, the shooting, the disregard of their humanity. They are our sons, brothers, husbands, fathers, uncles, grandfathers, and leaders. They were never American boys.”

Dr. Patricia Hilliard- Nunn

What Ms. Bennett hopes to spread is not only awareness of the pervasiveness of racism but hope to mothers whose children have experienced the degradation of systemic racism and police brutality. Mrs. Gwen Carr (Eric Garner’s mother) has lent her voice to the book as foreword author. Along with Ms. Bennett, Mrs. Carr is traveling the country informing citizens of their power. As a testament to her tenacity, Mrs. Carr along with her family and citizens of New York celebrated the passing of the Eric Garner Anti-Chokehold Act which not only banned the chokehold that killed her son.In a major victory for citizens and perhaps the heftiest point in the legislation, the act made use of the chokehold a felony if not used employed when an officer’s life is not in danger. Ms. Bennett and Mrs. Carr will be in Dallas to not only connect with readers but to hear the stories of survivors, connect with families seeking justice, and galvanize citizens, encouraging them to know that justice can be won and empowering them to get in the fight for justice. It does take tenacity and grit, but most importantly the decision to move as Mrs. Carr says, “from demonstration (protests) to legislation.”

Books can be purchased on Amazon and all other major book retailers.

It’s time for a check-in with our sons…

It’s time for a check-in with our sons…

It all began with the death of George Floyd and, now that former police officer Derek Chauvin has been convicted of his murder, Sherilyn Bennett believes now is the time for a check-in with her two adult sons KJ and Devonte. She believes that her role as their mother includes the responsibility of providing  emotional support for her sons and notes that the check-in may prove mutually beneficial. 

Surprisingly, many parents remain unaware of how deeply the tragedy has affected their children. The suppression of traumatic responses is not healthy and parents shouldn’t take the lack of response for granted, assuming their sons are well. Ms. Bennett encourages parents to avail themselves to guide and comfort their children as they express anger, sadness, confusion, or other emotions. Bennett hopes to make parents aware of the angst their sons and daughters may experience due to heightened tension between citizens and police- some  even feel targeted by police officers.

Last year, Bennett began compiling stories of systemic racism and police brutality from mothers around the country. The response was overwhelming, and she released, “boy: Defending Our Sons’ Identity in America” in January of this year. 

There is a history of black men being sacrificial lambs…it has to stop. The lynching, the shooting, the disregard of their humanity. They are our sons, brothers, husbands, fathers, uncles, grandfathers, and leaders. They were never American boys.”

Dr. Patricia Hilliard-Nunn, African-American historian and lecturer (historical contributor, posthumously)

The book chronicles the demoralizing and traumatizing encounters of black boys and men told by their mothers, sisters, and wives. Bennett added the story of her son who was detained without cause on his college campus. To this day, the future of that stop remains grimly unknown, but thanks to a coach who intervened, Bennett doesn’t have to think about it. Still, she knows many have faced this reality and, the scars yet remain. 

Ms. Bennett also recognizes the irrational disparity of emotional safety in the black community. She cites the failure for black men to openly show emotion as the root of this issue. She says of her and her ex-husband’s efforts to check in with her two sons, “we will parent until we die!” and encourages parents of both sons and daughters to get involved in the process of making self care a priority in the wake of the trial and guilty verdict.

In her book, Ms. Bennett included legal and mental health perspectives for readers to consider. In her contribution to the book, Stephanie Brinkley Wellon, LMHC wrote, “ is in our DNA to respond to trauma the way we do. Fight or flight mode does not work for us. We are simply stuck. It becomes hard to fight and we don’t have anywhere to go so we can become stuck in our emotional cages.” Ms. Bennett began the conversation with her sons and has encouraged parents to do the same. 

Mrs. Gwen Carr (Eric Garner’s mother) contributed the foreword and has encouraged activists to families, friends and the general public to move “from demonstration to legislation.” Mrs. Carr has successfully taken the fight for justice from the street to the chambers where decisions are made and laws are passed, and she is far from done. Last year, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the “Eric Garner Anti-Chokehold Act” into law. Before her untimely death, Erica Garner also worked to honor her father and avenge his death. 

The nation is faced with officer-involved shootings (Daunte WrightMa’Khia BryantAndrew Brown, Jr.) once again and as the details are sorted out; parents and their children of all ages have an opportunity to bond, not over trauma as we have in the past, but in comfort and support of each other. ​

Jekalyn Carr Captures First GMA Dove Award for Traditional Gospel Album of the Year, One Nation Under God

Jekalyn Carr Captures First GMA Dove Award for Traditional Gospel Album of the Year, One Nation Under God

We at SMG are thrilled to celebrate Evangelist Jekalyn Carr’s first GMA Dove Award. She has worked immensely hard to reach this point in her still very young career and we know that there is still much more to come! Earlier this year, I shared his experience with Carr at the release of her book “You Will Win” and album “One Nation Under God” in an episode of “On the Record“and on the SP Radio blog. The album is phenomenal and we enjoyed listening to it, over and over again! 

In fact, it’s still heavy in our office rotation! We didn’t review the album officially, but we have never stopped praising the album and the stretch beyond the release of ballads, Evangelist Carr has been known for. If you listen to gospel radio now, you know her latest single “It’s Yours” is burning up the charts! This is not new for Carr, but new for casual listeners who may only know her by her radio singles! Again, we’re so thrilled to have this particular body of work of hers be recognized. “The Life Project” was also amazing, and “One Nation Under God” which featured duets with Steve Hare and Donald Lawrence is truly her best work, to date! 

We had a celebratory piece in the works but have instead opted to share the press release regarding her win with you, instead! I have had a number of experiences with Evangelist Carr and always enjoys the company of her and her father when they meet. They met again in Orlando, Florida just a few weeks ago at the LEAP! Summit and the pleasantry and fellowship continued. We are so excited for Evangelist Carr and are prayerful that many more doors are opened wide to welcome her worldwide ministry!

Read the press release below, provided to us from our friends at Conduit Media Solutions:

Evangelist, entrepreneur, and Grammy® nominated gospel recording artist, Jekalyn Carr, took home her first GMA Dove Award for Traditional Gospel Album of the Year – One Nation Under God. Jekalyn garnered three nominations including: Gospel Artist of the Year, Traditional Gospel Album of the Year– One Nation Under God, and Traditional Gospel Recorded Song of the Year– “Stay with Me.” 

The 49th Annual GMA Dove Awards ceremony was held at Lipscomb University’s Allen Arena on Tuesday, October 16, 2018. The awards will televised on TBN on Sunday, October 21, 2018, at 9 PM ET.

“I am blessed to receive my first Dove Award,” says Carr. “It is such an honor to have your work recognized and given an award. I want to thank everyone who has supported and continues to support my ministry and the One Nation Under God album. A special thanks to Jackie Patillo and the GMA Team.” 

Gospel Powerhouse Ignites Crowd with Performance of “You Will Win”

Later during the evening, Carr ignited the entire arena in praise with her soaring vocals, causing the crowd to rise to their feet during a powerful performance of her latest hit single, “You Will Win.”

Independent artist, Carr, has taken the industry by storm with her rising success. Since her break-out single in 2016, “You’re Bigger,” she has gone on to create two top producing gospel albums, One Nation Under God and The Life Project. Most recently, Carr has added author to already impressive résumé with book, You Will Win. Jekalyn’s music is available on iTunes, Google Play, and Amazon. For more information and a complete list of upcoming events, visit

Jekalyn Carr “On the Record” talking her new book and album

Grammy® and Dove Award nominated artist, Jekalyn Carr, is soaring to success since the beginning of her career at the tender age of 15. As an independent artist, Carr has garnered both national and international reach with a Billboard No. 1 Top Gospel Album, The Life Project, as well as No. 1 on Billboard Gospel Airplay chart and No. 1 on Gospel Digital Song chart for single, “You’re Bigger.” The song also peaked at No. 33 on the Adult R&B Radio Airplay chart. Jekalyn’s achievements have landed her collaborations with gospel legends Shirley Caesar and Dorothy Norwood and performances on GMA’s Dove Awards, OWN’s Greenleaf, BET’s “Joyful Noise,” Black Music Honors and The Triumph Awards. In addition, she was featured in a documentary, Rejoice and Shout alongside legends such as: Smokey Robinson, Andrae Crouch, and Kirk Franklin. As compelling as she is as a vocalist, she is equally as dynamic as an evangelist. This emerging artist’s national acclaim is evinced by the distinct honor of being named Jet Magazine’s Top Ten Faces You Need to Know and Ebony’s Power 100 list. Jekalyn’s heartfelt ministry and songs touch all genres, young and old. Her message is, “you can be successful if you believe, pursue the vision, and most of all trust God.”


The SMG Report