“It gave me a new passion and purpose. I had five corporate job offers and I turned them down,” said Brandon Frame. What he was referring to was working with younger kids. He turned down a $60,000/year corporate job to teach at The Fessenden School, an all-boys boarding school in West Newton, Massachussetts for $25,000/year.
Frame, 26, is a graduate of Morehouse College. He is the Chief Visionary Officer of TheBlackManCan, a website that promotes a positive black male image. He founded the Morehouse Marketing Association in 2009. He goes to churches, schools and organization all over the US to give inspiration to black youth. Frame recently wrote his first book, “The Black Man Can,” which he shares at each of his speaking engagements and academies. Also, he received a Ujima Award last June for his commitment to black youth.
Frame did not meet his father until he was 18. He was raised by a single mother in Hartford, Connecticut. Frame said “She gave me the initiative and she made me an ambitious person.” With that ambition, Frame always looked for new opportunities which is something that was reinforced by his grandfather, whom he had a strong bond with. He was told that good is not enough and that he had to work twice as hard to get things done.
“I always pondered ‘what-if’ questions when it came to my father. What if he was there to raise me as my mother was doing? What if he was there to give me a perspective of what it was like to be a man?” said Frame. This is where his grandfather would come in.
He went to Morehouse College to be a business major but he discovered a mentoring program that changed his life. “He started speaking at churches in the Hartford area because by word of mouth, he had been recognized as an inspirational speaker. Throughout college he was doing just that at some black schools and churches in Atlanta,” says Frame’s grandmother, Betty Davis. Davis mentioned she wasn’t surprised when her grandson accepted a lower-paying job. It involved teaching young men, black and white, and that’s what he had a passion for.
One of the challenges Frame had was that he was torn he couldn’t do much about the situations many kids were in. “Many of these kids grew up without fathers,” said Frame. And the issues weren’t only at home but in school. Frame said, “You can’t control what happens with their education. Some of these schools they were in were low-functioning. The reading level wasn’t that high. It’s just unfortunate and I don’t think high school should ever be about remediation.”
Frame advises any aspiring journalists to, “Create a market for yourself. If you want to be a journalist, write a blog. I want someone to have a certain amount of readership for their blog. I want to know what they can bring and how they can contribute to my organization. It could be about sports. It could be about anything. I’m just looking for someone with a track record.”
He boasts a resume very few people have but it doesn’t seem to be enough. “My journey’s nowhere near over,” says Frame. “I hope the work I do can be effective in fighting that negative image of black men that we’re bombarded with. If that happens within the next few years, I know I’m going down the right path.”