Dear Black Boy

Dear Black Boy is a letter of encouragement to all of the black boys around the world who feel like sports are all they have. It is a reminder that they are more than athletes, more than a jersey number, more than a great crossover or a forty-yard dash, that the biggest game that they’ll ever play is the game of life, and there are people rooting for them off of the courts and fields, not as athletes, but as future leaders of the world. The same things that make these strong beautiful black boys great on whatever playing surface they choose are the same things that will propel them forward in life: mental toughness, dedication, passion, determination, and effort are all things that carry over into the game of life. With the right preparation, every black boy can win.

10% of proceeds from book sales will be donated to non-profit organizations aligned with Dear Black Boy’s mission to lift up young black boys’ voices, and support them in the pursuit of their dreams.

Why now?

In the summer of 2016, after Philando Castile and Alton Sterling were both shot and killed by police within days of each other, Martellus wrote a poem to young black boys called “Dear Black Boy” - a message of hope - that became the basis for the book and this campaign. Dear Black Boy Now What? builds upon that message of hope by inviting all of us to be champions of black boys, and encouraging them to dream big.



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Martellus Bennett grew up in Alief, Texas. He was an artist, a musician, and a creator throughout his childhood, but he was most often identified as a talented football and basketball player. After ten years in the NFL, he owns and runs Imagination Agency Studios, a storytelling agency committed to making the world a more colorful place for families and kids of color.



"Ever since we were kids, Martellus has been driven, passionate, and most of all, creative. He is a voice for young minority kids to explore their creativity and entrepreneurship through art and technology."


"A brilliant and beautiful letter to young black boys everywhere. Martellus inspires our kids not just to succeed, but to be prepared to fight for our full freedom."

Shaun King, Columnist, The Intercept

"This is a book every child of every color and creed should read and so should every adult."

Chelsea Handler, activist, author, and comedian

"Many of us have long believed that Martellus Bennett is one of the most interesting people of his generation, a unique creative thinker who just happens to be an NFL Pro Bowl player. With Dear Black Boy, all of those beliefs are prove on the page."

Dave Zirin, Sports Editor, The Nation

"Martellus Bennett provides a genuine, caring voice in the Houston community, rolling up his sleeves to help others through his words and actions. Well done, Martellus!"

Aaron Wilson, Texas and NFL writer, Houston Chronicle

"There's more to an athlete than just stats. Martellus has displayed that throughout his playing career, both in his work with children through The Imagination Agency and his voice as a political activist."

Master Tesfatsion, Senior Writer, Bleacher Report

"This book should be mantra. Martellus Bennett's superb, wise words are steeped in rich, sports metaphor, and provide the inspiration our sons, nephews and loved ones require to grow into thoughtful, well-rounded young men and adults."

Angela Bronner Helm, Contributing Editor, The Root Founder, At Helm Media