We had the good fortune of connecting with Brian Harris and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Brian, how does your business help the community?
As an author, my work helps the community because it educates Black and brown children about their rich history and cultural legacy, while also inspiring them to pursue their dreams and aspirations. My work as an author, school leader and dance company director helps to nurture character, increase social awareness and build spiritual formation for children of color and those in underserved communities.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Third grader, Donavan meandered into my classroom one morning, with his head hanging low, and stomping his feet on the way to his desk. I noticed something was wrong and quickly walked over to him and said cheerfully, “Good Morning Donovan!” He slowly lifted up his head and muttered, “Good morning.” Amid the other students filing into the classroom, needing my attention as well, I was committed to making sure Donovan’s day would not continue the way it started. I moved closer to him, knelt down and whispered, “Donovan, I know something is bothering you son, would you like to share with me what’s wrong?” He told me that he missed his dad, who had been killed a few years before and that he was scared that he too was going to die. He continued to tell me that he felt lonely, because his dad was his best friend and now no longer with him. He then, turned his body toward me, almost collapsing in my arms and began to cry. I witnessed Donovan receive what appeared to be a release, or sense of freedom, as he felt comfortable expressing his feelings and fear in a safe, loving and non-judgmental space. Throughout the remainder of the school year, Donovan became a member of my all boys dance company, Sons of Freedom, and became more comfortable sharing his feelings and offering his unique experiences to discussions and conversations. What I saw inside of Donovan was more than a boy who was experiencing grief, but rather a young man needing to be freed. This moment and many others like it have shaped my work with boys of color as an educator, author and motivational speaker and give them an opportunity to share their thoughts and feelings in a safe way. Throughout my career and educational journey, I have learned to not allow systems that often seek to silence the voice of children, become a barrier to give them platforms to express themselves, find their own genius, walk in pure Joy and be free. I have also learned that teaching our children their rich history and cultural legacy is the passport to their future success and achievement and serves as foundation for them to write their own narratives in life. I want the world to know that my work as educator, author, dance instructor and motivational speaker will always have children at the center and will offer hope, healing and happiness to generations to come.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I want to shoutout teachers all over the country who continue to educate, empower and inspire students and give them an opportunity to fall in love with learning and soar into their greatness. I also want to shout out all those teachers who have been instrumental in my growth and development and given me an opportunity to recognize and pursue my dreams!

Website: briankeithharris.com

Instagram: brian_keith_harris

Linkedin: Brian Keith Harris II

Twitter: briankeithh1

Facebook: Brian Keith Harris

Youtube: Brian Keith Harris II

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutAtlana is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.