Tuesday, October 17, 2017
From Drug Dealer to Motivational Speaker
By Ra’Kenna Joseph, Sentinel Intern
Published July 31, 2008

073108_wimbreyphotoBest selling author speaks prosperity from personal experience

With startling statistics of inner-city African American men turning to gangs, drugs, prison, or death as a means of “getting out”, its refreshing to hear one man’s struggle to choose life, amist all of the adversity surrounding him. From the HOOD to doing GOOD is the national best-selling testimonial of renowned motivational speaker Johnny D. Wimbrey.

Born in Texas, into an unstable household with an abusive, alcoholic father, Wimbrey writes of his first memories of living in a battered women’s shelter with his two older brothers. The family then moved to California and lived with government assistance until his mother could no longer care for her children and was forced to send them back to live with their father. Wimbrey, as so many misguided youth do, found solice and stability within the violent world of gangs and soon began to see his life turn into one of drugs, retribution, and countless funerals.

His self-revelation came at the funeral of one of his closest friends. Gun in tote and armed with a deep-seated rage toward the individual who killed his friend, both of whom he knew while growing up, Wimbrey entered the funeral home with every intent of sending his fallen friend some company, that is until he heard his slain friend’s mother speak words of forgiveness. In chapter two, he states, “Who was I to seek revenge for a friend who had been murdered if his own mother had already found forgiveness?” (Wimbrey, From the HOOD to doing GOOD, Brown Books Publishing Group, 2003). After the service, he handed his gun to the church’s pastor and asked God for guidance.

Employing personal experiences, biblical references, and quotes from famous philosophers, motivational speakers, and spiritual individuals, Wimbrey speaks life and forward movement to readers searching for change and a more positive identity. His constant repetition of the mantra “If I can, so can you” is intended to inspire the reader to move both expediently and forcefully toward the accomplishment of his or her dreams. Through his use of the first person narrative, Wimbrey is able to connect with the reader on a natural level through his unique combination of testimonial and the procedure of restructuring one’s thought process.

Wimbrey’s ten pillars of success, separated into six concise chapters, work to push the reader toward self-accountability and love of self, essentially. He works indirectly with the method of changing oneself from the inside in order to make the outside choices work “for you”. His “Me” factor and mission statement philosophies are particularly interesting and captivating, along with the “one-liners” that provoke even the most certain individual into speculation, and there is a great deal of encouragement given from Wimbrey to his audience throughout the book.

Although the book was filled with inspirational quotes and concepts that contain a motivational thrust, it lacked the in-depth explanation as to how the Average Joe would accomplish “prosperity from adversity”. Wimbrey’s quick jab messages, that are almost certainly the “closers” for his critically acclaimed seminars needed to be imbued with more details of how he actually went from the “hood to doing good”. His is a phenomenal story that millions need to hear, in depth, not just on the safe, surface level that the book is written on.

My rating: On a five star scale, three stars.

Categories: Local

Get the Los Angeles Sentinel App!


LA Sentinel
in your pocket:

Taste of Soul Sponsors

© 2017 Los Angeles Sentinel All Rights Reserved • A Bakewell Media Publication

Contact UsAboutMedia KitCorrections & Misprints

Terms of ServicePrivacy Policy

LA Watts TimesTaste of Soul

Close / I'm already on the list

Subscribe Today!

Don't be limited anymore! Subscribe Now »

** Existing subscribers, please Login / Register for Digital »

Subscribe to The Los Angeles Sentinel for only $5.99 $3.99 per month, with 1 month free!

Relax in comfort each week as you read the printed newspaper on your own time, delivered weekly to your home or office. This subscription also includes UNLIMITED DIGITAL ACCESS for all of your devices. Includes FREE shipping! One easy payment of $3.99/month gets you:

Subscribe Now »

Enter For a Chance to Win!

HYUNDAI "Better" Contest at Taste of Soul Los Angeles