Stories of inspiration and the cold at Black Male Reimagined II

Bundled in his coat, Cassio in New York

Bundled in his coat, Cassio in New York

Cassio Batteast of the Hope Fund of Jackson attended Black Male Reimagined II, a two-day “conversation on how we can change negative portrayals and images of black men and boys” held in New York City on March 5-6, 2013.

Why did you go to Black Male Reimagined?
CB: Well I attended Black Male Reimagined for a few reasons.  I think it was great to be invited to an awesome program.  I was really curious and excited about being with various black men that doing work to save black boys and men.  I was also interested in meeting and connecting with the various foundations (Open Society Foundations and the Knight Foundation) that were sponsoring the event.


Sybrina Fulton (middle), Trayvon Martin’s mother, at Black Male Reimagined II.

What happened while you were there that you could not have known beforehand?
Well a lot of things happen that I wasn’t aware of.  We were not really given an agenda, before hand, of what the days were going to be like. So, there were many things that happened that I was not aware of.  One of the biggest surprises was meeting Sybrina Fulton, Trayvon Martin’s mother.

Who or what inspired you?
The entire event was inspirational. But, Mrs. Sybrina Fulton, Trayvon Martin’s mother, inspired me the most. It was an awesome experience to hear her tell the story of her son’s murder. She was so strong while being interviewed.

What did you taste, hear, see, touch or feel? 
Well being in the north east is an experience itself. I did not enjoy the harsh cold weather.  I had to buy a coat just to travel.

I enjoyed a few things. I got a chance to do some shopping. Recently, I found various thrift stores in places I traveled. I found some great bargains. I found $500 suits for like $20. I really enjoyed the public transportation experience. I flew to DC and took the Bolt Bus to New York for $25, which was awesome. The experience of being able to travel around and not have to drive was great.   

My overall experience was great. I made some really good connections and got to have new traveling experiences.

To learn more about the Black Male Reimagined Campaign, visit:

Source: BMR2 on

Source: BMR2 on

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