The Good Son Comes Home to Inspire All Our Sons



Single moms were once the shame of society and even the young widow struggled to find her place and to be able to get the support, help and compassion from her community.

Her only hope of gaining the respect of those around her was for her children to grow up and succeed in the eyes of those around her. Her self-pride and dignity rested upon the greatness of her children.

Today, we as women, even single moms, can stand on our own. We have created a protective shell around us to deal with those harsh sentiments that still linger today. We have the power now to hold respectable positions and earn an honest living to provide for our little ones.

But some of us still struggle painfully and the media still acts as a reminder. Such is the story of the young homeless woman who went to a job interview, leaving her children in the car for just minutes, only to find herself getting arrested. She was caught between a rock and hard place.

But there is hope and it lies in that son or daughter. They just have to see those who once stood in their position come out successful in the end. They need to see their elders excel, stand tall and be pillars to society. This is how they will learn, by example.

This leads up to our wonderful conversation with DeVon Franklin. This young man is a single mom's dream. He is full of love, compassion, wisdom, dedication, drive and a deep love for God. The middle child of three boys, his father passed away when he was just nine years old. Luckily for him, he was the nephew of a pastor and was surrounded by church life for support.

He definitely should be the poster child for single moms around the world. Franklin speaks with a humble sense of authority. He admits that it is the love, dedication and sacrifice of his mother, grandmother and aunts that have brought him to this place of success. It is his association with the elders and his religious background that keep him grounded and humble. Holding the titles preacher, motivational speaker, author and senior vice president of production for Columbia TriStar Pictures is more than enough to make any mommy proud.

Franklin's passion for learning lead him to college, and his wisdom led him to make the decision to intern while working and going to school. An internship under the incredible Will Smith led him to the endless opportunities that have turned him into the success story he is now. "Responsibility, ownership of my own life and the desire to help others. Knowing it would never happen if I didn't take the necessary steps. That would bring me the peace," he said.

He was not born with a silver spoon in his mouth as they say. But he was born with something else. A love of family, devotion to God, faith and wisdom have made him one of the youngest senior executives at Sony Pictures to appear on OWN Network's Help Desk this summer. Then to be a post-producer on upcoming movie "Annie" with Jamie Foxx, Quvenzhane Wallis, Cameron Diaz and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (the co-star of Pompeii) is certainly worth noting.

The accolades keep coming for this young man. He will be honored on TV for the 2014 Trumphet Awards.

On top of this, he is the author of The New York Times Best Seller "Heaven Is Real," which is about to hit screens. As an aspiring producer myself, I asked him what was the greatest challenge in making the movie. I wanted to pick his brain. His response was simple: finding the right child to play the main character.

I now have ideas for how this man lives, but it is with sheer gratitude. He chuckles when I compliment him and seems almost shy or embarrassed by my compliments. Which is so refreshing. His speaking videos are absolutely moving. But he is not that preachy, accusing servant of God who condemns the audience for their sins. Instead, he invites them to look within to see knowledge.

Where do I end describing the success of this young man? I don't know. But I don't think he is anywhere near ready to stop. His work is just beginning. Franklin donates, volunteers and mentors for several organizations that help youth find their way through life as they face the challenges of drug and alcohol abuse. He helps those seeking employment and just basic encouragement (I think I want him to mentor me).

Why am I writing this? As a single mother, raising two black young men and surrounded by the death of so many young men, I am constantly in search of positive influences that will inspire them, motivate them and keep them on the right path.

Franklin believes if we pursue optimism and identify our allies and partner with each other, we will be the change that we want to see in the world for ourselves and our children.

Though we do not share the same spiritual beliefs, we do share the same desires to get closer to the higher being, to be great citizens and to leave a legacy in this world for the next generation that will move them to be better men and women.

So in between my tears of disappointment I will think of this young man and feel hopeful that one day this too will be my sons. It is wonderful to see the success of wonderful black men which often are over looked.

Did I mention he was married to Meagan Good, the actress? Yes. He is blessed, and on the institution of marriage, he says, he only focuses on them as individuals, man and woman, and their spiritual growth. Does not trying to take on the public approach of how people view them but who they have to answer to, God.

As I finish chatting with him, laughing and joking, I realize this young man, ten years my junior, has a gift that will overshadow all the negativity that my children, our children will endure. It gave me hope and delivered a promise that with patience, love, faith and encouragement for our children will help them succeed in this life.

And I am done...