Ross: When did you first get the idea to write a book?
Gerad: I got the idea to write The Race from seeing so many things wrong with our community, but instead of judging, I wanted to basically write a "black print" for us to use. A lot of people in our community point at what's wrong instead of giving solutions. I think my book is a short and overall solution for people in our community.
Ross: What influenced your solution-based thinking?
Gerad: Growing up, I couldn't stand to hear a lot of complaining. Early on, I knew complaining wasn't going to make things better. My mother was big on solutions. About 95% of the people in the world complain about their situation and never try to make things better. Even when somebody around me complains about the things they are going through, I instantly try giving them solutions.
Ross: What were the biggest challenges with completing your book?
Gerad: I think the biggest challenge was making sure I didn't judge or make our community look bad. I just wanted to make sure that I pointed out the main problems with our community and gave solutions. I honestly just wanted to help instead of bashing our community like most people do already.
Ross: How has releasing a book impacted your career?
Gerad: I think it has opened up a small window of opportunity. I believe it has helped me build a source of credibility, and it has also helped me build a strong foundation as an author.
Ross: I love the impact that your podcast has been providing. Podcasting was my first entrepreneurial venture. What do you envision yourself doing as a full-time entrepreneur?
Gerad: As a full-time entrepreneur, I honestly see myself having businesses that enhance our community. Lately, I've been researching two different avenues that will for sure lead to being a full-time entrepreneur if done correctly. Hopefully, my time is coming as a full-time entrepreneur.
Ross: What advice would you give to someone trying to publish their first book?
Gerad: I would just say make sure that they are writing something they truly believe in because years from now and even after you're gone from earth, your work will represent who you were as an individual. It's almost like when rappers pass away, their work kind of represents who they are without doing research on them.
Ross: That is a deep reality and statement. What do you want your work to represent about you?
Gerad: Hopefully, my work shows that I'm more than just an author. I'm hoping through my work that people will see the growth throughout time. Since I plan on releasing multiple books, individuals will see how I progressed from a mental standpoint. I want people to see the difference between my thoughts at 25 and 45. I never want my work to repeat itself or feel that my thoughts are at a standstill.
Ross: Which books inspired you to become an author?
Gerad: Like I tell everybody, The Autobiography of Malcolm X changed my life. Not only as an author but as a person. The Art & Science of Respect by J Prince inspired me, and a couple of chapters in my book. Another book that inspired me was Black Fortunes by Shomari Wills.
Ross: What do you have planned next for your literary career?
Gerad: For my literary career, I really want to continue growing and putting out more books. Also, I want my literary career to help me transform into a full-time entrepreneur. I would really like for it to lead to bigger and better things.
Ross: What is your current profession outside of writing?
Gerad: As of right now, I'm a teacher/coach. I've been teaching/coaching for four years now.
Ross: In my second book, Crabs In A Barrel, I articulated the impact of black males only accounting for less than five percent of teachers in the public school system. How do you feel about that statistic, and what do you think should be done to change that?
Gerad: It has a lot to do with the administration and how they envision how teachers/coaches are supposed to look. We don't fit the profile of how they think teachers are supposed to look. This summer, I literally had an interview with a particular school in the DFW area, and they said I looked too much like the kids, and that could possibly lead to improper relationships. I instantly logged off the zoom call. Things like that make black men not even want to teach. I’ve also realized that my way of educating children doesn’t line up with the curriculum or how the education system works (especially for black children). That’s one of the main reasons why I’m really working toward becoming a full-time entrepreneur. I feel like black children are getting cheated out of learning in public schools. The last thing is the testing to become a teacher. Those tests don't show if you can teach, and secondly, the classroom management questions are usually questions that reflect a perfect world. None of those questions show how to manage classrooms in predominantly Black and Hispanic schools.
Ross What are the main takeaways you want readers to have from your book?
Gerad: The main thing I would love for people to take away from the book is not turning their back on your own people. I really want people to wake up and learn to uplift and protect each other. Ultimately, I want us to build more for each other instead of taking away from each other. I hope people understand that we all have to be on one accord regardless of if we agree with each other’s actions and thoughts.