Black Men Rock Too! Our most influential males

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 Although Women’s History Month is a time to celebrate women of character, courage and commitment, men have not been forgotten. After all, men were created to be strong leaders, providers and not to mention, handy.

It is only fitting to recognize men who have overcome stereotypes and statistics and strive to make a positive impact on campus, in the community and nationwide. Among those men are two Mr. A&T candidates, Brenden Kee, a junior electrical engineering student, and James Bowen II, a junior industrial and system engineer student.  

Throughout his journey at A&T, Kee has been a home engineering student, Duke Energy Scholar, Resident Assistant, and bookstore employee.  He serves as an outreach director, and he is a M.A.R.C.H Mentor.

“God has placed me in many places,” he said. “He put me in front of everybody, and it is such a blessing.”

Kee, whose stands on the platform, inspiration, motivation and dedication are the KEE, described his pastor, Gregory Drumwright, and television personality, Fonzworth Bentley, as men he believes are influential.  

Gregory Drumwright is the senior minister and establishmentarian at Citadel of Praise in Greensboro, N.C. He is a motivational speaker and education consultant. He currently serves as the Executive Director of the N.C. Student Government Leadership Congress and Student Leadership Greensboro.

“I don’t idolize him. I look up to him.” said Kee. “In order for someone to be a pastor, you have to pastor the people, not preach to them.”

Drumwright does not succumb to his feelings acknowledging that faith and feelings do not mix. Drumwright allows his members to be visionaries and he pushes them to step out on faith and trust in God.

Fonzworth Bentley is a multitalented actor, singer, record producer, television personality, and fashion designer with a net worth of $2 million. He appeared in films such as ‘Honey,’ ‘Fat Albert’ and ‘Puzzled.’ He released one studio album, C.O.L.O.U.R.S , Cool Outrageous Lovers of Uniquely Raw Style and published a book  entitled, ‘Advance Your Swagger: How to Use Manners, Confidence, and Style to Get Ahead.’

 Kee admires Bentley for his spunk and spontaneity.  He operates in order, and he pushes students to be greater than their hometown equivalent.

“That’s what I base my initiative off of,” Kee said. “It’s not just about the male, but our culture, our people as a whole from children to our age. That’s important to me.”

Armed with a legacy of leadership, Bowen II’s platform represents his past experiences serving in A&T’s Royal Court.

“I’ve made it my agenda to learn and understand the demands and responsibilities of Mr. A&T,” he said.

Bowen II served as Mr. Freshman for the 2011-2012 academic school year, and he currently serves as Mr. Junior. Among his many achievements while at A&T, Bowen has also served as a student ambassador for Google.

Throughout his undergraduate career at A&T, Bowen has been a member of Verge Modeling Troupe. He is a spring 2012 initiate into the Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity.

He participated in a home engineering program at A&T which was offered to the top 10% of incoming freshman based on academic achievement. He participated in a co-op in the fall of his sophomore year with Toyota in Georgetown, Ky. He is in the Honors program, a member of Alpha Lamda Delta, and he is a Resident Assistant in Barbee Hall.

Bowen II believes that Cedric Brown, his brother, and James Bowen I, his grandfather whom he is named after, have had a powerful impact on his life.

“I don’t look up to celebrities,” said Bowen II.

Bowen II’s father passed when he was in the 7th grade and Brown stepped in right on time. He provided mentorship and guidance at a trying time in Bowen II’s life.

Bowen I faced a difficult time in his life after losing his wife and son. Bowen II believes his grandfather displays strength and power through his faith in God. He has been a pillar in Bowen’s family following their tragic lost. He always lends a helping hand.

“He hasn’t won a Nobel Peace Prize, but he persevered and he kept stability in his family through racial tensions,” said Bowen II. “I admire him for who he is and what he stands for.”

Not only was Bowen II named after his grandfather, but he was appointed to be the next man after his grandfather to bring honor and pride to his family by making a positive impact and leaving a “Legacy of Leadership” for generations to come.

Each candidate is proof that role models come in all forms and from all walks of life. The men of this campus have a responsibility to hold themselves to a higher standard. It is not just about being a role model for notoriety, but to uphold the Aggie legacy.

— Email Kourtney at  [email protected]  and follow her on Twitter @KPOP_OfColour

  • Mija Gray Register Contributor