Q&A with Shon Barnes

Published 12:00 am Sunday, June 11, 2017

1. What is your favorite book?
Why Should White Guys Have All the Fun by Reginald Lewis (the richest African-American man in the 1980s)
The author came from humble beginnings, graduated from a historically black university and was able to negotiate at times being the only minority in the room.

2. Who inspires you?
Grandmother Essie Barnes. She was the hardest working person that I know. Essie Barnes is 87 now, but picked cotton, earned around $8 shortly after giving birth. He said if she could do all of that under those conditions he has no reason to complain.

3. When people come to you for help, what do they usually want help with?
Advice or mentorship. He mentors several young men and women (some of whom are former students).

4. What hobby would you get into if time and money weren’t an issue?
Fitness. I would be in the gym eight hours a day.

5. What are some small things that make your day better?
Get a call from my wife to check on me or funny things that my kids do. I like completing tasks.

6. What would be your ideal way to spend the weekend?
Waking up in the morning and going for a nice run, cooking breakfast for the kids, watching a movie, an afternoon nap and a nice dinner with friends.

7. What could you give a 30-minute presentation on with absolutely no preparation?
Leadership. He’s currently working on his Ph.D. in leadership studies and community and civic engagement.

8. What is something you think everyone should do at least once in their lives?
Laugh until they cry.

9. What’s the best thing that happened to you last week?
I took my 8-year-old son to visit the branches of government. They went to see the White House, visited the African American Museum of History.

10. What movie title best describes your life?
“The Pursuit of Happyness.” The Y symbolizes your definition of happiness. You have to define it for yourself. He said who you are is a reflection of your service to others.

— Shavonne Walker