Last Tuesday, Yandy Smith hosted a private evening at the Cecil in New York City to unveil Aron Gadson‘s newest book You Already Won.
You Already Won exposes the undertones of mass incarceration within marginalized communities. While people of color make up about 30 percent of the United States’ population, they account for 60 percent of those imprisoned.
As a teenager, Aron turned to life on the streets, which quickly lead to a 12-year prison sentence. The negative impact of a criminal record is twice as large for African Americans. Gadson’s commitment to family made him flip his life around through multiple investments in group homes for young men of color, real-estate investments and more. It is with this notion that Gadson used his incarceration setback to make a major comeback to be a self-made millionaire.
Gadson is unassuming but when you go to his Instagram page you’ll see industry leaders such as Lenny S, Meek Mill, Cameron, and more who can attest to his business acumen. We had the opportunity to hear more from the author about You Already Won.
What’s the significance of the title “You Already Won”?
I was in prison with a man that was facing a life sentence but you would never know it from his attitude. He had a positive outlook on life and gave me constant reminders that no matter what I was going through at that moment, I already won. I had my whole life ahead of me, I learned so many lessons along the way that would benefit me when faced with seemingly insurmountable circumstances. I think this is true for everyone, we are all equipped with the tools we need to succeed in life’s battles. No matter your beginnings, your family dynamic or your current position. If you change your mindset, you will recognize you have everything you need to break free of your circumstances.
How do you want people to feel after reading “You Already Won”?
Empowered. Inspired. I want people to not give up. I want them to know there’s always a solution. I want them to look at my life, my mistakes, my failures as well as my successes and learn from them.
How much responsibility do you put on “the people” vs. Politicians?
I believe in an all hands on deck approach. I think responsibility lies with both. I want people to recognize they have more power than they know. If they pull together to strengthen their communities, stay informed and use their voices to drive change it puts everyone in a better position. Politicians also have a duty to create policies that benefit their supporters and strive to make a difference. They need to look for solutions for the widening economic gap between the haves and the have-nots. Both sides have a role to play in forming a new landscape for our communities. What can we look forward to from Aron Gadson?
You can expect me to keep building towards improving the quality of others lives as well as my own, working with civic organizations, mentoring youth and sharing more of my story. This is just the beginning.
Order You Already Won today!
Photo Credit: Jamon Davis