Good Reads/Book Reviews

BOOK OF THE MONTH – “The Black Athlete”

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Ladies and gentlemen, I’m absolutely thrilled to introduce you to a man who has made it his personal mission to reach and inspire children everywhere.  Especially those who are facing adversity in the journey to make their dreams come true. John D. White is the epitome of service above self, and as an author, has written a very inspiring story about one young boy that will touch your heart in the deepest of ways. I’m very honored to acquaint you with his first book called, “The Black Athlete“.  John is this month’s recipient of The Fresh Lifestyle Magazine 2017 BEST BOOK AWARDS!

 John D. White headshot

John hails from the west side of Detroit, and was blessed with the opportunity to play both college and professional basketball.  It was in recalling the struggles he had to endure to get there, that he was inspired to write “The Black Athlete“. J.D., as his friends like to call him, tells the story through the eyes of a kid from the hood named RJ Watkins, who is just trying to make it out of his current reality and into a better life. RJ is a character you will easily sympathize with as you travel with him on his journey to escape poverty and the familiar perils so many young people growing up in our urban areas face today. 

John could relate to RJ, as he himself grew up in the public school system, until his parents put him in a private school for his safety. However, at the end of each school day, he would still have to take the long bus ride home, right back to the hood; to his reality. This is a life that we, as a society, do not take the proper time to think about, and understand. There are thousands of kids across the country who share this reality, and John aspires to broaden our awareness of the challenges that these children face, through his book.


What makes this story so real is the fact that much of  The Black Athlete” is taken from John’s own life experiences. Young R.J., is also a kid from the west side of Detroit, who finds himself in his love for the game of basketball.  He could recite at least a dozen players who came out of Detroit, and would watch them carefully, and would dream that he one day be in their shoes. However, R.J., first, had to carefully navigate an environment overrun with gangs, drugs, and the other many challenges that often accompany growing up in poverty.   Although the odds were stacked against him, he was lucky to have the talent to play basketball.  R. J. realized at a very young age that he was special and that not everyone was blessed to have such an outlet.

 The Black Athlete Cover2

The Black Athlete” is your chance to really understand the perspective of what it means to be “a kid, just trying to make it.!” It is a must read for EVERYBODY, especially young athletes that are facing the world head on, and in need of some guidance. You will find yourself smiling, laughing, crying, and even experiencing heartache throughout this compelling novel. 


Here are a few brief excerpts from the book:


“R.J.’s summer was going great; his AAU team All-Michigan Blue had won every tournament they played in thus far.  While R.J. tore up the AAU basketball circuit, his neighborhood was being torn up just as bad.  Violence ran the streets of Detroit, even though Downtown was being rebuilt by a billionaire developer; the inner city was falling apart at a high rate.  Vacant and burned down homes filled neighborhood streets. The murder rate was steadily on the rise, and very few if any of the young people had the outlet that R.J. had.”



“Honey slightly turned around to look at him and said, “Son, I realized two things at church today. The first thing is that God is able to heal me. Second, if he doesn’t heal me, he’s still able, and he is still God. R.J., whatever state you find yourself in during this lifetime son, just remain content and always trust God.”



“As the sun went down, R.J. made one jump shot after another. He envisioned himself scoring baskets against NBA greats, and making game winning shots as the clock ran out. Growing up on the west side of Detroit, life was no cake walk, but the dream and desire to be a professional athlete drove R.J. each day.  Nothing was going to stand in his way, not even the dark, which is why he strategically placed his basketball goal underneath the street light.”


John D. White is also the founder of the J.D. White P. L. A. Y Foundation, which looks to provide mentoring, and youth empowerment to kids, primarily those living in the Detroit area.  Go out and get “The Black Athlete” today!

 john d. white logo

Here are a few comments others are making about “The Black Athlete“:


“What an Awesome Read…! The Black Athlete was captivating! It was full of emotion, depth, values, and hit on many aspects of what a young inner city athlete is often up against when growing up in the hood. This book shared adversity, disappointment, dedications, and perseverance of a young man who just wanted to be the best academically and athletically. The author pulled you in and made you want to read more! Once I started reading this book, I couldn’t put it down. This is a book that I would recommend you purchase not only for yourself, but for your teenage sons, daughters, cousins, nieces, and nephews….etc.! The Black Athlete was inspiring and hopeful… Loved it, loved it, loved It!” -Candice Finley


“The Black Athlete… This Book Gave Perspective On What Goes On In Some If Not All Of The Inner Youth That Plays Sport. What An Amazing Journey It Was It Tugs At Every Emotion And Brings Light And Insight To The Various Things That Goes On In The Neighborhood That The Youth Live And Grow In. This Is An AWESOME!! Book. It Leaves You Guessing” -Crystal Gail


“This book takes you on a heart felt, unspoken journey in the lives of many of our inner-city youth. As a person who grew up in the inner city, this story really hit home for me. I laughed, I cried, and I was inspired to impact the lives of the young people I encounter from day to day. A Must Read!!!” -Kevin Jordan


The Author explains in his own words, his inspiration for writing this awesome book:

“I (John D. White) began writing as a freshman in college. It started off with poetry, music, and simple journal writings to express my feelings. It was an outlet that allowed me to express my thoughts and to allow my imagination to run free. I’ve always been a visionary; one who always seen success in my mind way before the manifestation ever takes place. I live by the saying, “You have to see it before you see it, or you will NEVER see it.”

My first novel, The Black Athlete, is a compelling Urban Fiction story that clearly depicts the mindset of inner city youth who play sports and have dreams of making it to the professional ranks. It reveals not only the common mindset of our youth, but shows the challenges as well. The Black Athlete takes the reader on a realistic journey into the minds and dreams of many youth in our country; youth who are not aware of the barriers and obstacles in their paths.  They are unaware of the statistics, probabilities, and odds stacked against them. But how could they know? They’re not statisticians, mathematicians or odds makers. They are Just kids, trying to make it.”

John D. White is the proud father to his son, Israel, and adores his bride Joselyn.

For more information, you can visit his website at:

To Purchase a copy today, go to:

Register Your Youth in his Programs or to support his Foundation visit:


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