Author, NFL great Jim Brown seek end to violence
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Author/ businessman Bobby Glanton-Smith, left, is pictured with football legend Jim Brown, seated, and documentary producer Tariq Nasheed.

Writer's Note: This is the second of a two-part series about Murfreesboro native son Bobby Glanton-Smith's communications' career in California.

DAN WHITTLE
Courier Correspondent

HOLLYWOOD - As a writer for this forum, I'd asked Murfreesboro native son Bobby Glanton-Smith to describe a typical workday in and around Hollywood -- that is if attending a press conference promoting the May 2 professional prize fight between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao can be described as a typical workday.

"I'm at a press conference this morning (March 11), leading up to my covering the big fight set for the NBC Network, as promoted by Sam Watson, a Tennessee native who has become the 'face of professional boxing,'" Glanton-Smith shared. "It's pandemonium here ... I see Floyd Mayweather Sr., the fighter's father, across the room ... there also stands Justin Bieber... the way ticket sales are going this morning in L.A., the cheap seats are going for $3,000 ... some will pay $100,000 to get in the building for this upcoming fight between Mayweather and 'Pacman.'"Asked for his pick to win the fight, Glanton-Smith predicted, "Mayweather, because of his professional technique, and his outstanding defensive skills, which will counter Pacman's all-out brawling style."

Asked for his pick to win the fight, Glanton-Smith predicted, "Mayweather, because of his professional technique, and his outstanding defensive skills, which will counter Pacman's all-out brawling style."As an author, editor and communications' guru for NFL legend Jim Brown's Amer-I-Can organization, Glanton-Smith's Hollywood cast of associates is like reading a "who's who" of West Coast sports, entertainment and politics. Citizens take notice when these celebrities lend their name to a charitable cause.

As an author, editor and communications' guru for NFL legend Jim Brown's Amer-I-Can organization, Glanton-Smith's Hollywood cast of associates is like reading a "who's who" of West Coast sports, entertainment and politics. Citizens take notice when these celebrities lend their name to a charitable cause.In his recently-published book "Real Men Don't Play," Glanton-Smith focuses on Memphis native Sam Watson as one of the main personalities in this circle of celebrity professionals. "Simply put, (promoter) Sam Watson is known as 'The Face of Boxing,' living the American dream. At 59, Sam is exceedingly rich, financially and socially ... he lives in

In his recently-published book "Real Men Don't Play," Glanton-Smith focuses on Memphis native Sam Watson as one of the main personalities in this circle of celebrity professionals. "Simply put, (promoter) Sam Watson is known as 'The Face of Boxing,' living the American dream. At 59, Sam is exceedingly rich, financially and socially ... he lives in abundance, while elevating the lives of friends and family.
"He was born in Memphis, and moved to Los Angeles at age two," Glanton-Smith pens. "He's charming, witty, hospitable, hard-working, well-mannered and industrious."

As a legendary fight promoter, Mr. Watson was in attendance at the recent nationally-televised press conference featuring professional fighters Mayweather and Pasquiao."Sam Watson is the type of man Mr. Jim Brown attracts in his circle of friends who helps support Amer-I-Can, our organization that helps gang members leave the life of killing, and evolve into productive society," Glanton-Smith shared during a recent interview back in his hometown of Murfreesboro.

"Sam Watson is the type of man Mr. Jim Brown attracts in his circle of friends who helps support Amer-I-Can, our organization that helps gang members leave the life of killing, and evolve into productive society," Glanton-Smith shared during a recent interview back in his hometown of Murfreesboro.When first moving his communication talents to California as a young graduate of Murfreesboro Central High and MTSU, it took patience and perseverance for Glanton-Smith to finally garner the trust of NFL Hall of Fame football player/Hollywood actor Jim Brown.

When first moving his communication talents to California as a young graduate of Murfreesboro Central High and MTSU, it took patience and perseverance for Glanton-Smith to finally garner the trust of NFL Hall of Fame football player/Hollywood actor Jim Brown.The author candidly shares that Jim Brown bluntly said after initially meeting Glanton-Smith: "You talk too much."

The author candidly shares that Jim Brown bluntly said after initially meeting Glanton-Smith: "You talk too much."The writer had been invited to Jim Brown's Hollywood Hills home, where he was hosting various members of gangs Crypts and Bloods, as part of the famous man's efforts to stop the killings and violence in Los Angeles.

The writer had been invited to Jim Brown's Hollywood Hills home, where he was hosting various members of gangs Crypts and Bloods, as part of the famous man's efforts to stop the killings and violence in Los Angeles."When the opportunity presented itself, I approached Jim Brown, and immediately found out I wasn't ready for prime time with The Man," Glanton-Smith shares about their first introduction. He reconstructed their first meeting in his book.

"When the opportunity presented itself, I approached Jim Brown, and immediately found out I wasn't ready for prime time with The Man," Glanton-Smith shares about their first introduction. He reconstructed their first meeting in his book."Hello, I'm Bobby Glanton-Smith, and I want to talk with you about the opportunity to employ some of the young men in 'Amer-I-Can,'" Glanton-Smith added. "He looked at me sternly, and asked me curtly what gave me the impression that I had the capacity to deal with the wretched of the earth."

"Hello, I'm Bobby Glanton-Smith, and I want to talk with you about the opportunity to employ some of the young men in 'Amer-I-Can,'" Glanton-Smith added. "He looked at me sternly, and asked me curtly what gave me the impression that I had the capacity to deal with the wretched of the earth."Instead of taking heed of the warning, the then 21-year-old Glanton-Smith blundered on: "I bantered on about how the Black Contractors Association of San Diego was positioned to employ some of his men (gang members) in the construction trades. I thought he would enthusiastically embrace the overture. His response was instant and devastating."

Instead of taking heed of the warning, the then 21-year-old Glanton-Smith blundered on: "I bantered on about how the Black Contractors Association of San Diego was positioned to employ some of his men (gang members) in the construction trades. I thought he would enthusiastically embrace the overture. His response was instant and devastating."That's when the famous Mr. Brown leveled a full volley of verbal rejection back in young Glanton-Smith's face: "Who are you to approach me without a proper introduction by someone I know?"

That's when the famous Mr. Brown leveled a full volley of verbal rejection back in young Glanton-Smith's face: "Who are you to approach me without a proper introduction by someone I know?"The writer recalls standing there, stunned. "The question cut through me like a serrated knife. When I hesitated (speechless) with an answer, Jim Brown turned and walked away."

The writer recalls standing there, stunned. "The question cut through me like a serrated knife. When I hesitated (speechless) with an answer, Jim Brown turned and walked away."The young communications professional retreated from the NFL legend's presence, to come back another day ... another year or two later, in fact.

The young communications professional retreated from the NFL legend's presence, to come back another day ... another year or two later, in fact.
"I've since learned from being in his midst for more than 20 years, that he is constantly approached by all sorts of people with half-baked schemes and propositions, and he doesn't have the time or inclination to indulge in speculative ventures," Glanton-Smith shares in the first chapter of his recently-released book that is available on Amazon. "Jim Brown would rather bruise egos than be distracted from the work he has dedicated time and treasure into for most of his adult life."In 1992, following riots, their paths crossed more frequently, especially after Glanton-Smith moved his operations from San Diego to Los Angeles, the base of Mr. Brown's Amer-I-Can, an organization designed to affect social change, i.e., get the gang members to lay down their weapons.

In 1992, following riots, their paths crossed more frequently, especially after Glanton-Smith moved his operations from San Diego to Los Angeles, the base of Mr. Brown's Amer-I-Can, an organization designed to affect social change, i.e., get the gang members to lay down their weapons.
"After several years of chance encounters with Jim Brown, I finally had a break-through, of sorts. I was working with (actor) Cuba Gooding on his autobiography, aptly titled "Everybody Plays A Fool Sometimes," and he and Jim were being honored at a community luncheon."That event was where Glanton-Smith heard Jim Brown's impression, as stated to actor Gooding.

That event was where Glanton-Smith heard Jim Brown's impression, as stated to actor Gooding."That's when I learned he said 'I talk too much,'" the communication professional penned. The writer's perseverance began to pay dividends, at least, the bridge to Mr. Brown had been crossed: "My take on that assessment, Mr. Jim Brown at least knew something about me."

"That's when I learned he said 'I talk too much,'" the communication professional penned. The writer's perseverance began to pay dividends, at least, the bridge to Mr. Brown had been crossed: "My take on that assessment, Mr. Jim Brown at least knew something about me."In the meantime, carnage and killings between L.A. gangs had exploded in the 1990s.

In the meantime, carnage and killings between L.A. gangs had exploded in the 1990s."By the late 1990s Southern California was conditioned to accept the rising ride of gang violence," Glanton-Smith noted. "Some of us found the mayhem incomprehensible - how could so many people be losing their lives in an undeclared war against their own race.

"By the late 1990s Southern California was conditioned to accept the rising ride of gang violence," Glanton-Smith noted. "Some of us found the mayhem incomprehensible - how could so many people be losing their lives in an undeclared war against their own race."Despite a gang truce that was formulated in the living room of Jim Brown's home, the senseless carnage had spread like a malignant cancer, into more and more impoverished pockets of the region," Glanton-Smith wrote in his book.

"Despite a gang truce that was formulated in the living room of Jim Brown's home, the senseless carnage had spread like a malignant cancer, into more and more impoverished pockets of the region," Glanton-Smith wrote in his book.Since the 1990s, gang violence has permeated throughout the nation.

Since the 1990s, gang violence has permeated throughout the nation.
"Five years ago, I found out my 13-year-old great nephew was claiming gang affiliation in my hometown of Murfreesboro," Glanton-Smith chronicles in his book. "There had been an outbreak of gang violence there that claimed several lives, and paralyzed the community (Black Bottom) that I grew up in."When he asked for "time off" from his journalism duties for Amer-I-Can, Jim Brown allowed it, but with a warning: "I wanted to return home, do my own investigation, but Jim warned I was running the risk of dealing with the situation from an emotional place that would lead to disappointment."

When he asked for "time off" from his journalism duties for Amer-I-Can, Jim Brown allowed it, but with a warning: "I wanted to return home, do my own investigation, but Jim warned I was running the risk of dealing with the situation from an emotional place that would lead to disappointment."
It's been written multiple times down through time that a person can never return home. Glanton-Smith got an understanding of this premise.
"Eventually, Jim traveled with me to Murfreesboro, and spent four days in Middle Tennessee raising funds to initiate a pilot program in my hometown. He spoke at the Tennessee State Legislature, met the governor, State Sen. Jim Tracy, and attempted to help (former Titans pro player) 'Pacman' Jones from self-destructing," Glanton-Smith traced back in time. "Ultimately, we established a small program at Oakland High School, but we were unsuccessful in obtaining long-term funding for the program."But the upshot of that experience, was Jim's willingness to support my passion for affecting social change in my hometown," Glanton-Smith shared. "People have varied opinions about Jim Brown, but I can bear witness that he is a friend to the underdog, a man of principle and compassion. His friendship and mentorship has enabled me and countless others to weather storms and find our way towards the responsibility of self-determination."

"But the upshot of that experience, was Jim's willingness to support my passion for affecting social change in my hometown," Glanton-Smith shared. "People have varied opinions about Jim Brown, but I can bear witness that he is a friend to the underdog, a man of principle and compassion. His friendship and mentorship has enabled me and countless others to weather storms and find our way towards the responsibility of self-determination."

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