Kenneth Bourne’s pursuit of peace and joy for Black boys and men began when he was a kid growing up in Southwest Philadelphia.
“I was never a person that could withstand any kind of mistreatment toward a human being around me at all,” he says.
As a teenager, he took the long way to and from school to avoid fights. In class, he battled to succeed in an institution wrought with instability. At university he faced overt racism. He also learned that police would stop and question him, presumably, he says, because he is Black.
“Personally, I find just being Black in America is beyond stressful,” he says. “I’m tired of fighting. I’m tired.” That exhaustion led to frustration and anger, which brought Bourne to mindfulness. He says deep breathing and meditation helps him get out of a stuck mindset and “comprehend the goal, the purpose, or the bigger picture of life.”
After graduating from Rutgers with a master’s degree in social work, he committed to helping others not have to fight so hard, to helping them heal and know their worth.
“To be an educated Black man in this country is to always be angry, in…