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Karima, Starting Shit and Taking Names




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Black Excellence: Malcolm Mitchell

By Karima E. Rustin

Malcolm Mitchell, a 24-year-old rookie wide receiver for the New England Patriots, assisted New England in coming back from a 28-3 deficit to win the Super Bowl against the Atlanta Falcons, and take home the Vince Lombardi Trophy. While his teammates are reveling in their shared victory, Malcolm achieved another victory most people don’t know about. A victory he is more proud of than a Super Bowl ring.

Photo Courtesy of Books for Keeps

When Malcolm entered his freshman year at the University of Georgia in 2011, he could only read at a junior high school level. When he suffered an injury to his ACL, he made a decision to improve his reading, so while working through rehabilitation, he made sure he had a book in his hand. Completing his first trilogy, The Hunger Games, ignited a passion for reading, leading him eventually to join an all-women book club. He became one of its youngest members.

Most athletes want to build an impenetrable legacy based on physical prowess. What is most exciting about Malcolm’s story is that he wants to build a legacy to outlive his football career. For all the catches, yards, and touchdowns he will accomplish during his lifetime, Malcolm wants to ignite and excite the imaginations of young minds. He started a literacy foundation Read with Malcolm and has partnered with Share a Magic, a non-profit, to promote reading among students in Title 1 schools. Malcolm is an author as well. In 2015 he decided to self-publish a children’s book “The Magician’s Hat.” Hopefully the book is the first of many. I believe Malcolm’s story can inspire any young person to believe that it’s never too late to fundamentally change your life.