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Dr. Randal Pinkett
September 2014

Elevate your game

Dear Friends:

As we continue our focus on “awareness months," or months during which causes are championed and events celebrated, we highlight Self-Awareness Month and Self-Improvement Month. In this issue, we recognize the accomplishments of Alain LeRoy Locke who unequivocally blazed the trail for me as an African American Rhodes Scholar and set the standard for my journey to self-awareness and self-improvement.  On September 13, 2014, I had the honor and privilege of attending an interment ceremony for Locke, the first African American Rhodes Scholar.

Born September 13, 1885, in Philadelphia, PA, Locke was a writer, philosopher, educator, and patron of the arts. Distinguished as the first African American Rhodes Scholar in 1907 and the acknowledged "Dean" of the Harlem Renaissance, Locke graduated from Harvard University and was a member of the Phi Beta Kappa Society. After graduation, he was the first African American selected as a Rhodes Scholar and was the last to be selected until 1960! As of today, there are approximately 80 African-American Rhodes Scholars in history, including yours truly. Elected as a Rhodes Scholar in 1994, I studied for a master's degree in computer science at Keble College, Oxford University, from 1994 to 1996. My classmates were Trina Williams, Munro Richardson, Nima Warfield (the first African American Rhodes Scholar from a historically black college or university, namely, Morehouse College), and Andre Namphy. We could have never achieved such an honor without the courage and determination Locke displayed as he paved the way for me and many other African Americans who followed. Even after his election as a Rhodes Scholar, he continued to face challenges. On arriving at Oxford, Locke was denied admission to several colleges because of his race but was finally admitted to Hertford College where he studied literature, philosophy, Greek, and Latin. Locke believed that the primary aim and obligation of a Rhodes Scholar is to continue the Rhodes mission of international understanding throughout life and in his own country.

In 2007, George R. Keys, Jr., an attorney and a member of the Association of American Rhodes Scholars (AARS), announced that the AARS had conceived and planned a symposium in conjunction with Howard University on the centenary of the election of Alain LeRoy Locke as a Rhodes Scholar. An unexpected outcome of the research was learning that Locke’s cremated remains were still in the custody of the University. Convinced that it was their duty to arrange a proper interment for the late scholar, AARS purchased a burial plot and commissioned a memorial headstone to honor its distinguished predecessor. On September 13, 2014, Locke was interred at Congressional Cemetery in Washington, DC on September 13, 2014. His tombstone reads:

“Alain LeRoy Locke was laid to rest on September 13, 2014, at the 
Congressional Cemetery in Washington, DC, 60 years after his death.”

Locke’s influence as a prominent figure in American culture was so aptly honored that day in September, and I am truly blessed to have been a part of such an important moment in history.

Peace and blessings,



Randal Pinkett Talks CEO Strategy and Success via From the Corner Office Chat


Miranda's invitation to the White House recommended by Randal Pinkett of BCT Partners


TV Shows That Changed the Game

Books That Inspired Black Faces in White Places

Photos That Changed the Game
Music That Inspired Black Faces in White Places

Quotes That Inspired Black Faces in White Places

Movies That Changed the Game

Did your inspiration make the list? Talk to us by leaving a comment







Learn more about my management and technology consulting firm, BCT Partners.

Alain LeRoy Locke: Father of the Harlem Renaissance

Known as the "Father of the Harlem Renaissance" Locke promoted African-American artists and writers, encouraging them to look to Africa for artistic inspiration. With much of his writing focused on African and African-American identity, Locke’s first measure of national repute came when he edited the anthology, The New Negro, first published in 1925, in which he fostered the literary and artistic careers of several important African-American cultural figures, including author Zora Neale Hurston. As groundbreaking as The New Negro turned out to be (many credit it with launching the Harlem Renaissance), Locke went on for the next two decades writing essays on an impressive range of subjects. As a result, many influential African-Americans have repeatedly referenced Locke, including the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., when he proclaimed on March 19, 1968, "We're going to let our children know that the only philosophers that lived were not Plato and Aristotle, but that W. E. B. Du Bois and Alain Locke came through the universe." 

Please take a few moments to enjoy this short tribute video in honor of Alain LeRoy Locke.

Watch Video

Randal with fellow Rhodes Scholar and former Baltimore Mayor Kurt Schmoke   Randal with fellow Rhodes Scholar and author Wes Moore   Randal delivering the keynote at the 2014 MDEAT Economic Development Summit

About The American Association of Rhodes Scholars 

Since 1928, The American Association of Rhodes Scholars (AARS) has served American Rhodes Scholars and facilitated building connections, sharing experiences and extending perspectives. The Rhodes Scholarship, named after Cecil John Rhodes, is an international postgraduate award for selected students to study at Oxford University. Established in 1902, it was the first large-scale program of international scholarships and is widely considered the world's most prestigious scholarship. Rhodes' legacy specified four standards by which applicants were to be judged: literary and scholastic attainments; energy to use one's talents to the fullest; truth, courage, devotion to duty; and moral force of character and instincts to lead. For more than a century, Rhodes scholars have left Oxford with countless opportunities available to them. Many of them have overwhelmingly chosen paths in scholarship, teaching, writing, medicine, scientific research, law, the military, and public service and have reached the highest levels in virtually every field.

Notable Black Rhodes Scholars include U.S. Senator Cory Booker; Former NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Jealous; U.S. National Security Advisor Dr. Susan Rice; Former Fannie Mae CEO Franklin Raines; Former Mayor of Baltimore Kurt Schmoke; Author of The Other Wes Moore, Wes Moore; and former NFL player Myron Rolle.

For a complete list of notable Rhodes Scholars, click here.

To learn more about AARS, visit www.americanrhodes.org.


Black Faces in White Places
Black Faces in White Places: 10 Game-Changing Strategies to Achieve Success and Find Greatness offers ten revolutionary strategies for learning, playing, and changing "the game"--that is, the world in which we all live and work--for the current generation, while undertaking a wholesale redefinition of the rules for those who will follow. It is not only about shattering the old "glass ceiling," but also about reconsidering the four dimensions of the black experience: identity, society, meritocracy, and opportunity. Ultimately, it may be about changing the very concept of success itself.

Available: Now
Buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

No-Money Down CEO
No-Money Down CEO: How to Start Your Dream Business with Little or No Cash explodes the myth that you have to have a lot of money or need an outside investor to pursue your dream. This action-learning, audio business course offers a comprehensive step-by-step plan for launching your business with little to no cash. Listen as Randal offers insider's tips, tools and techniques that will put you on the fast track to becoming a successful CEO.

Buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Campus CEO
Campus CEO: The Student Entrepreneurs Guide to Launching a Multimillion-Dollar Business walks any would-be entrepreneur through all the necessary steps to launching a profitable, campus-based business, while simultaneously achieving academic success. Regardless of major, background, or area of interest, readers of Campus CEO will learn how to turn their academic and professional dreams into reality.

Buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble


Dr. Randal Pinkett has established himself as an entrepreneur, speaker, writer, scholar and community servant. He is the Co-Founder, Chairman and CEO of BCT Partners, a multimillion-dollar management, technology and policy-consulting firm based in Newark, NJ. A sought after public speaker and advocate for numerous corporate, youth and community groups, Dr. Pinkett is the author of Campus CEO: The Student Entrepreneur's Guide To Launching a Multimillion-Dollar Business and No-Money Down CEO: How to Start Your Dream Business with Little or No Cash. Notably, Dr. Pinkett made history as the first African-American ever to receive a Rhodes Scholarship at Rutgers University and firmly believes in the mantra "for those to whom much is given, much is expected."

The "Elevate Your Game" monthly e-Newsletter is published by Dr. Randal Pinkett. Copyright (c) 2012 Randal Pinkett, LLC. All rights reserved. For further information, visit us at www.randalpinkett.com. For speaking engagements and appearances inquiries, please contact Mrs. Michon Barnes at 678.637.5064 or mbarnes@bctpartners.com.

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