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Tag: Perseverance

A Man of Many Talents: The Steve Harvey Story

(THE KIMBERLY JOY SHOW: Black History Month Tribute to Steve Harvey)

Steve Harvey, a man of many talents, is a comedian, actor, author, talk show host, game show host, radio personality…..just to name a few! Born Broderick Steven Harvey on January 17, 1957, in Welch, West Virginia, he is the youngest of five children to Jesse and Eloise Harvey. When Harvey was young, his family moved to Cleveland, Ohio. In 1974, he graduated from Glenville High School and enrolled in college where he became a lifetime member of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, a historically black fraternity founded in 1911 at Howard University.

After leaving college, Harvey worked a number of jobs, mainly as a salesman. As a matter of fact, he was selling insurance when he finally decided to pursue his true passion of being a stand up comedian after winning an amateur night contest at a local comedy club in 1985. For the next several years, Harvey performed in small clubs to hone his craft as a comedian. This time in his life was going to either make him or break him. Harvey told People Magazine, that after splitting from his wife and sending the majority of his paychecks home to his children, “one or two gigs fell through, and suddenly I was homeless.”

While working a gig, he had the luxury of staying in a hotel, but once that particular gig was over, he was back to sleeping in his 1976 Ford Tempo. He kept an Igloo cooler in the backseat to use as his refrigerator and washed up in hotel bathrooms, gas stations or swimming pool showers. This went on for three years! Some probably wondered, “Why would he go through all that for a dream?!” He was finally doing something he loved and believed he was created by God to do.

Because Harvey persevered, even when he sometimes felt like giving up, he received the break he had been waiting for. He was invited to perform at the legendary Apollo Theater in Harlem, New York. Fortunately, that wasn’t the last time he was going to hit the Apollo stage. In 1993, he took over as host of Showtime at the Apollo.

That was the first time I remember laying eyes on Steve Harvey. My first thought was, “That man looks like Richard Pryor!” As a stand-up comic, Harvey also made television appearances on the Johnnie Walker National Comedy Search and on HBO’s Def Comedy Jam.

Harvey soon ventured into acting. He starred in his first sitcom entitled Me and the Boys, in which he played a widower and father of three sons. Though the show won high ratings, it only lasted one season. However, being the fighter and hustler he is, Harvey didn’t let that discourage him. In 1996, he was given another opportunity to star in a TV series The Steve Harvey Show which attracted a large audience.

When I discovered the show, I immediately fell in love with the characters. Even now I enjoy watching the reruns. On the show, Harvey portrayed a former professional musician who becomes a music teacher at a Chicago high school. The series also starred Cedric the Entertainer who is one of Harvey’s real life close friends.

Harvey has also performed on the big screen in movies like The Fighting Temptations, You Got Served, and Johnson Family Vacation. His most popular movie is Spike Lee’s documentary, The Original Kings of Comedy, which captured the highlights of a two-night comedy show in North Carolina. The documentary, which included Harvey as the emcee, Cedric the Entertainer, D.L. Hughley, and Bernie Mac, earned more than $38 million at the box office. In fact, The Kings of Comedy Tour, which inspired Lee’s documentary, became the highest-grossing comedy tour ever to date in the United States.

Today, Harvey is host of such shows as Family Feud, Celebrity Family Feud, Steve, which is his own TV talk-show based in Los Angeles, and The Steve Harvey Morning Show, which is his nationally syndicated daily talk radio show. Harvey is also a best-selling author of the books Act like a Lady, Think like a Man; Straight Talk, No Chaser; Act like a Success, Think like a Success and his most recent book entitled Jump.

In 2010, Harvey and his wife Marjorie founded the Steve & Marjorie Harvey Foundation. Through the foundation, they have developed mentoring camps for boys and girls. The Steve Harvey Mentoring Camp for Young Men is “an interactive program that includes a host of workshops which focus on manhood, personal responsibility, dream building and the importance of nutrition and physical fitness.

In addition, the participants are introduced to positive male role models who are leaders in various areas, including business, their communities, entertainment and the military.”

The Girls Who Rule the World Mentoring Camp is “an interactive program that includes leadership comprised of trusted business women and community leaders who provide wisdom & resources that will help guide girls through the importance of financial literacy, balanced nutrition, proper etiquette, positive self-esteem and professional and educational development.”

A family man, as well, Harvery is married to Marjorie Bridges Harvey. Together they have a blended family of seven children: daughters, Brandi, Karli, Morgan and Lori and sons Broderick Jr., Jason and Wynton.

I share the story of Steve Harvey because it speaks to the importance of perseverance. What is perseverance? Perseverance is “steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success.” When God gives you a dream, you don’t stop and give up just because things look bleak. Understand that in the process, God is preparing you for success. Habakkuk 2:3 (The Living Bible) says:

“But these things I plan won’t happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, do not despair, for these things will surely come to pass. Just be patient…..”

To learn more about Steve Harvey, you may go to:

If you haven’t accepted Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, you can do so right now. I then encourage you to find a good Bible-believing church that will help you grow in your relationship with the Lord.

Romans 10:9 (NIV) says, “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”

Please pray the following prayer:

Dear Jesus, I come to You confessing I am a sinner in need of a Savior. I believe You shed Your blood on the cross and died for my sins, were buried and rose again so I could be free! Please forgive me for my sins and the life I have lived. I confess You Jesus as Lord and accept You as my own personal Savior. According to the Word of God, I am now saved! Hallelujah! I AM FREE!


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Hill Harper: A Man of Perseverance

In honor of Black History Month, I want to recognize acclaimed actor Hill Harper, a man of perseverance. As an actress who uses her gift to inspire others, I truly admire his acting ability. I especially admire his dedication, determination and diligence. Because of his solid work ethic, he is not only an actor, but an author and motivational speaker, who has impacted many lives, particularly those of young African-American men.

Hill Harper was born Frank Harper on May 17, 1966, in Iowa City, Iowa. His father Harry Harper was a psychiatrist. His mother Marilyn Hill was one of the first black anesthesiologists in the country.

Harper began acting when he was only seven years old. Although he didn’t pursue a college degree in drama or theater, he still continued acting while he was in college. As a college student, he became a member of the Boston’s Black Folks Theater Company.

Harper has always been very intelligent, driven and hard working. He graduated magna cum laude from Brown University. Later, he graduated cum laude from Harvard University. He also received a master’s degree in public administration from Kennedy School of Government, which is a part of Harvard University. In fact, while he was at Harvard, he met Barack Obama, who was also a college student at the time.

After Harper graduated from college, he decided to pursue acting as a career. He was fortunate to have his television debut on the hit TV sitcom Married…With Children.

When Harper was featured on Unsung Hollywood on TVOne, he admitted that he walked away from Married With Children to audition for a movie role he really wanted. Unfortunately, he didn’t get the role. So, at that point, he was out of a job.

Harper shared how horrible he felt when he found himself out of work. However, as I mentioned in the blog post “Young and Fearless: The Mae Faggs-Starr Story,” sometimes you have to take risks while pursuing your dreams. Harper really believed in that particular movie and wanted to be a part of it. So, he took a risk. Even though he found himself without an acting job, he dried his eyes and continued PERSEVERING. Harper understood that getting turned down for that particular role didn’t mean he wasn’t a good actor or that acting wasn’t his calling. It just wasn’t the role for him.


As children of God, we have to have that same mindset. We must realize that sometimes people are going to say no. Nevertheless, being rejected by some people is no excuse to give up on the promises of God. II Corinthians 1:20 lets us know that all the promises of God are yes and amen. Moreover, because Harper continued PERSEVERING, he eventually landed a movie role that left a lasting impression. He was privileged to be in Spike Lee’s movie Get on the Bus.

In the movie, he portrays Xavier, a film student who does a documentary on the Million Man March.

One of THEE best films I have ever seen Hill Harper in is called The Visit. It stars Marla Gibbs, Phylicia Rashad and Billy Dee Williams.
When I saw this particular movie, I knew then that Harper was an actor to be admired. I had never seen him in a role like this before. He truly transformed into that character. In the movie, Harper portrays a prisoner who may have been convicted of a crime he didn’t commit. During the movie, we find out that he has AIDS and that he wants to reconnect with his family, especially his father, before he dies.

Harper did such an excellent job that he won the Audience Award at the Urbanworld Film Festival. He says that he chose that particular role because it was a RISK.

Being a risk-taker is one of the things I admire about Hill Harper. He likes to challenge himself. He doesn’t restrict himself to the same type of characters. And as far as I’m concerned, he is an underrated actor. After seeing several of his projects, I personally believe he can play any role he’s given.

In 2004, Harper joined the cast of CSI:NY. This television drama focuses on a group of forensic detectives and staff who work in a crime laboratory in New York. Harper portrays Dr. Sheldon Hawkes, a chief medical examiner.

Some of Hill Harper’s other projects include: Steel, The Nephew, Park Day, He Got Game, For Colored Girls and 1982. In addition to the Audience Award, Harper has also received the Emerging Artist Award from the Chicago International Film Festival and three Image Awards from the NAACP.

Besides being a successful actor, Hill Harper is a writer and motivational speaker. In 2006, he published a book entitled Letters to a Young Brother: MANifest Your Destiny. He wrote the book to inspire young African-American men. The book is a collection of inspirational messages on various topics. In addition to writing the book, Harper founded the MANifest Your Destiny Foundation. It is a nonprofit organization which helps fund programs for under-served youth. The foundation’s mission is “to provide under-served youth a path to empowerment and educational excellence through mentoring, academic enrichment programming, college access skills obtainment and the facilitation of psycho-social and physical development strategies.”

I share the story of Hill Harper because, for one, I admire his acting skills. Although I haven’t acted professionally, whenever I perform in a skit or community play, I want whatever character I portray to be real to the audience. So, I’m always gleaning from other actors, like Harper. I also admire his hard work, determination and willingness to take chances and try something new. As I mentioned previously, when Harper found himself without an acting gig, he didn’t give up on his dreams. He didn’t resort to doing something he didn’t really want to do when things got hard. I’m sure he felt discouraged—-he’s human! BUT, he didn’t yield to those negative emotions. He kept his eyes on the prize and kept pushing.

I want to encourage you to do the same! Just because you’ve been rejected and told no, doesn’t mean you should give up on the promises of God. It just means you have to work a little harder. You just have to be a little more patient. Philippians 3:13-14 are two scriptures that have encouraged me so many times.

13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,

14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

As a child of God, as a believer in Christ Jesus, there is nothing you can’t do! You just have to forget the past, forget your past mistakes, forget past rejection, have faith in God and MOVE FORWARD!!!


(“The Kimberly Joy Show: Honoring Hill Harper for Black History Month”)

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