Spoken Word artist, heRo, praises father for success

He was born Roosevelt Wright III. Some people know him as Daddy Ro. Others, as Pastor Ro. Nationally he’s known as heRO.

He takes the stage as an exuberant poet, motivational speaker, actor, life coach, minister and singer. His talents and performances have being showcased on HBO, MTV, and in Ebony magazine.hero

“Everything that I am able to do well I learned from my dad,” he said.

His father, the Reverend Roosevelt Wright II, is an outspoken civil rights leader, playwright, and author in Monroe who, in 1969, founded the Monroe Free Press.

“To my father, a punch wasn’t something that knocks you down, it’s motivation to get back up and fight harder,” he said.

The talented senior Wright habitually creates opportunities when there none are available.

In fact, the first time his father asked heRO what he wanted to be when he grew up, Wright said he told his father he wanted to be a radio disc jokey, but he knew he would have to wait until he became older to begin pursuing that dream.

“(Dad) told me I don’t have to grow up to be on the radio, and he started an internship program for youth in the radio,” he said.

As a freshman in high school, he has given his first job in radio at the age of 14. He donned the name “Daddy Ro” on the airwaves and made local history as the youngest radio personality in Louisiana.

heRO said during his time in radio, he learned many lessons that extend beyond techniques of broadcasting.

“I learned how to talk to different types crowds, different age groups, and (it) taught me how to handle the responsibility that comes with having a platform to speak from,” said Wright.

Growing up as the son a prominent leader many would think heRO faced a pressure to follow in the footsteps of his father.

HeRo on Hey Girl set in NY

“Instead (dad) would ask us what did we want to be and what are we waiting for.” There were three things his father would not accept: ignorance, a disbelief in good, and disrespect for the law.

As a young adult, Wright said he went through a rebellious stage that included getting piercing, tattoos, dying his hair, and even pursuing a rap career.

Although his father didn’t encourage it, he never discouraged heRo’s individuality.

“Growing up, there was never a demand on us as children to do one specific thing or the other. He just wanted us to have a sense of confidence in our decisions and to have a reason for the choices we made,” said heRo.

Through staring in his plays and working in the radio, heRo discovered a passion for ministering to people from his father.

“Radio allowed me to be what I refer to as an ‘ambassador of the streets’,” said heRo. “I was able to meet with mayors, city councilmembers, and other decision makers to open doors many of my peers couldn’t,” he said.

A father of two young boys, Wright said the lasting lessons he learned from his father were centered on activism and humility. Wright recalled times growing up when his father would be a mentor to neighborhood children.

He provide them with whatever they needed even if it was a place to stay. He said his dad would assist the community however they needed it, in whatever way he could.

“He didn’t just tell us do these things; he is as a living example of the lessons he was teaching us. We watched it and lived it,” said Wright.

Now, he believes that greatest tool of activism is understanding that “we are all in this together. Nobody is greater than someone else, and if we can understand that, the world would be a better place to be.”

He said, “Categories and divisions have really created the lines between success and poverty. If I have food and you don’t, it should be my obligation to share it with you,” said Wright.

To continue his father’s legacy of giving back, heRO is Scoutmaster for Boy Scout Troop 504 in New Orleans and boardmember of the Pathways National School Board to help bring cultural arts into charter schools across America.

“There are generations of young men who have a lack of focus and attention that is because they came from a background lacking focus and attention. Because of this, these young men get involved in crime and other mischievous activities,” said Wright, who travels to schools and churches as a motivational speaker.

He formed Stronger Universe, a weekly motivation group session for young adults in New Orleans.
“We have to be active in our communities,” he said “Impact starts from the ground.”

“President Obama could send out a mandate, but the changes can’t be made unless people acknowledge them,” he said. To him, in order to change the negative aspects of younger generations is to lead by example.

“I had no desire to be a gangster or steal because that was not what a I grew up around. So it didn’t appeal to me. We need make sure we are instilling in these young men that this (negative lifestyle) isn’t a life they have to follow,” said Wright.

Author of six Spoken Word albums and three books–Tenacity, The Power of Possibility, and Rise Beyond Tolerance–, heRo’s faith and spirituality heavily influence his writings and performances.

“I might write a piece about relationships, and my next piece might be about real estate, but no matter what I write or what subject I write on, every piece I create is spiritually driven,” said Wright.

His wife of 10-years, Sandria, is his business partner and helps him organize his speaking engagements. Together, they offer marriage preparation counsel to many young couples and own Unboxed Possibilities Enterprise, the umbrella company of Innergy Magazine, Lady Allure jewelry, UBX Graphics and Websites, and the Stronger Universe Life Ministry.

He said he and Sandria are not held together by physical attraction but instead by purpose. “She knows her purpose in my life, and I know mine in hers,” he said. “Love is not good enough to hold a relationship; marriage is a spiritual engagement and sometimes younger couples need to be prepared for what they are entering into.”

Earlier this month, HeRO released his 6th studio album, “Matters of the Heart,” completed filming a role on HBO’s acclaimed series “Treme” that will air this summer for the fourth season. He also taped for MTV’s “Hey Girl” series in New York. In 2009, he was featured in Ebony Magazine as one of America’s Top 30 People on The Rise. He is also the youngest recipient of New Orleans’ Amistad Leadership Award. Last month, Reverbnation ranked heRO in the Top 20 Spoken Word Artists in the country.

With these accomplishments came opposition, but heRO said he is motivated by a quote from his father: “Anytime a wall has been placed in front of us, use your mind to get around it or even better to knock it down,” said Wright.

ONLINE: www.heRO44.com

By Cameron James
The Drum City News Manager

This article originally was published in The Drum May 2013 issue.

One Response to “Spoken Word artist, heRo, praises father for success”
  1. Christopher Turner says:

    Where can I find the May Drum, wasnt aware Taufeeq was on the cover.

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