Dare to be Great: Rock Blackwell Goes Super Hero
When you think Superhero, your mind immediately goes to the usual: Super Man, Batman, if you like to keep things balanced, maybe even Wonder Woman pops up. But recently, people have been adding another name to that stock: Rock Blackwell. He doesn’t stop at boxing champ ladies and gents. Rock Blackwell is kicking butt and taking names at this role model thing and he can successfully add comic book superhero to his repertoire.
Growing up in what was at one point, the nations most dangerous city, the Baltimore native acknowledges the struggles of not having his father around, and the importance of having role models. “Kids need heroes and role models,” Blackwell says. “It plays a huge role in who they ultimately become. Boxing provided those heroes for me.” Blackwell has turned himself into one of those role models, becoming the people’s hero not only in his comic book, but in real life as well. As a motivational staple of his community, he shared that this series evolved because he “wanted to create a fun and easy way to inspire our youth, and to encourage our kids to make the right choices in life as well as to work hard to accomplish their dreams and goals.”
If you’re low on facts about this Jack of All Trades, you most certainly are aware of his contribution to the community, the youth in particular. Through the most recent edition of his comic book, “Hearing the Bell”, Rock, with no cape, no seemingly magical powers and just the power of his super strength mentally and physically, he teaches kids to tap into their own powers. “Allowing doubt to enter the equation is unacceptable,” says the muscle clad cartoon version of the WBU champion. After explaining the devotion it takes to commitment and focus and how those two things are the only way he continues to hear the sound of victory, he knocks out Mr. Doubt and Mr. Dream Killer with a 1-2 punch and he’s back to being the real life superhero we’re all growing to know and love. The message in this comic series is simple: dare to be great. As adults, we are well aware of the twists and turns that life likes to throw at us, usually around the time we’re thinking we’ve finally got the hang of things. Through these comic books, the youth is encouraged to believe the truth and to not be distracted by negativity. And the truth is, through hard work, focus, and practicing in making the right decisions, you can accomplish anything, even becoming a superhero for the next generation.
What appeals most about the comic book are the very realistic attributes of the superhero. There’s no smoke and mirrors. Even the cartoon version of Blackwell is the spitting image of the star, mimicking every nook and cranny of the boxing champs muscular physique. The words he speaks as a cartoon character, without question, send the same encouraging, triumphant message he sends when he goes to speak at the middle schools in his city, for example. This comic book brings about a sense of reality to something that can be so seemingly untouchable, all the while keeping that classic, comic book appeal. You could never be The Hulk if you wanted to, no matter how hard you tried. But with this superhero, Blackwell helps our youth understand that he only made it to superhero status by keeping a realistic eye on reaching obtainable goals. He works as hard as he does not so he can be the best ever, but so he can be his best, and not someone else’s. And if that’s not relatable then you can just keep on trying to anger yourself into that Green giant and let us know when you get there.
Blackwell once said, “Victories in the ring don’t make him a champion; service to the people does.” American history shows us that it’d be a pretty educated guess to say that at some point in time we’ve all admired, looked up to, or wanted to be some kind of superhero. But how many of us can say we had superheros like Rock Blackwell to look up to who taught us real stuff and made us believe we could actually BE like them? Praise most definitely goes out to Blackwell for adding this [comic book] notch to his belt. As a child, he found his heroes in the boxing world. Ironically, part of his legacy will be becoming that same superhero he looked up to, literally and figuratively.