Name: Joshua Antwon Leonard
Profession: Animator/Creator of Team Supreme Cartoon
One Word That Describes You: Tenacious
What does being one of the BEMM 100 Men of Distinction mean to you?
This means a whole lot to me because I have known about these features for a while. I am extremely humbled to be recognized.
What are some examples of how you turned struggle into success?
Well, I am a Hurricane Katrina survivor. Like many others, I was left homeless due to this storm in 2005. In 2008, my best friend Brent Jackson was murdered, so I just use these small setbacks as motivation and drive. I do feel like I have a hunger like no other. I will not give up.
What is an important quality you look for in your relationships with others?
An important quality I look for in my relationships with others is their integrity. I believe integrity goes a long way.
What are some immediate projects you are working on?
I am currently in the development stage of my upcoming cartoon, “Team Supreme,” which is about a group of pint-sized kids with special needs but who are also blessed with superpowers. My goal is to create a pilot episode to pitch to Netflix or a network.
What is the best advice you ever received?
The best advice I ever received is from my Pops. He told me to “Be humble, or be humbled.”
What is some advice you have for other men who want to make a difference?
Some advice I have for other men who want to make a difference is to write down ideas, goals, and act on them. It may not be easy, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t impossible. Go after it, and remain humble.
How do you prep for an important business meeting and/or event?
I prep for an important meeting or event by saying a prayer, because I’ll probably be nervous either way, lol!
As a busy Modern Man, how do you unwind on vacation? Share a story about your best vacation.
As a busy Modern man, I unwind by watching movies. I truly enjoy watching and studying movies. I like to learn as much as I can so I can apply what I learn to my own project. I’m a military brat, so I’ve done a lot of moving and traveling, but as far as winding down, movies, music, or a book.
If you could travel and stay anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
If I could travel and stay anywhere in the world, I’d like to go to Ghana. I know how beautiful Africa is, and I have friends from there who tell me how amazing it is.
What is your “Extraordinary Impact”?
My extraordinary impact is me being a black animator in an industry that is less than 3% black, and really pushing the button on inclusion and diversity. I am passionate about both, which is why I wanted to create a cartoon so out of the box that it included every type of person, including my main character that is black and has autism. Each one of my heroes has a specific need and come in all shapes, races, and sizes. I truly feel that the world needs more diversity and inclusion to be a better place.
Anything else you’d like to say?
I’d like to say thank you for this amazing opportunity to tell my story, and thank you for listening.
It’s our normal to be extraordinary. Follow @BEModernMan and join the conversation using #BEModernMan.
Come celebrate the BE Modern Man 100 Men of Distinction at the 2nd Annual Black Men XCEL, Aug. 29 – Sept. 2, 2018, at PGA National Resort & Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.