BE Modern Man: Louis Macarthur
Mentor/Volunteer, 31, Actor/Model/Creative Director
Twitter: @LouisMacarthur_; Instagram: @louismacarthur
My focus for 2019 has been to give directly back to the Los Angeles communities with a goal of mentoring for impact. Two organizations that I volunteer with, Peggy Beatrice Foundation (Skid Row) and Engage The Vision (Inner-City LA), offer the opportunity to make an immediate impact every week. This is along with continuing my iLead mentoring series in my hometown of Cleveland, Tennessee—where I actively mentor high school athletes and help them pursue higher education and excel in the college admissions/recruiting process.
On Tuesdays, I am in downtown L.A. distributing and serving food, clothes, prayers, and love to hundreds of homeless individuals who make up the infamous Skid Row district. On Fridays, I am inside the inner-city elementary school—mentoring young boys ages 9-11. This is an interactive program that allows us to impart values of manhood that these young kids may not receive anywhere else. These minority youth all are from low-income households. An invaluable impact from being involved in these organizations has been the discovery of the influence I have as a black man. The power to enforce and make change lies in our ability to be of service. When integrity aligns with work ethic, your impact is inevitable. That’s what mentoring for impact is about.
WHAT ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF IN LIFE?
Aside from being a proud father to my talented daughter, Crimson, witnessing the reveal of “Dream” by German sculptor Julian Voss-Andreae was a dream come true! “Dream” is Quantum Sculpture created from an exact replica of my body and physical likeness; constructed in stainless steel. The eight-foot statue was presented at Miami Art Basel for the 2018 Edition of Art Miami | CONTEXT Art Miami.
HOW HAVE YOU TURNED STRUGGLE INTO SUCCESS?
My biological mom abandoned me as an infant due to her ongoing addiction to drugs. My dad was in and out of jail much of my childhood. I was labeled a “bad kid”—an active juvenile delinquent. Expelled from middle school. Sent to an alternative school. I dealt with anger issues surrounding my insecurities with abandonment and love. I was able to fake it enough to get through high school using sports and involvement [in activities] to mask my family issues. In college, I started visiting the sports psychologist; this is when I began to identify and heal—I took my hardships and fueled my passions. I begin to explore the world, traveling internationally, take creative, professional risks; life has been telling a beautiful story ever since.
WHO IS YOUR GREATEST MALE ROLE MODEL AND WHAT DID YOU LEARN FROM HIM?
One of my greatest male role models has been my dad. Growing up, I focused on his shortcomings, mishaps, and mistakes; I always molded my actions to do things opposite of how I viewed him. However, as I got into my 20s, I started to communicate with my dad about the problems I had with him. He talked back. We created a dynamic of a relationship that I needed to be the man I am destined to be. As a man with my own struggles, I was able to identify with his struggles; I embodied and admired his perseverance. Now I respect him for the journey and legacy he has established.
HOW ARE YOU PAYING IT FORWARD TO SUPPORT OTHER BLACK MALES?
Mentoring with impact means making it a point to stay active with young black males from middle school ages to undergraduate; more specifically, those with minority and/or low socioeconomic backgrounds. Using my personal experiences, I find it easy to relate and connect with inner passions—encouraging youth to take hardships to fuel their ambitions; focusing on education as an invaluable tool.
WHAT DO YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT BEING A BLACK MAN?
I embrace the power and presence of being a black man. The black man is one of the most sought after creatures on the face of this Earth. My energy can shift any environment I step into. I love the ability to demand respect without saying much. I enjoy that as a black man, I was created as a force to be reckoned with.
BE Modern Man is an online and social media campaign designed to celebrate black men making valuable contributions in every profession, industry, community and area of endeavor. Each year, we solicit nominations in order to select men of color for inclusion in the 100 Black Enterprise Modern Men of Distinction. Our goal is to recognize men who epitomize the BEMM credo “Extraordinary is our normal” in their day-to-day lives, presenting authentic examples of the typical black man rarely seen in mainstream media. The BE Modern Men of Distinction are celebrated annually at Black Men XCEL (www.blackenterprise.com/blackmenxcel/). Click this link to submit a nomination for BE Modern Man: https://blackenterprise.com/nominate/. Follow BE Modern Man on Twitter: @bemodernman and Instagram: @be_modernman.