CHICAGO (CBS) — Former Chicago Bears tight end Martellus Bennett has turned the page after closing the book on his football career.
CBS 2’s Megan Mawicke reports on how Marty B. is writing the next chapter of his life, and inspiring the next generation.
Martellus Bennett, the former Bear and Super Bowl champion with the New England Patriots, read his book “Dear Black Boy” to 50 kids at the Woodson Library.
His mission is to encourage young African Americans to dream big through sports metaphors, but also for society to think differently about stereotypes.
“The way we have been programmed and conditioned to think about the black kid being an athlete,” said Bennett. “It’s like every young black boy people would see say ‘what sport do you play?’ instead of just asking ‘what do you do?’ ‘What are you interested in?'”
Martellus is usually really into his drawing and building characters full of detail. But “In Dear Black Boy,” there is no main character and no faces.
“I wanted this book to represent every black boy, every black man. So there are no faces on the character because when you see them, I want you to see yourself.”
This is Martellus’s third book by his Imagination Agency, a multimedia storytelling company in California.
“The next step for this book to really come to life is not about anything I make,” Bennett said. “It’s everything about the black boys who read it makes. So that’s the everlasting life of this. It’s about the next generation telling stories themselves.”
Despite recent buzz, Martellus said he is not coming out of retirement to play football again.
“I think this is more important for me. This is my life’s work. Football is just part of the journey,” Bennett said. “But now I get to actually do my life’s purpose and my life’s work which is making things and I’ve never been happier.”