Emmanuel students at David Horne's workshop Marathon Man'tality

The Marathon Man'tality: How David Horne's Engaging Workshop is Uplifting Men of Color

On March 1st, Emmanuel College welcomed David Horne, also known as Detonator, to present The Marathon Man’tality, a workshop focused on uplifting men of color on campus. This event was hosted by the EC Programming Team, the Emmanuel College Center for Diversity and Inclusion and B.O.N.D. As a hip hop artist, mechanical engineer, entrepreneur and in-demand speaker, Horne is highly accomplished and passionate about sharing his wisdom with others. This workshop covered professional development, mental health, personal branding, barbershop talk and cypher, which is a group of people rapping and freestyling together. 

At the conclusion of the workshop, Her Campus at Emmanuel sat down with Horne to discuss his mission to uplift men of color and how he developed The Marathon Man’tality. Read on to learn more about how he combined his passions to create this powerful and comprehensive workshop. 

Her Campus at Emmanuel: You are accomplished in a variety of fields. Can you talk about some of the work you do?

David Horne: So for my actual day job, I’m a mechanical engineer. That’s one of the hats that I wear. On top of that, I’m also a rapper, an empowerment speaker and a real estate investor, so I do a little bit of everything.

HCE: What was your journey like for developing these skills and interests?

DH: I started off with music dreams and they kind of evolved into what I’m doing today. I started off strictly just rapping. I was performing at different venues throughout the country, basically independently touring. Then it morphed into me mixing rap/hip hop with motivational speaking, so I was going around to different colleges morphing the two. Now it’s kind of evolved into something bigger where I’m speaking to students about putting their resumes together, how to get the right jobs, how to use those day jobs as a leaping point to invest in their actual daydreams. So that’s kind of how it morphed to where we are now.

HCE: What made you want to become a speaker for events like the one held today?

DH: Something very important to me is representation in general so I wanted to make sure at an event like this young black men had a voice and also an outlet, just a safe space where they could discuss issues that affect them and be able to speak on those things openly and  have that camaraderie to feel like “ok somebody understands.” That’s kind of where this event came about.

Emmanuel students at David Horne's workshop Marathon Man'tality

Emmanuel students working on raps to perform at the end of the workshop.

HCE: The workshop today focused on professional development, mental health, personal branding, barbershop talk and a cypher. Can you go into detail about some of the main points and activities from today?

DH: Yeah, absolutely. So like we said, in the beginning we started off with how to get to a good place professionally. How do we put our resume together in the right way? How do we guarantee that we are going to get a good interview? How do we work on getting, salaries that we feel like we deserve? How do we negotiate? Those are things that we don’t often necessarily learn in school. We kind of go off into the real world and have to figure it out. I wanted to use my 11 years of experience in the professional world to give back some of that knowledge. We moved on to speaking out about developing goals, how we actually come up with what I call smart goals, which is an acronym basically to come up with real goals that we’ll stick to as opposed to new years resolutions that tend to just fall off. From there I told my story. I called it the three point play where I spoke about finding my passion, discovering my true purpose and understanding how to make a paycheck out of that, how to get paid to do the things you actually love and enjoy doing. Finally, we did the freestyle cypher. Freestyle is a big part of hip hop culture, so it was taking the gems that we learned today and helping students remember it, but in a fun way. Now they have a song and a video that goes along with it that they’ve put together, a rap of all the gems and key takeaways they learned today. It just makes it that much easier to remember and that much more effective.

HCE: The focus of this workshop was uplifting men of color on Emmanuel’s campus. For students, particularly men of color, who weren’t able to attend, what advice would you like to share?

DH: My biggest advice is mind your own business. Now it sounds initially like, “what do you mean mind my own business?” But what it really means is just mind the business that belongs to you. Each of us are talented in our own ways, I feel like everybody who was here and the people who weren’t here have very unique talents that make them themselves. Figure out how to use those talents to own something of your own in terms of your own business and again, take all of the skills you’ve learned in school to go get a good job. That’s your starting point that’s going to give you that salary you can use to invest in the things that truly fulfill you in your passion and purpose.

HCE: Of course uplifting men of color is extremely important. In your words, why is this important to you, especially in predominantly white spaces?

DH: That’s extremely important to me. Representation is so important because if I don’t see somebody who looks like me, who is successful in a certain field, it’s going to be that much more difficult for me to see myself successful in that field. If I’m growing up in a neighborhood where everybody’s not a doctor or a lawyer, and most of the time it’s because they don’t have the same opportunities, it’s important to level the playing field in the sense that everybody has the same exact opportunities to be great at the things they’re supposed to be great at. You can understand that if somebody doesn’t have the same head start it can be difficult to play catch up. That’s why that’s so important to me in terms of men of color having a safe space where they can discuss the issues that affect us and just knowing that we’ll be ok. Knowing that we have each other and at the same time understanding how we all interact together to make a better place we can all exist in. 

We thank David Horne for sharing his expertise with the Emmanuel community and for speaking with Her Campus at Emmanuel. If you would like to learn more about his work, you can follow him on Instagram at @detonator.ig. 

This interview was edited for length and clarity.