Brotha Magazine’s MEN OF THE YEAR | 2017
April 04

Brotha Magazine’s MEN OF THE YEAR | 2017

With so many Brothas doing extraordinary work in various sectors of our community, this list was difficult to decide on and we know we left some people out. Each of the nine listed have a common thread (whether in politics, media, law, theater, investment, literacy, or the pulpit) are using their voice to do what we strive to do everyday here at BROTHAONLINE.COM: To ENCOURAGE, To EDUCATE, To INSPIRE. And in this atmosphere of divisiveness, chaos, and uncertainty these men are using their platforms to always uplift our community.


Dr. Matthew L. Brown is a native of Buffalo, New York. He is an anointed teacher, exceptional administrator, author and gifted motivational speaker. In 2011, he was appointed as the Senior Pastor of Greater Community Church of God in Christ (GCC) where he has reinvigorated the church and focused on “Bringing Kingdom to Community.” Dr. Brown’s passion is to create a modern 21st century Acts Chapter 2 church with a missional focus deeply rooted in his belief in relational theology.

 A proven leader with a vibrant personality, Pastor Brown motivates ministries and collaborates with community stakeholders to achieve benefit for others. He has proven his exceptional skills as a leader through the implementation and administration of strategic ministry and community initiatives.


Ian Dunlap is the founder of hyperacceleration, is known for his standout advice. Born in East Chicago, Indiana, the father and entrepreneur is a graduate of Indiana University Bloomington. He is a former marketing executive whose past clients include Chevron, Eastern Bank Limited and Reebok, and a fund manager that specializes in a new type of investing.

“When I began investing I noticed that almost everything that we, the public, had ever been told about investing is wrong and doesn’t work,” said Dunlap. “Theory is one thing, but I quickly realized that a lot of these ‘lessons’ caused me to lose money so I began quickly writing down every insight that I had about the market every day. I know work with clients who are seeking ‘hyperaccelerated’ growth in the market.”


Lamar Giles writes novels and short stories for teens and adults. He is the author of the 2015 Edgar® Award Nominee FAKE ID, a second YA thriller ENDANGERED, a third, currently untitled YA novel from HarperCollins, as well as his current YA novel OVERTURNED from Scholastic Press. Lamar Giles is a founding member of We Need Diverse Books. 

Lamar speaks and has taught at a number of middle schools, high schools, and for prestigious conferences and organizations like Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, Virginia Children’s Book Festival, BookExpo America, and his work has been featured on NPR, CNN, Publishers Weekly, Kirkus Reviews, Flavorwire, Mother Nature Network, etc.

He resides in Virginia with his wife.


Judge Carlos E. Moore, a Moss Point, MS He is the Managing Partner of Tucker Moore Group LLP.  Licensed to practice in Mississippi and Tennessee courts as well as before the United States Supreme Court, Moore is very active in several bar associations. He is also a certified member of The Million Dollar Advocates Forum and a former Mississippi Bar Commissioner. Most recently, Moore was selected to be featured in the second edition of Who’s Who in Black Mississippi and named a Top 100 Trial Attorney by The National Trial Lawyers. 

Moore is also active in Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. and is a graduate of Leadership Grenada and Leadership Mississippi. He most recently served as Vice President of the National Bar Association and on July 10, 2017 he was appointed the first African-American Municipal Court Judge Pro Tem for the City of Clarksdale.


David Merritt was born on February 26th, 1986 in Detroit, Michigan. He grew up in West Bloomfield, MI and attended West Bloomfield High School, where he graduated with academic honors and was an All-State basketball player. Merritt then accepted an academic scholarship to the University of Michigan, and later was selected as a walk-on to the Men’s Basketball team in 2006. During his last year in 2008-2009, he served as a Captain, and Michigan reached the NCAA Tournament for the first time in eleven years. Merritt graduated from the University of Michigan with a Bachelors degree in Sports Management and also served as a Radio Color Commentator for the Michigan IMG Sports Network from 2009-2013.

Since his time at Michigan, Merritt recently launched a cause-based fashion brand and storefront called Merit. Every Merit purchase shapes the fate of students in need and helps send them to college (20% of all purchases fund college scholarships for youth in Detroit). But it’s more than just clothing – Merit possesses a militant desire to level the educational playing field, and to ignite youth with a fire for learning and higher education. Its very own education program, FATE, is partnered with the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy in the city of Detroit, preparing underserved youth to embrace their education and become world-class citizens.The Merit storefront features fresh tees, hats, and select cut-n-sew styles that will immediately upgrade any closet. It’s located at 1113 South University right in the heart of the University of Michigan campus.


Eddie Melton was elected as State Senator for Indiana’s 3rd District on November 8, 2016. Melton serves as the Ranking Minority Member on the Senate Education Committee and the Natural Resources Committee.

In addition to serving in the Indiana General Assembly, Melton serves as the manager of Corporate Citizen and Community Relations for Northern Indiana Public Service Company (NIPSCO). In this position, he leads the company’s corporate citizenship strategies and charitable giving.

Prior to joining NIPSCO, Melton worked as a grant officer for the Legacy Foundation, Lake County’s community foundation in Northwest Indiana. Melton has served as chairman of the Indiana Commission on the Social Status of Black Males, has served on the State Board of Education, representing the First Congressional District of Indiana and has also served as a national board member and Mid-west Regional Director for the American Association of Blacks in Energy (AABE).

Melton has been recognized with multiple awards and accolades, such as; the top “20 Under 40” young professionals in Northwest Indiana by The NWI Times Media Company (2010) and is a (2012) South Shore Leadership Award winner. Melton served as the national spokesperson for Brother 2 Brother Magazine and is a frequent columnist for the Gary/Chicago Crusader newspaper and The NWI Times.


Bakari Sellers was born and raised in Denmark, South Carolina. Bakari graduated from the South Carolina public school system, and then proceeded to Morehouse College. While at Morehouse, he was elected Student Government Association President and served on the College’s Board of Trustees.  He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in 2005. After Morehouse College, Bakari attended the University Of South Carolina School Of Law where he graduated in 2008.

Bakari is a Former South Carolina House of Representative, where he has represented the 90th District since 2006, and also a 2014 candidate for Lt. Governor of South Carolina. Attorney Bakari Sellers has been with the Strom Law Firm, L.L.C. in Columbia, SC since 2007.

Barkari Seller currently is a CNN political commentator & contributor speaking across the country speaking truth to power educating and empowering with his knowledge of politics and our history.  


Wallace Smith got his Broadway break playing the lead role of Simba in “Disney’s Lion King”, almost immediately afterwards landing roles in “Ragtime” and “American Idiot”. From there he jumped to the role of Judas in the Broadway revival of “Godspell”. Before landing the role of Apollo Creed’s manager in Broadway’s “Rocky: The Musical”, Wallace debuted in “White Noise” (Chicago), “The Last Goodbye” (San Diego’s Old Globe), and “Pippin” (Kansas City Rep).

Currently, Wallace is co-starring in the Chicago production of the hit musical “Hamilton”.  In 2017, he also co-starred in BET’S The New Edition Story.  

A triple threat, Wallace is also a singer/songwriter/recording artist.


Cyrus Webb started in 2003 on the radio dial in Mississippi, Conversations LIVE now has over 1 million listeners online and reaches over 250k households on the radio dial in the South and is a part of the iHeartRadio family. Conversations Magazine currently has over 15k print subscribers while Conversations Book Club has hosted hundreds of book events and author around the country.

Webb is also an award-winning visual and spoken word artist and has written and/or co-written a dozen books including WORDS I CHOOSE TO LIVE BY, WORDS THEY CHOOSE TO LIVE BY and the children’s books AJ and the Talent Show, The Story of Esco, Standria’s Big Dream, and others.  He has traveled across the country with his work, being recognized as a Top 300 Reviewer and one of the Top 100 hosts on

In 2017 Webb hosted and co-produced the project YAZOO LEGENDS IN RADIO which was presented by WYAD 94.1 FM,  Mississippi Humanities Council, Mississippi Endowment for the Humanities and Yazoo County CVB. In 2018 he is releasing his newest inspirational read POWER YOUR LIFE WITH THE POSITIVE published by Mango Publishing.