EP. 133 Nobody ever taught me how to be human. They taught me how to be a warrior, they taught me how to be a gladiator, they taught me how to not cry, they taught me how to hurt people. It taught me a lot of stuff in my life. Nobody ever taught me how to be human.
Like you, we’ve been moved and enraged by the racism and brutality experienced by our Black brothers and sisters. To show our support and solidarity with Black America, we’re committed to sharing their voices and stories with you. To kick-start this effort, we’re replaying one of our most popular interviews.
This conversation with Andre Norman first aired in 2019. It’s an incredible story of beating the odds and the system to create extraordinary impact.
The US has one of the largest prison populations in the world with around 1 in 100 Americans in jail. According to 2014 NAACP statistics, African Americans accounted for a disproportionate 34% of the total prison population. It’s a shocking fact that the Black community is incarcerated at more than 5 times the rate of whites.
Andre Norman was one of those statistics.
Rewind two decades and not only was Andre serving a 100-year prison sentence, he also ran all the gang activity in the prison. You could say jail was his destiny. As a kid, he felt unwanted and with the system against him too, Andre never saw his potential. Seeing no other option, Andre followed a life fuelled by drugs, alcohol, depression, self-harming, and ultimately crime.
Prison is supposed to be a correctional facility, but most prisoners aren’t ‘corrected’. Prison rarely changes people at a core level. Instead, it compounds their anger, frustration, and trauma, which is what makes Andre’s story of transformation and learning how to be human so remarkable.
Andre was freed after serving 14 years inside and his life today couldn’t be more different. He’s now on a mission to teach individuals and corporations how to turn any situation around and his innovative strategies against gang activity have helped tackle inmate violence and improve correctional facilities across the U.S.
So tune in now and hear us talk about:
- The conditions that led to Andre’s incarceration
- How gratitude for rock bottom experiences helps you walk the extraordinary path through life
- The real definition of freedom – and why most people aren’t as free as they think
- Why you need to take small steps today to actualize the person you want to be in the future
- The insanely valuable lessons he’d teach his 26-year-old self
- Why Andre believes his curses allow him to help people
- The only way to fail
- Andre’s prison program and how it’s changing lives
- And more…
Andre overcame everything from poverty to drugs to prison. He’s now an international speaker and a Harvard Fellow – proof that the odds are always beatable.