I’m the very first African American to write a book about Solution Focused Brief Therapy. And I’ve written five. I’m the very first African American to publish an article about Solution Focused Brief Therapy, and I’ve done so in multiple journals. I’m the very first African American to do a keynote lecture at a conference related to Solution Focused Brief Therapy. I’m the very first African American to host a conference about Solution Focused Brief Therapy.

I’ve become the leading voice in this field with the largest following, and I run the largest training organization in this entire field. Now, I don’t say any of that to show off. I tell you that for a couple of reasons. Number one, because it’s just facts and it’s true. And we, we exist in a field where no organization’s gonna tell you that.

But here, right now, I’m gonna tell you that a black man has accomplished more in the field of Solution Focused Brief Therapy than anyone ever has before. I’m gonna tell you that because it’s important that you hear it. It’s important that we know our capabilities as African Americans, but it’s also important that you know that it was not easy.

I had many, many obstacles that my white counterparts did not have. I had many, many people that were more invested in the status quo staying the reality than they were in accepting the change that I represented. And as a consequence, they and some organizations did really despicable, deplorable, horrible things to try to make sure the ‘Elliott Connie’ brand and the ‘Elliott Connie’, like the inertia that was ‘Elliott Connie’ over the past 12 to 15 years didn’t happen.

I had to experience hate, oppression, attacks. I had to stand up for what was right. I had to, I had to risk my career on multiple occasions. And I say that because it’s important that we know like this is not luck. This was as a result of really, really hard work, but also real stubbornness to make sure I could overcome the obstacles placed in front of me. I think it’s important that we represent that.

I think it’s important that we recognize that because I think as black people, as a culture, there’s always more obstacles in front of us than other people have to experience. And it requires a level of stubbornness and requires a level of fortitude to get through it.

If you look in our past, the past of the African American culture is riddled with really successful people who’ve been able to overcome obstacles and accomplish greatness. But I think it’s also really important that we continue to create black history by accomplishing our own greatness and by allowing those, those historical figures and accomplishments to inspire us in real time and recognize that we are also inspiring a generation of people that come before us. To this very day

I get multiple emails every single week from black students in graduate school telling me, keep going. We see you, we recognize you. You matter to us. Representation matters. When I was in graduate school not that long ago, there were no African Americans that showed up in our textbooks, literally zero. And I found that appalling, absolutely appalling because that wouldn’t be tolerated in any other field, in any other industry, but in the field of psychotherapy, it was tolerated. It was not just tolerated, but it was actually promoted. It was actually, the system was built for that to be true.

And I remember thinking late in my grad school studies, like one day, I hope that I could either be a black person that shows up in these textbooks or inspire the black person that will show up in these textbooks. And I think both has happened because like I said, it’s very important that we create black history so that every generation has something that they can look back on and be proud of that can inspire them.