Underprivileged black boys desperate to rise above their circumstances can benefit greatly from such institutions as school, the army, government social programs and the judicial system as well as a knowledge of options, according to Mathis, himself a kid criminal and gangland thug growing up in Detroit's devastated projects. His turnaround came in 1977, when he heard Jesse Jackson speak. Mathis was 17 years old, and Jackson's advice struck a chord. "Your heart is in the right place, but to win young people's minds and souls, you've got to have ammunition," Jackson told him privately, after his speech. "A year from now, I want to hear what you've done to improve yourself.... We got a deal?" With the help of his single mother's Seventh Day Adventist discipline, his wife-to-be's book-hitting habits and many mentors, Mathis eventually studied his way into law school, passed the bar, toiled in Michigan politics, was elected a judge and landed a syndicated TV show, Judge Mathis. His membership in multiple social classes has helped him forge his practical insight into human nature into an organized story about a hero's trajectory. Mathis and coauthor Walker poetically render the rhythms of street language, at least to those who don't speak it, and fairly present Mathis's sometimes testosterone-driven male attitude, making this an honest feel-good story. Mathis's parable from the projects explores a world that will be crucially familiar to many and offers a way to reach poor teens who rightly feel misunderstood and underrepresented in the mainstream. Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From: Connie Scott, review of Inner City Miracle, the autobiography of Judge Greg Mathis, from Avid Reader Book Review (http://www.myblackinfo.com/home.html; viewed 24 July 2005):
Judge Greg Mathis's candid biography gives insight to the achievements of a once wayward youth. It is also a testimony of how the choices one makes can impact a life for success or failure. This book, dedicated to the memory of his mother as well as all single mothers, chronicles his life from boyhood to his present status as a TV judge.From: Jim Pinkoski, "The Supreme Court decision about posting the 10 Cs", 6 July 2005 in Tennessee Star Journal (http://www.pinkoski.com/files/index.php?id=46; viewed 25 July 2005):
A difficult youngster, Mr. Mathis lived a double life on the streets of Detroit, Michigan. A mama's boy who attended church he began shoplifting at the age of five. He hung around a bad crowd and eventually became a full-time gangster. He called himself the "most defiant and incorrigible" of his three older brothers. Partly influenced by the hustlers and pimps of the neighborhood and his disdain of the Seventh - day Adventist church-goers, young Mathis carved out a life of rebellion.
All ten of the Ten Commandments should be posted in our homes and churches and taught from the pulpits of every single church in the United States! The Ten Commandments are also known as being "God's Law," and God is to be openly spoken of and promoted in our churches and our private lives. Every person in America should understand the seriousness of obeying God's Ten Commandments! But the courthouse is not "the church house." Our courts exist to enforce the secular laws of the land, not to enforce the religious laws of the Bible.
As an example, have you seen the Judge Mathis television show? Judge Greg Mathis is a Seventh-day Adventist Christian, and in the course of handing out his judgments he often teaches a moral lesson based upon his Christian beliefs, but he does not need to post the Ten Commandments in his courtroom to witness about his faith in God, he can do it just fine with his counsel to the people who come before him!