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June 16, 2024 26 mins

Two-time Emmy and Three-time NAACP Image Award-winning, television Executive Producer Rushion McDonald, interviewed Attorney Ken Harris.  

Dark Trades is a controversial historical fiction novel that discuss "What if the South had won the Civil War?"

 Ken graduated from the University of North Carolina as an undergraduate and from law school. Harris has practiced law in North Carolina for over 30 years. He has handled and litigated personal injury claims across the state including to the North Carolina Court of Appeals. Harris is a former NBA and NFL agent. He has handled various business matters for Earvin "Magic" Johnson for over 25 years. Harris has also represented and worked with notable entertainment figures like Mathew Knowles. Harris is currently the CEO of one of the largest minority energy marketers in the US.

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Episode Transcript

Available transcripts are automatically generated. Complete accuracy is not guaranteed.
Speaker 1 (00:00):
If you're about to make a change in your life
and you feel uncomfortable, that's the best.

Speaker 2 (00:05):
Feeling you can have.

Speaker 1 (00:08):
Because for the first time in your life, you'll make
a new decision that's going to be best for you
and not what somebody told you to do. And that's
when all bets are off. Welcome to Money Making Conversation
master Class. I'm your host, Rashaan McDonald. Our theme is
there's no perfect time to start following your dreams. I
recognize that we all have different definitions of success. For

you and maybe decide to your HM, it's time to
stop reading other people's success stories to start living.

Speaker 2 (00:33):
Your own keep winning.

Speaker 1 (00:39):
I just Rashond McDonald welcomed the Money Making Conversation master
Class last week. I was just talking about age. I
was talking about people who didn't believe there was a
future when they reach a certain age. I've been there,
you know, because the system told me I was supposed
to retire at sixty five. They told me that, hey,
and then I got to that age and guess what
the check that they are offered to me I could

live on. So guess what I had to continue to
work even if I didn't happenn option. Even if I
didn't want to plan on working, that check that they
were offering me, I could not live on. So I'm
trying to figure out where long in the process did
we get a hoodwinked that you could retire and the

government will help you get there and put you in
a comfortable place to live your retirement years or your
retirement dates. Because in two thousand and twenty four, four
million people exceeded the age of sixty five years of age.

Sixty five years age when the Social security was established
in I think it was nineteen thirty five. I believe
the average age of expecting life expectancy was sixty three years.
So they expected to be so basically telling you that
in sixty three years that was going to happen, and
that because it was going to happen, they had to

make sure that they you know, there's no issue on
the whole situation failing. And the situation didn't fail because
people thought they were going to be dying at sixty three.
So guess what, So security works. So security works, So
security works, well, it does not work because what because
now people are living past of the age. So that's

why you always hear these politicians talking about we gotta
change the system. We gotta change the system. Systems don't work,
we gotta change the system. Well, guess what, I'm not
going anywhere. So when I tell people, do not let
age be an excuse. Believe me, I'm telling you facts.
If you're sitting around here talking about I'm too old
to work, you in trouble. You in trouble. If you

sitting around talking about that you don't want to make
no money because guess what, somebody gonna take care of you.

Speaker 2 (02:58):
You in trouble.

Speaker 1 (02:59):
You're because the government is not designed to let you
maintain a lifestyle that you're going to be happy with,
to be happy with. So if you don't have a
four to one k from a job that you work with,
if you don't have a part time job that you
can continue to maintain some level of income, if you

don't have a spouse that's working, because guess what, I
want a spouse that works. I want my spouse to
make money. And so because of that, I'm gonna live
a great life. And you should live a great life too,
because guess what, there's nothing wrong with double income in
this life. Because you listening to Money Making Conversation master Class.
I'm Rushan McDonald. As you know, I host the weekly
Money Making Conversations Master Class show. The interviews and information

that this show provides are for everyone. It's time to
start reading other people's success stories and start living your own.
My guest is a former NBA and NFL agent. I
love this guy. He's an attorney in Charlotte, North Carolina.
If you've never been to Charlotte, great food in that city.
He is handling a litigated personal entry and the author
of a very popular novel, Dark Matters. Let me tell

you why I've read this book. What what? What is
the South? What if the South had won the Civil War?
Dark Matters? What if the South had won the Civil War?
That's a creative mind. Please work with the Money Making
Conversations Master Class. Attorney Ken Harris.

Speaker 3 (04:24):
Sean, how were you doing, my friend, Ken?

Speaker 2 (04:26):
How did you? Okay? Now you're busy. We're gonna get
to the busy part.

Speaker 1 (04:29):
But I got to I got to jump in this
book because you know, we've been This book been in
our lives for a minute.

Speaker 2 (04:35):
You know.

Speaker 1 (04:35):
Has been well reviewed online and various publications have talked
about Dark matters.

Speaker 2 (04:40):
What if the South just give me a dark trade? Excuse me?

Speaker 1 (04:44):
Uh, I apologize dark trades? What if the South had
won the Civil War? Now, tell us about why you
wrote the book.

Speaker 3 (04:55):
You know, Rushawan, as you know, I have a long
history of advocate see related to the African American community.
You know, my mentor is my big brother, Urban Magic Johnson.
I've worked with and under mister Johnson for twenty five
years now, and we've always had a concern about us

in the African American community having the proper historical perspective.
And I always thought, hey, do you know how close
we came to losing the Civil War? You know, battles
at Gettysburg and Vicksburg were very close contests. What if
we had lost that war? What would it be like

for the African American community now? Would slavery still exist?
And if it still existed, would there be something inside
the African American community and African Americans that would have
allowed us to still overcome? And that was the inspiration
for the book. The setting is the year twenty eighteen.

We're in Baltimore, and the story is about a slave
journey to freedom despite the weight and heaviness of the
oppression of slavery.

Speaker 1 (06:10):
Right now, let me ask you this because of the
fact that I went to the Getty's Gettysburg. You know,
I was doing a session up there, and it was close. Man.
If you if you go see the Battle of Gettysburg,
you go it was close because they weren't that far
from the White House. There was there was a couple
of little mistakes, a couple of level degrees of arrogance,

and one guy, their top general. This guy was his strategist.
I'm just gonna let everybody know he was accidentally killed
by his own men. If that guy, and I'm not
gonna tell you you need to learn your history. That's
what this interview is about us understanding our historical perspective
on the big what if, because guess what, we're living

in a giant what if right now?

Speaker 2 (06:56):
Okay, you know, right now.

Speaker 1 (06:59):
You can call it politics, you can call it Trumpism,
you can call it whatever you want. To talk is
that we have to understand that history can repeat itself.
It just designed in different ways. But when I went
to the Gettysburg Gettysburg for that meeting, and I took
that tour, Attorney Harris I was stunned, I can believe
the information. Then I went home and watched the documentary

and I was like, wow, talk to us man.

Speaker 3 (07:26):
It was so close to the South winning the Civil War.
It could have happened. The book Dark Trades assumes that
the capital of the United States is now in Richmond. Yes,
but if you really just about how the mechanism, I'm sorry,
the structure of slavery would have proliferated throughout the United

States and grown and like a virus basically, but what
would have also grown was this underlying strength of our
community to still'll fight to overcome. The question is whether
or not there would be enough strength to overcome slavery
even in modern day times. And that's what the book

is about.

Speaker 1 (08:10):
Yeah, because you really it does. It's everything's a timeline.
You know, academics tied to HBCU started after slavery, where
there was some there was a couple of HBCUs that started,
you know, prior to slavery's you know, in Eradication of slavery.
But basically HBCU started after that, and it was started
And I'm just just just piggybacking on Dark Trades because

what attorney Harris is saying is that, you know, we
still had to create our own models for academics. Even
when slavery was won by the North, we still had
to create academic training for our people.

Speaker 2 (08:47):
So what if they.

Speaker 1 (08:48):
Would have won, what would that academic training it would
have looked, like, Attorney Harris.

Speaker 3 (08:54):
It's so interesting because we have a national campaign to
get people's thoughts on what would have had and had
the South won the Civil War. Some people say that,
you know, slavery continues in certain ways from a mental
aspect and an emotional aspect related to how the African
American has been treated. Some people say that had the

South won the Civil War, slavery would at some point
still have disappeared in the United States. But the vast
majority of people that we talked to across the country
say that had the South won the Civil War, slavery
would still be an institution here in the United States.
African Americans would still be brutally oppressed, yes, and it

would be a situation that we would have to overcome
even in today's world.

Speaker 1 (09:43):
So wow, we're talking to Attorney Ken Harris. He's based
out of Charlotte, North Carolina. Went up there in Hungary
with him a couple of times. Doc Trades is this
book is a controversy historical fiction novel that discusses what
if the South had won the Civil War. That's just
part of your life. Part of your life, you know,
former NBA and NFL agent. When you look at these salaries, now,

did you get out of the game too early?

Speaker 3 (10:09):
And I got out of the game too early before
it's a.

Speaker 2 (10:13):
Did you get out?

Speaker 3 (10:14):
I got? Maybe I got out when I did. But
I tell you what, when you look at some of
these crazy salaries. You know, Michael Jordan's and I went
to college together, and I heard Michael say at one
point that kids now are being played paid for what
they might become, not what for what they have done.
And I think that's the difference. When I was an agent,

you still had to kind of earn it to get
to that big salary. Nowadays, within I L and uh,
you know situations involving uh, you know what you can
get after your rookie salary. Uh, these are situations where
oftentimes payers are being played paid historical amounts of money
before they've really earned it as a superstar. So it's

definitely an interesting dynamic now I.

Speaker 1 (11:02):
Got to talk to you about this because you know
this money making conversation masterclass turned Harris when I see,
when I see because you represented talent athletes. You know,
because you use so many stories, so many dramas about
athletes who are file bankruptcy. You know that story dominates.
Is it really do athletes really don't? Is it a

tremendous or high rate of financial failure for professional athletes
that we read about.

Speaker 2 (11:29):
That's just a rumor.

Speaker 3 (11:31):
No, that's true. And the problem is you could.

Speaker 2 (11:35):
Have slowed down with that. You just flew right there.

Speaker 3 (11:40):
And in shine that. The reality is athletes are focused
on learning their trade as a professional athlete. Where is
the master class or the money making conversation for an
athlete about how to preserve and utilize their resources once
they get money and they need a rushin McDonald, They

need these types of conversations. We're still lacking. And it
hasn't it gotten worse because with the proliferation of nil,
the individuals or kids who are getting substantial amounts of
money are getting younger, right, so they have even less
training about how to preserve and utilize those resources. And

then we've got a challenge in our community because our
community have not typically been trained up to understand how
to utilize and preserve their money. So it is a
it is a very serious problem for sure.

Speaker 1 (12:36):
Well, see this blows my mind. Let me just talk
about justin Jefferson's contract here. Okay, it's one hundred and
forty million dollars. One hundred and ten million dollars was guaranteed.
Now listen to me, everybody, when he signs his contract,
they're going to hand him or check for eighty three

million dollars. Please help me, Attorney Harris to sit down
and say who does he have to have around him
immediately to make sure that check doesn't go immediately to
the government, to make sure he that check allows him
to basically walk away and never play football again if

he wanted to after his contract expires. What team does
he have to have around him when he gets a
contract like that?

Speaker 2 (13:30):
You know?

Speaker 3 (13:30):
Is it true? The requirement is that you have good attorneys,
good investment advisors who are conservative. You have to have
good accountants. But unfortunately that infrastructure does not exist around
many players who get money like that, and so in
the absence of that infrastructure, you substitute in other individuals

who are less qualified to advise the player about what
he should do or she should to do with their money.
And you know, the sad thing about it is, once
that money is spent, Rushan is brutal because that money
is gone. You don't get that back. There's no sympathy
out there for someone who made fifty or sixty million

dollars through out their career, right, and it's gone.

Speaker 2 (14:18):
It's just gone, just like Brown.

Speaker 1 (14:20):
Did you read about him filing bankruptcy? You know, I
know he's done some crazy things on him last year,
but he made almost roughly eighty million dollars.

Speaker 3 (14:29):
And isn't it true that the tenure of a professional
athlete is very short?

Speaker 2 (14:34):

Speaker 3 (14:34):
So the point you made earlier is very accurate. What
does the player do after that short tenure? And unfortunately,
it doesn't typically end up with them surrounding themselves with
the people who are capable of helping them manage their money.

Speaker 1 (14:49):
I'm gonna just tell you something I have on the
phone with me one of the most interesting attorneys in
this country. We already started out with the novel dark Trades,
right then we went over to former NBA NFL agent.

Speaker 2 (15:03):
Now, when we.

Speaker 1 (15:03):
Come back personal injury litigations man, and we ain't even
got the energy yet, so you know you coming back.
When we come back, I want to talk about the explosion.
If you don't mind of personal injury litigation all right,
On money Making Conversation master Class with Attorney Ken Harris,

who's based in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Speaker 4 (15:28):
Don't go nowhere, Please don't go anywhere. We'll be right
back with more money Making Conversations Masterclass. Welcome back to
the money Making Conversations Masterclass hosted by Rashaan MacDonald. Money
Making Conversations Masterclass continues online at Moneymakingconversations dot com and

follow money Making Conversations Masterclass on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Speaker 1 (15:55):
My guess, Attorney Ken Harris is probably one of the
most money making conversationalists conversationists guess I've ever had. Let
me get a little background. We talked about Dark Trades,
the controversial historical and I say controversial in a good
way because if it's a book that you want to
pick up and read, it's a book that I would recommend.
What if the South had won the Civil War? The

name of the book is Dark Trades is written by
Attorney Ken Harris now Ken Harris went to college with
Michael Jordan. We all know Michael Jorge, a billionaire, billionaire.
Everybody know that for the last twenty five years he's
handled many business matters for another billionaire.

Speaker 2 (16:36):
Every Magic Johnson, we all know.

Speaker 1 (16:38):
Here, Bellion there, Bellionaire, other notables in his roster of relationship.
Matthew knows you know if you don't know him, Founded,
Destiny Child, Beyonce.

Speaker 2 (16:52):
Billionaire millionnaire.

Speaker 1 (16:53):
This billionaire has left and right when you have this
resume like that, Attorney Harry, what do you think because
sometimes you just grinding and sometimes you don't realize how
powerful you've participated in the academic structure of academic success stories.

Speaker 2 (17:12):
Talk to us man.

Speaker 3 (17:14):
You know that's why I love and respect you so much,
because I've watched what you've done for others in a
selfless manner, and you've worked with individuals who are very
similar to Magic and Matthew Knowles and people like that.
But you know the key for me, and I'm glad
you're letting me talk a little bit about Magic and

mister Knowles. I sat there and I felt blessed by
God to have a chance to absorb their knowledge and
their capabilities and their ability to maneuver the business world.
I think both are underappreciated. I'll start with mister Knowles.
Mister Knowles has gone through a period of time where

I think the national community has failed to recognize what
he accomplished in the music world. His accomplishments are historic
and unique. And what he did with this Destiny's Child,
how he brought up Beyonce and Solange was not only

self list, but it was also historic in terms of accomplishment.
Many people don't know Rushan that mister Knowles was a
millionaire before Destiny's Child became popular. He was one of
the top salesmen at IBM before Destiny's Child became popular.

He sacrificed that you talk about money making opportunities, he
sacrificed that million dollar making background to work with his
daughters and developed their careers. So when you say Beyonce,
regardless of anything else that you think about, you have
to mention his name because he's the one who sacrificed

is to help her develop her career. The same with Magic.
Magic to me, when I'm with him and when I've
been with him over the last twenty five years, and
what we've done deals. I've been in complete and utter awe.
I've never seen a person. You know Bushan, you met him,
You've been there with me and him. I know he

is so meticulous as a business person, so dedicated to
his craft as a business person. What I've learned from
him is that the success lies in the details, are
not in the hype. And I've watched him quietly in meetings,

the way the meetings are structured and organized for us
when we have meetings, how prepared he is. There was
a time, I don't know if you remember where Magic
had the Rushan. You remember he had the.

Speaker 1 (19:53):
Theater and Los Angeles Beverly, absolutely right there off of Crenshaw.

Speaker 3 (20:00):
What you know what sent me strength concerning Magic was
we were going to one of his theaters one day
to do sort of well, we're gonna sit down watch
a movie in talk business. And he was talking about
the popcorn and how much popcorn was being sold in
the theater. And I said, how in the world does
Magic have time to be concerned about how much popcorn

the theater is selling when we set up these Starbucks
and Charlotte on Wilkinson Boulevard. If you live here in Charlotte, Sir.
He was concerned about the menu, the not having scones.
He wanted to have sweet potato pie.

Speaker 2 (20:38):

Speaker 3 (20:41):
Making sure that the store had commodities that were appropriate
for the community. The demographic. Oh man, these gentlemen are
giants from a business standpoint. Uh And and I think
that our community, he certainly has an obligation to recognize

why they they are where they are, not give them
any hype or recognition for what they achieved financially. I'm
talking about the why of it all. Why are they
where they are? That's where the learning is concerning magic
and miss and all.

Speaker 2 (21:17):
And let me follow up this.

Speaker 1 (21:18):
I'm from Houston, Texas, ladies and gentlemen, And nineteen ninety
two is when I met Matthew Knows because he's from Houston, Texas,
and I brought Destiny Child on stage at my comedic club,
hip Hop Commics Stuff for the very first time. So
I saw it in the beginning. I saw him when
he was running around town trying to do every little
talent show with these This is the original group, the

original members of Destiny's Child. So I saw that what
you were talking about, that desire, that love that passion
that made all these individuals successful today. Then on Magic Johnson,
I'm men, just tell you everybody something about Magic Johnson.
I moved to la in nineteen ninety, well sort of
mager Steve Harve in two thousand. Magic Johnson. If you've

ever met him, if you ever shook shake his hand,
he will act like you're the most important person that
he's shaking his hand with. I mean, you know, I
ran in the magic when we did that event in
Charlotte about a year and a half ago. I saw
magic in like five years, Magic looked across the room RuSHA.

Speaker 2 (22:26):
You know, you know I'm humble. I'm like, you know,
you know this Magic John's. It's always gonna be this
Magic Johnson.

Speaker 1 (22:31):
You know the thing about when you say this Magic
john You're always gonna bow down a little bit because
this is Magic Johnson. When he walks in the room,
I kid you not, ladies and gentlemen and Attorney Ken Harrison,
back this up. I've never seen the talent walk in
the room and people gravitate to them with love, black white, Hispanic,
It doesn't matter.

Speaker 2 (22:51):
He will stop. He will stop.

Speaker 1 (22:54):
It has nothing to do with security and it's a
different type of way people come up to him. Because
I've seen people come up to people. You gotta have security, okay,
because they just come at you a different way. But
people come up to Magic Johnson with a sense of
reverence like thank you, thank It's almost like a minister,
thank you, thank you, appreciate you, bless you, bless you.

Speaker 2 (23:14):
Brother. Keep winning, keep doing this.

Speaker 1 (23:16):
And that's the type of thing that you're referencing these individuals,
especially Magic Johnson. This guy can do a masterclass man
and just being humble but successful, being able to understand
the value of relationship partnership. This is Magic Johnson. And
I'm just gonna tell you this, Ken, I know we're
about to run out of time here, but you know this,

we gotta come back in a couple of more weeks, man,
because we gotta do the energy conversation that we need
to let everybody know that you're involved in and we
gotta let everybody know about personal injury and litigation. I
gotta get your schedule cleared, man, because you came on
this interview a little bit late and I need every
minute with you.

Speaker 2 (23:54):
Ken. Man.

Speaker 3 (23:56):
I'm ready for it, man, and we can talk all
day about Magic, but I will give Yeah, I don't
know if I have a few seconds, but I did.
This is one secret about Magic jumps. Yes, sir, this
is an exclusive on him. He has a photographic memory.
I believe that is one of his secrets.

Speaker 2 (24:13):
Yes, I believe that.

Speaker 3 (24:14):
Magic can remember something from ten years ago and give
you details on it.

Speaker 1 (24:19):
I believe that. And like I tell I've seen him
in action too many times. And that's the blessing. And
I always tell this thing to everybody about Magic. John's
Magic Johnson. If he did not drive little basketball, know
this about him. He was going to be an entrepreneur.
If he did not drivele little basketball. His goal was
not to be a Hall of Fame basketball player. God
just gave him that talent. His goal was to be

a business man. His goal was because that's the infrastructure
that was built by his parents. Was that started there
in that home and so these are the great things
about it.

Speaker 2 (24:51):
But I want to just tell.

Speaker 1 (24:52):
You, Attorney Ken Harris, thank you for coming on Money
Making Conversations, masteric class.

Speaker 2 (24:56):
But I'm about to.

Speaker 1 (24:57):
Get with mcgirl and get you back on the show
asap because your story and if you have time, I
want you on my show every quarter because you know,
these big shows have these these these relationship especially with
high profile attorneys that can just drop in and just
talk about politics, talk about the community.

Speaker 2 (25:14):
That's you. Can you be that person from my show?

Speaker 3 (25:17):
Of course you do anything for you you know that.

Speaker 1 (25:20):
Thank you, brother, We're gonna talk soon. This is doctor
this is Attorney Ken Harris and his book Dark Trays
What If the South were that wonder Civil Wars? Check
it out, pick it up, and again, thank you Ken
for coming on my show, Money Making Conversation Mastic Class.

Speaker 3 (25:35):
Well appreciate it.

Speaker 1 (25:37):
We talked soon again. As we always say, as we
close out this show, remember this show has been another
edition of Money Making Conversations Master Class hosted by me
Rashan McDonald. Thank you to our guests on the show
today and thank you our listening audience. Join us next
week and remember to always leave with your gifts.

Speaker 2 (25:54):
Keep winning.

Speaker 4 (25:59):
Thank you for joining us for this edition of Money
Making Conversations Masterclass. Money Making Conversations Masterclass with Rushan MacDonald
is produced by thirty eight to fifteen Media Inc. More
information about thirty eight to fifteen Media Inc. Is available
at thirty eight fifteen media dot com and always remember
to lead with your gifts.

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