TOC THE THUG SCHOLAR TESTIMONY

Anthony Blackman, is a New York City native. His family later moved to Mobile, Alabama, in hopes of a better life. This hope was short lived as destructive generational patterns began to emerge.

As a young boy, Anthony became quite accustomed to violence and family dysfunction. It had become quite evident, that the unstable environment was emotionally taking its toll on him. Years of physical, mental and sexual assaults gave way to bipolar tendencies and what some doctors call a mystifying disorder called schizophrenia.

Anthony continued to spiral downward as the vices of street life yoked him by the neck. By age ten he was apprehended and arrested. By age thirteen, his search for identity and acceptance, drove him to drop out of school and join a notorious gang. Addiction to crack cocaine soon followed. 

With a noted desire to gain street cred, Anthony engaged in a string of crimes ranging from robbery, carjacking, assault and a host of other petty offenses. The Thug Life had officially inscribed its philosophy upon the very soul of the troubled teen. No fear of death, law, or consequences was his life mantra. 

Following his father’s generational footprint, Anthony joined the nation of Islam where he converted to the Islamic faith at age fifteen. He practiced faithfully for ten years even while in lockup.

By age seventeen, due to his extensive juvenile record he was classified as an SJO, Serious Juvenile Offender. After being released at eighteen years old, he was ordered to serve five more years on the chain gang in the Alabama Department of Corrections. 

Upon release from the Alabama Department of Corrections, Anthony relocated to Miami, Florida in pursuit of a new life. This move would prove to be a major part of the divine plan of God. 

While sitting in a hotel room in Miami, Anthony for the first time encountered a living Christ. It was his Damascus road experience and it mirrored the very encounter Apostle Paul had. A life once shrouded with evil, would now be transformed into something and someone who would serve a God who was eternally good.

Anthony credits a woman by the name of Sophia as one of his angels. “She is responsible for introducing me to the Christ.” he cites.

In 2002, Anthony Blackman, a.k.a “Toc The Thug Scholar”, debuted his first gospel hip hop rap album, entitled New Era. All the years of pain, trials, sufferings and abuse had finally paid off. What had once bound him, miraculously became a type of springboard that God used to thrust him forward. 

In a joint partnership with Byron Williams, C.E.O. of NFC Productions, and power producers, Dave Atkins, Rasheen and Jelani Williams, and Eldric Miller, Anthony Blackman rose as a force with notable success both in churches and on the hip hop circuit. The power of God was clearly at work in his life, as favorable doors swung open. 

Anthony was a featured guest on countless radio shows, including the Grave Digger Show, and was featured in several print publications nationwide. He went on to share the musical platform with A-Listers ranging from Ja-Rule (Sun Fest, West Palm Beach), to Lil Wayne (Essence Festival, New Orleans). 

His promotional tours included the Black Collegiate Network, several historically black colleges and universities in the South, including the “Back to School Fest” with Alabama University Roll Tide in Montgomery, Alabama, and numerous public schools and churches. 

In 2004, Anthony’s influential capacity was expanded. God was entrusting him with yet another assignment that would merge his musical genius with his spiritual aptitude for teaching and counseling. 

He left Miami, Florida, and headed to West Memphis, Arkansas, where he took a full-time ministry position, as the Program Director for Warrior’s Ministry, under the leadership of Pastor David Vincent. Anthony would utilize his gift, serving as a spiritual overseer and counselor of seventy-five men, with the same painful background he had been delivered from. "His gift is real and raw, and I have seen God use him in the inner cities to touch people lives" says Pastor David. 

By 2005 Anthony added actor to his long impressive resume. He was a featured actor in the romantic comedy, Something About Destiny (2005), written by Lynetta Dent. 

Anthony Blackman, a man that rose from the ashes by God’s divine power, has set a new precedence in his family line. Living from a code called honor, Anthony is empowering communities and making it a point to give back.

As part of Shear, Inc., Haiti Relief Benefit Concert, Anthony a.k.a “Toc The Thug Scholar” dropped a single with Musgrove Music Distributions to support the relief efforts for Haiti, after Hurricane Matthew hit hard in September 2016. 

He currently serves as an executive member of the Circle of Brotherhood, Inc. and as the Chairman of the Entertainment Committee. As an entertainment ambassador, he is motivating and transforming young lives through the power of Jesus Christ. Using hip hop as a catalyst, he’s making disciples in a raw and real way. 

Heralded as a lyrical architect, Anthony is helping to revamp and reshape the entire trajectory of church culture as it pertains to the music industry. He believes the church has made some strides towards understanding and integrating hip hop into church culture, but feels the church has not reached the apex of possibilities. 

Anthony Blackman currently resides in Miami, Florida with his wife Cherise Blackman of six years.


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