Josh Landon What I've learned in my first 35 years

By Demetrius Carrington
Photos by Dawn Hamilton (@dawn_hamilton_)

Wardrobe provided by Fashion International, tel:248.552.8810

You’ve probably seen Josh on the early shift on Fox2 News or maybe you’ve bumped into him out on the town.
Either way, Josh is always smiling and ready to lend a helping hand. Easily one of Detroit's most eligible bachelors, he’s kind and approachable and will make someone an excellent husband one day.

He grew up on the city’s east side and graduated from Denby High School. He earned his degree in Journalism from Eastern Michigan University. He’s worked in Florida, Virginia, and Wisconsin before returning home to work at FOX 2 News.

Josh is bi-racial; having a Lebanese Father and an African American Mother has given a unique perspective on life.
Following his posts on social media accounts, it’s clear he and his mother Lela are extremely close. I wanted to know more about his upbringing.

Josh turns 35 this month and I recently got a chance to catch up with him and find out what he’s learned in his first 35 years of life.

Here’s a bit of our conversation:

BMM: Tell me about your Parents?

JL: My Mother Lela is African American, born and raised in Montgomery, Alabama and my father Mahmoud was born in Bint Jbeil, Lebanon. They both moved to Detroit as young adults. My father was a foreman at Thorn Apple Valley, a former slaughterhouse in the City. From what I’ve been told, he helped a lot of people including his family and friends get jobs at Thorn Apple Valley. My mother always said in the end, he had a good heart. Several people have also told me that my father gave them jobs when they first came to this country.

BMM: What was it like growing up on the city’s east side?

JL: Not easy. I was 15 at the time, at home watching WWE Monday Night Raw waiting for my cousin Eric to come over and join us when he stumbled inside telling my mother he had been shot at the corner store. I saw his gunshot wounds, and I had to apply pressure on them and keep my cousin awake until the EMS arrived. Thankfully, my cousin survived and police captured the shooter. But I still think about that memory at times. No kid should have to see anything like that.

Although it was rough, I was surrounded by love from my mom and her side of the family. She always made things work. But I always felt like a piece of me was missing, a piece of me that I didn’t quite understand. My mother raised me and my sister Porsche as a single parent. I learned how to be strong from her. But, I didn’t know my Lebanese family growing up.

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BMM: Do you know your Lebanese family today?

JL: Yes. That journey started when I was 16-years-old.

BMM: What happened?

JL: An old family friend who was close to my father stopped by my mother’s house. He told me he ran into some of my older cousins who owned a gas station literally right up the road, the BP gas station on Harper and Outer Driver. People in the neighborhood called it “Club BP”. My mother hadn’t gone to the gas station, but I did. Turns out, I had been going to that gas station for a few years, not knowing some of my relatives owned it. My mother went with me to be introduced to my Dad’s family. My cousins embraced me, and I’ve spent years building relationships within the family. It’s been a long road, and I’ll leave it at that.

BMM: How did that feel?

JL: I can’t really describe the feeling; I just knew it was an opportunity to fill a hole, part of what I felt I had been missing.

BMM: Did it scare you?

JL: No. It needed it to be done; I knew that as a kid, which is crazy.

BMM: Have you made peace with your Lebanese side of the family?

JL: Yes. I also made peace with my Father. Unfortunately, it came right before he passed away in April. My father and I have not always agreed on things. Long story short, he had a good heart but needed more structure when he was a young man with surrounding himself with the right people. No one is perfect. I make no judgments; I use his life as lessons. We did not speak to each other or see each other often, but he said a few things that have been impactful. Always watch your back. Take care of work. In some ways, he has given me a blueprint on how to build a life for myself, and I will always love him for that.

BMM: How did he pass away?

JL: Kidney failure among other health problems. He didn’t take care of himself. That’s one thing we as men need to get better at doing, we can’t trash our bodies. My father was only 58 years old. Although we had our differences, I thank God my mother taught me to always do the right thing. It was tough watching him slowly fade away, but I needed to be there by his side. Again, I mentioned my father helped a lot of people get jobs back in the day. Here’s one example: When I was at the funeral home working on burial arrangements, the owner told me he used to work for my father at Thorn Apple Valley. That’s wild, man.

BMM: What made you come back to Detroit?

JL: Family, I missed my mother and sister Porsche. And honestly, I wanted to do my part in giving Detroit positive black male representation. I want to help inspire the kids in the neighborhoods. That’s my background.

BMM: What do think about all the changes in Detroit?

JL: I think the development in downtown is needed. A lot of neighborhoods need a lot of work also.
We have to see what comes of the school system; drastic improvements are needed in the school system. It will make or break this rebirth. Things are in motion which is good, but we have to make sure Detroit will continue to be for everyone including the folks who don’t make a lot of money. You can’t push out the natives.

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BMM: Why are you single?

JL: I was in a serious relationship right before I moved back to Detroit. My ex-girlfriend lives in Chicago. I was working in Milwaukee right before Detroit. The distance between Milwaukee and Chicago is shorter than the Chi and the D. So, we saw each other every week. Without dreading too much on my former love life, we were together for three years, but in the end, she didn’t want to leave her life in Chicago. At first, she was willing to move to Detroit. But in the end, I understood her point of view, she just made partner at her law firm. The job was flexible, but she didn’t want to leave her friends and network. At the same time, I was being promoted to morning anchor at FOX 2. Therefore, our lives were headed in two different directions. The downer is I was likely a few months away from proposing. That doesn’t take away from her being a good person, and I wish her the best. With that said, I’m taking my time. But don’t get me wrong, I want a wife and kids. My little sister keeps asking me when, and my answer is when the time comes.


JL: Someone who is down to earth. Not big on status. Someone you can have real conversations with about any and everything. Love that’s unconditional.

BMM: How would you describe yourself?

JL: Confident! The insecurities I had as a kid, not having my father around, not knowing my Lebanese side of my family are gone and I’m working to build my own life. My black family raised me, and I continue to build relationships with my Lebanese family. I am blessed on both sides.

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BMM: What Have you learned in your first 35 years?

JL: I’ve learned to always do the right thing, no matter what. I’ve learned that long as God continues to give me my health and strength, I must always be an inspiration to others.

BMM: Thank you, Josh, now let’s have a party…

On June 29th Beautiful Machine Magazine will be hosting an exclusive Birthday celebration for Josh Landon.

Josh will be hosting The Dave Choice Awards on July 13th, click here to purchase tickets.