I am a native of Harlem, New York raised during the crack era of New York City. My father was an elementary school dropout who sold drugs and committed a number of robberies in Harlem. My mother was a high school graduate who became one of my father's good customers. I didn't see my father much during my youth as he spent a large amount of time in jail. My mother "raised" me on public assistance in between her drug use. Around 8 or 9 years old, i was removed from her and placed in foster care. I spent the remainder of my independence being bounced between group homes, homes of family members, and roaming the streets. I became an emancipated minor at 16 due to my independent nature.
I was fortunate enough to be found and helped to attend college in Florida. For me the change was a huge adjustment, finally having stable meals and a home. My excitement was short-lived as I learned I did not have the scholarship advertised, was responsible for student loans, and the HBCU experience was not close to the show A Different World, which was my only exposure to college beforehand. However, I went on to have a good amount of success in college. I participated in student government, student radio, fraternity life, volunteer organizations, and worked for the university in various roles related to technology.
Following my negative experience in college, I decided to work towards becoming a college president so I could help create a better experience for those following me. I continued to law school due to the large number of legal issues facing HBCUs at that time. Law school was a positive experience and helped create a great foundation for my doctoral studies that followed. As part of my doctoral experience I served as an administration for a HBCU where I was able to see, in action, the ailments facing these institutions and the genesis of them. Having earned my doctorate, I am now dedicated towards creating a positive and successful environment and experience for students, especially black males.
Thank you for taking the time to read my website. I really appreciate it. It is awesome to hear from the people who have read the website and can relate to my experience. I did not know I could be such an inspiration for others. As an American Black male, I have been targeted by others who want to keep and perpetuate the negative stereotypes of Black men. The most disturbing part is that those attacks came and come from other Black people. The power of the convenient narrative and self-hate is very strong within the "community" and causes a negative feedback loop that I have had to break through many times.
In a way, I am on my fourth life and my fourth path to success. I will overcome and so will you.
Believe and keep moving forward, even if it's a crawl.