I want to preface this article by telling you that I believe that sharing is caring. I am sharing my thoughts with the intent of creating productive and healthy dialogue. I am not judging anyone, but simply expressing my personal view. My hope is that you read this article with an open-heart and non-defensive posture. I am open to dialogue about solutions because I do not believe that you can empower people by focusing more on their weaknesses and challenges than their strengthens.
Like Fannie Lou Hamer, I am sick and tired of fighting against systematic injustice and discrimination. I’m tired of the police brutality, overt and covert racism, violence and waiting on a corrupt system to correct its wrongs. I am sick and tired of being called a “House nigger, Sell-out and Oreo by Black people because I have achieved some level of success and choose not to be extremely angry with individuals who may have directly or indirectly contributed to my suffering or the suffering of Black people in general. But more importantly, I am sick and tired of Black people making excuses and defending ignorance and destruction within black communities. The oppression and victim mentality is counterproductive.
I can relate and empathize with the struggle, but we as a group of people can do better. Everyone has a story to tell and I am sharing my story. My story is my story and your story is yours. We are all unique in our own ways, but I am sharing my story to simply say, “I get it” and to hopefully inspire change.
Here it is.
Yes, I was born in St. Louis, MO and raised in the ghetto by my single parent mom. Yes, I was born with a speech impediment and did not receive proper services until I was in kindergarten. Yes, I repeated the first and second grades because I did poorly in school. Yes, I lived in a three room house (not bed rooms) total 3 rooms with my siblings. Yes, I had to get firewood from vacant houses to keep warm because we did not have heat. Yes, I had to heat water because we did not have running hot water. Yes, I had to take a bath in a washing bucket because we did not have a bath tube. Yes, I had to share my sleeping space with rats and roaches. Yes, I witnessed police brutality and was harassed. Yes, I saw dead bodies and was exposed to violence daily. Yes, I ate sugar and bread for dessert. Yes, I ate thick government cheese. Yes, I grew up with and hung out with crips and bloods, drug dealers and thugs. Yes, I have seen too much death. And Yes, I was filled with anger.
Despite all of my hardship, I never bought into the victim mentality. Like others, I did wrong, but I never blamed society for my wrongdoing. I made a decision each day. Please stop making excuses and blaming people. If you blame others for your emotions, they will control you. If you take responsibility for your emotions, you will control yourself. If there is will, there is a way. Forward progression requires forward thinking. If I Can Become a Doctor so Can You. Get help and guidance. I did.
Remember that resilient people find solutions in problems. In contrast, troubled people find problems in every solution. If you are ready and willing to find solutions, please contact me. You provide the platform and audience and I will provide knowledge and education. I do not claim to have all the answers, but I am willing to share what I know and what worked for me. I do know that adversity builds resilience, and resilience is a precursor to success.