“I moved a lot for sports and it was good to see the country. My senior year of high school I transferred to Vegas and then to California. I went to college in Minnesota and then transferred to Texas. After Texas, I came here. I played college football and then semi-pro with the Prichard Falcons. I had a car accident in college while I was playing football at West Houston and had a herniated disk from the car wreck. It was a hit and run and took a while to receive treatment and compensation. By then football was over and it forced me to forfeit my junior and senior year and lose my scholarship. But that wreck was one of the best things to happen to me. My mom was here so I came back and was able to see things I had neglected because it was out of sight out of mind. Elderly walking up and down the street, the closure of mom and pop stores, the perpetuation of the hypermasculine male. I started learning more an doing more. The fight I had for sports has been re-channeled into people and my community. I still love sports am still good in a pickup game every now and then.
I just got back from Alaska. I was processing fish. It was easy work, but I got to see a lot of Alaska. It is beautiful and I got to experience the native culture and people who take pride in that. Prichard is a predominantly black city, but I see no pride in the culture. We have art and music, but all you see are empty lots and closed down buildings, there is trash up and down the boulevard. We need murals on the walls. We have generations who grew up around this and don’t know what better looks like. Many don’t have cars and the buses don’t run here anymore, so they have no way to get out and see the world beyond Prichard.
Other communities have better sidewalks and parks, that is good, kids deserve that. People here need it, too. No money and business is coming here. We have to do something to change that. There is about knowledge or a lack of knowledge. Your mindset is of things you see on a daily basis. You don’t know what else is out there and another way of thinking.
Moving, traveling and playing sports was good because I saw other cities and how other people do things. I heard different dialogs. Own your own business and you can do what you want. We say the black community doesn’t have employment, go make jobs. What can you and your friends do? You can cut grass, you can grow food and make your community better. If you cook good enough, you can become a chef. If you don’t think you are going to make it in school or another person’s way of judging you, then do what is good for you. School may not be for everyone but everyone can learn.
I think I would have made it in football, but if I had never had that accident, I wouldn’t have been me. It is different when you are forced to sit back and look at things. I hooked up with Sheena and Xionne Williams who are working as a family to make their community better and they don’t back down. We are going to be in this community, why don’t we want to be better?