I grew up in the west. They call it the Lower Bottoms.
Everybody in my neighborhood would always tell me, “This is where you’re from.” “12th street is your home.” And lately, that mentality started feeling like a jail. I feel trapped. Like my entire universe is just one block long.
I know I can progress and do other things in life, but it’s like a mind game I play with myself. Because whenever something starts feeling like it’s going downhill, I run straight back to 12th Street. I run straight back to what I know, because it makes the bad feel normal. Even though I don’t have a job, it doesn’t bother me as much when I’m on my block, because there, we are all struggling to be happy. Read moreRead more My Story Resonated, I Felt Empowered I didn’t know what to expect when we caught the Amtrak from Jack London up to the state capitol for the state assembly’s select committee to discuss the status of men and boys of color in California. Upon arrival, I was greeted by a diverse group of people from the Alliance for Boys and Men of Color. I knew only a handful of things about the event: 1) I was going to the Capitol building to speak about issues in my community 2)…Actually, that’s all I really knew. The two-day event was full of diversity, empowerment, and change. For the first time, I was in a ballroom with 250 boys and men of color, who were dressed and ready to make a difference. Read more Feeling Like A Foreigner In Class
Most of the kids at my school don’t look like me, don’t dress like me, and most certainly don’t talk like me.
At the College of Alameda, enrollment data show that the African American headcount dropped drastically between 2011 and 2012. If it continues to drop at the same rate, in six years, African American head count will be zero.
I’m one of the only black students in my classes. We have a lot of international students, but sometimes I feel like the one that’s foreign. I’m a real outgoing person with my friends, but at school I’m anti-social. I’m afraid to talk to people because I don’t want to get stereotyped, or come off as “ghetto” or “ignorant.” Read moreRead more Chess Changed My Life Archie, he had a lot of wisdom. I met him at a time when I needed guidance, and I recognized him as a person who was passionate about knowledge of self. Most days he could be found reading or playing chess. I used to hit him up to play, but he’d tell me, “You probably know how to play chess, but you don’t play chess,” and he was right. Archie said there are people who know how to play the game, people who play the game, and then there are chess players. The first group just knows how to move the pieces on the board. The next group plays chess, but doesn’t understand the strategy. And for chess players like Arch…the game is just inside of them. Read more