i was born into poverty of the worst kind. My family were paupers and we scrambled every day just to put a meal on our table. We lived in a small cinder block home and all I knew secondary to my surroundingwere  gambling, fighting, and lusting after women as they turned and walked away. For many years I was told that I would never be anything in life and for many years I believed just that. When we wasn’t walking up and down the road on the weekends looking for emptied out beer cans to sell to the recycling truck, my family marched up to a close by pecan orchard to gather pecans only to resell for money.

     Most of the people that knew me called me Chris, but my mother called me Tyrone. My environment shaped my mind to look at the world in only one way and that way was an ignorant way. Most of my life I was told “the white man ain’t gone give you nothing” and for years I believed just that. This was a common saying hidden behind the walls of many black families and every now and then, some uneducated family member or neighborhood person would throw this saying out at me. Onward, since I was never gonna be given anything in life, I refused to study hard. I took going to school as a joke, and walked around the hallways as if I ruled the school. I tried to get with as many girls as possible. I was a good reader, but my friends helped me to stay ignorant in not realizing the potentials I had on the inside of me. When I tried to change for the better, this meant possibly losing child hood friends. They would say, “you trying to act white.” It was this particular saying that made me feel sorrow for trying to better myself, so I remained a prisoner unto my own conscious.

     As life continued on for me, I came to realize that I am one of my greatest assets. It wasn’t until I finally graduated from High School with a shaky GPA, that I had no plan in life. Some of my friends had already gone to jail, gotten killed or was on probation for hurting the very ones they professed to love,…their black community. You see, must of the drug dealers sold drugs to families that had become victims to struggling in their own world. These struggles lead to drugs, prostitution or some other negative proclivity that continued to isolate them from success and imprison them within their environment (mind). I later realized that the trick was on us (black men). When I looked around my struggling community and noticed how bad the drugs were, how bad the violence was, and how separated we really were as a community, I started to awaken from this bad dream. This dream was nothing like Martin Luther King’s dream, but it was a dream that kept me asleep for a very long time. After awakening from this dream, I felt tired, lost, sad, and most of all manipulated by the very ones that profess to have my back. My uncle later got hooked on crack himself. My father became a stone cold alcoholic and the major sellers were those that lived right in the same community. In other words, the biggest enemy wasn’t the police officer or some type of probation officer, but it were other black males and sometimes females that had learned how to keep the people within my community suppressed by their own gree for MONEY.

    I finally found a way out. No matter how others perceived me, I started teaching myself about finances, stock markets companies, other languages and even going to college to further my education. I must say, that I cannot blame anyone particular person for my downfall, because the ones that professed to love me, were the ones that appeared to be against my success in life. The point of my story is this. No matter who you are, where you are from, or what upbringing you may have had, you have the choice to become more. First, you must discover your potentials and allow them to work for you. In other words, give your potentials responsibities and you will see a better you. Finally, don’t forget to mentor some other person because too many youths are dying to fit into an equation that is often times too complicated. 


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