I Made It…Maybe
Coming toward the end of October, I will turn 29 years of age, God willing. My mom birthed a son full of potential and idealism that still sees the world through a pair of optimistic lenses.
To tick off some of my accomplishments, in no particular order, I married a very wonderful woman and God has blessed us with a gorgeous and boisterous little girl. I have run for political office, been featured in newspapers and television, and oh, not to mention I graduated high school and college.
In my short 28 years, I have accomplished more than plenty of people that will ever grace this earth.
Before you give this article a side eye and think that arrogance befits me, understand where I stand.
According to statistics, I should be in jail or prison by now. According to a study by The Sentencing Project, one in three black men between the ages of 20 and 29 are in jail.
The United States Justice Department says that one out of every 21 black men will be murdered.
So, in essence, I really shouldn’t be here, a 28-year-old married black man with a child, a college degree and a bright future.
Before my born day, I was sentenced to die or to spend a considerable amount of time in prison by my history and statistics. In my eyes, I have yet to make anything but a bunch of noise. Yet according to studies, projects and the Justice Department, I am a made black man.
Listen, I have never sold drugs or hustled my way out of a bad situation through illegal and illicit activity.
Don’t get me twisted, I was born to a single mom in a working class community. So everything that I have to my name I have had to work pretty dang hard for. My car that I bought off the street, my job that I moved 600 miles away to get and everything else that I can honestly call mine, has been gained through hard work.
Because I sport a high school diploma and college degree, I defeated the odds and made a life for myself. I have no plans of selling drugs or going to jail, but not many people that I come cross have ever wanted to do either.
Before I stand to God and thank him for another year on this earth, God willing, I also recognize with every year that passes where I am able to take a breath to celebrate another birthday, I am defeating some type of odd.
So those accomplishments that I ticked off earlier, I listed them to state what I have done to overcome some type of proverbial hurdle that has been placed in my way.
After all, a black man of my age should be in a box surrounded with only a few hours of daylight to look forward to each day.