Saturday, July 23, 2011

Hittin Licks 2011

Im on One.
When people read through the archives, one of the first questions I normally get is, Where are you from….

I guess people tend to assume things from your apparent social status in the present that prevents them from connecting the dots to the past.

I don’t lie either, cuz when they REALLY wanna know..I tell em.

Im from the back of Sugarvalley.


You heard me, Im from the back of Sugarvalley, which is probably one of the smallest subdivisions in Sunnyside.

Really..and you went to Stanford University

I didn’t just go, I also got a degree from Stanford University.

So from there the conversation generates to a whole different level, most assume that I had to be on some sort of athletic scholarship, Did you play football basketball

Nope. I played Intramurals at Stanford and I played varsity baseball for my high school (Booker T. Washington and the High School for Engineering Professions, Im soo glad!!)

Then I usually get a kinda blank stare, because they have a hard time connecting the dots between how a black guy from a Southside hood in Houston Texas could get an engineering degree from one of the most prestigious universities in the world and I just kinda give them a blank stare back.

I don’t get offended, its actually kinda funny to me.

Because people assume that just because you grew up in a predominately African American slave descendent neighborhood, that your life should be limited by certain boundaries and I thank God that He allowed me to be one of the ones that could know what it means to be free.

Don’t get it twisted, Im fully aware that my Stanford experience and degree has opened a lot of doors for me, but Im also fully aware that it was by the grace of God that a nappy headed hard head from Sunnyside could even make it to Stanford.

The first lick I hit was being born to some parents that held me to a standard of accountability.

I don’t know was never a suitable answer with my parents.

If something breaks, disappears or became disfigured in my parents house, I don’t know was never an  answer that my parents would stand for.

My father was a truck driver that served in the United States Navy as a gunners mate, and he made me very much aware of what it means to be accountable for my actions. He didn’t allow me to half ass anything.

If a task was assigned to me, from sweeping and mopping the floor, to taking out the trash, to mowing the lawn,  afterwards an inspection would follow. And if my work did not meet his standards, I would have to do it again.

From that I learned that you might as well try your best to do it right the first time.

My mother was a public school math teacher that taught me and my older sister the fundamentals of education. She made sure that I wouldn’t slip through the cracks of the system like so many of my Southside hard head counterparts. Wheres your homework…did you bring the things to study for your test tomorrow..did you start on your project you have your book report finished. My mom knew what was going on at school usually before we got home and this was before the internet age!

Of course, no matter how on point my parents were, I wasn’t with them 24-7. I still spent time outside playing with hood negroes.

A lot of them ended up getting felony convictions for drug dealing, theft, rape or murder, but you know, they were still always just dudes I grew up with. I didn’t see them as bad people, just dudes who got off track. There were actually a few that were a lot smarter than I was, they just didn’t have the same level of discipline and accountability at home that I had.

 There go I, but for the grace of God.

So as I grew older and had time to reflect on my path and I really realized how easily I could have fallen into some of the same traps that my childhood playmates fell into..I knew it wasn’t because I was such a cool dude or a smart guy, it was because God chose to deliver me, even in my ignorance of who God was.

Although Ive never been convicted of a felony, that doesn’t mean I wasn’t committing some of the same crimes that my podnaz got convicted for.

Felony convictions can make your world a lot smaller.

It can limit where you live, where you work, where you go and what you can have.

I thank God for delivering me from felonies.
For if I grow rich, I may deny you and say, "Who is the LORD?" And if I am too poor, I may steal and thus insult God's holy name. - Proverbs 30:9 NLT

Theres still a few misdemeanors that Im still struggling with, but I know God is working with me on those too.

Its not like Im the only hood dude that’s been set free either.

Theres a lot more of us than the media shows.

Its some hood dudes out there from 3rd Ward, Yellowstone, South Park,  L.A., New Orleans, D.C. Brooklyn, Chicago, Cincinnati, Baton Rouge..doing BIG thangs as they say in the hood.
But the biggest lick a hood dude can hit is being  a responsible husband and father, taking care of his family the best way he can and adhering to the spirit of the Word of God.

 Hittin licks fo real.

 That’s the lick that pays out recursively, over generations