Growing up, I was told St. Louis makes people tough. It was said people came from all over the country to St. Louis to gain street credit. Today, we have many young black males in St. Louis fleeing to other cities to escape the tragedy of St. Louis.
I spent most of my childhood in the Mark Twain neighborhood of North St. Louis. Mark Twain had both crime and drug issues. With that being known, many men and women tried their very best to keep young men like me far from trouble.
When I was 9 years of age, some friends and I were outside our home playing. There was a newly planted tree placed there by volunteers from Operation Brightside. We saw it and immediately began plotting to destroy it. While in the midst of destroying the tree, workers at the Creative Touch Beauty Salon came outside and stopped us. My friend ran, and I paused in my tracks. I was told to sweep the shop as punishment. Read more here.