Home Grown Black Males

How I learned to be a leader By Jerrel Sibert

On September 23, 2005, a black male was born in St. Louis, Missouri, and my parents named me Jerrel Sibert. Growing up I was a pretty privileged black kid who always had a lot of toys and entertainment. So I never knew the issues that were going on around me in my own city, like today’s news headlines: “A sad day for the Brown family” or “Young black male shot in his car for getting his ID.”

I was concerned, so I asked my mom, “What does all of this mean?” She explained it to me, and all I could say was: “Why?”

She is working hard for both of us. Being a single mother is hard, and it makes me respect mothers a lot more. Living in a small house in Florissant where you hear screaming or a gunshot outside had me staying under her at all times.


At the same time, I was going to a not-so-great school and becoming a little troublemaker myself. That was because of the type of friends I chose to hang around with and the bad decisions I was making. I wanted to fit in with the boys who were always talking about rap, drugs, guns, beating people up, you name it. Click here to read more.

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