I could have easily been a statistic. Growing up in Brooklyn, N.Y., it was easy – a little too easy – to get into trouble. Surrounded by poor schools, lack of resources, high unemployment rates, poverty, gangs and more, I watched as many of my peers fell victim to a vicious cycle of diminished opportunities and imprisonment.
I fell in love with social work, and that was my undoing as a poet.
Patricia Nixon gave up a career to become a political wife. She rose to the pinnacle of glory and then fell to disgrace because of deeds over which she had neither control nor knowledge.
I came into my teens unaware that most Americans, blacks as well as whites, were ignorant of the main facts of Negro history. And so it was the facts of other histories that I found most intriguing. I fell into a U.S. history major by chance late in my second year at Fisk University.