The Unattended Gates


Growing up as a young boy I lived on the east side of Detroit which was on East Warren and Bewick Street. As you walked down the beginning of my street, to the right side of the block you would see a sign which told a person our block was patrolled by a neighborhood watch group. A neighborhood watch was a group of men who came together on behalf of the neighborhood to monitor and take care of their community. These men were ordinary people who had regular jobs during the day but in the evening they would patrol the local streets until everyone when into their homes at night. Back then there was no such thing as people hanging out late at night because when the street lights came on all the kids and parents made their way into the house. You would sometimes see the men riding around in their vehicles, helping to prevent fights among the kids, or contacting the local police when someone was in of life-threatening situation. The men who were a part of the neighborhood watch were not a part of law enforcement but they believed that their presence represented to potential evil-doers that no type of crime, drugs or the burglary of homes would be permitted in their community.

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My Journey of Faith


Over twenty-five years ago, I made the decision to leave my hometown in Detroit Michigan. When I considered leaving back then, I was faced with the decision to either move to the west or east coast of the country. During 1992 what a young black male mostly heard from the media, the streets and others was that the average black male would not live past the age of twenty-five. Some young men were involved with a life of drugs, a life of crime or could possibly be killed by black on black crime. My mindset was that if I am going to possibly die before age twenty-five, I wanted to find out what I was good at before it happens. I first considered moving to Los Angeles, California, but because of the clothes that I wore, I had concerns that my life would be at risk. The types of clothes that I wore were Oakland Raiders jerseys similar to the rap group NWA. It was important to me that I did not present the wrong image about who I was and find myself constantly harassed by the police. I listened to rap music and I had even made a rap record called Running in Fear. On the other hand, if I moved to the east coast of New York, there were the issues of racism, homelessness, and poverty in the Big Apple. However, after much prayer, I made my decision to begin my journey of faith by purchasing a one-way bus ticket to New York.

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Fellows do you remember the first time you started talking to that girl who became either your first love or ultimately the woman you would marry. You both would talk in person or you talked by phone, it seems like time would just fly and you would talk for hours with one another. If the two of you talked by phone stay on the phone talking late into the night and even sometimes until the next morning. You talked about what was important to her, what was important to you or you talked about wanting to know everything about one another. If the woman was not your first love, she might have become the woman that you, later on, discovered that she was the one that you wanted to have in your life. When you both got off work you went out together dating for months, taking long walks in the park or just cuddled at home and staring into one another eyes. As the man, you wanted to know what her favorite color was, what her favorite food was and what was and what were the dreams and goals she wanted to accomplish in her life. Then one day after weeks, months and maybe a year of dating, you finally pop the big question to the woman in your life and you asked her to be your wife.

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