Looks can be deceiving

by Malcolm Cox-el, Community Facilitator of Thirkield University


Being a young black man in America can be hard at times. Some of the times the worst things are assumed of us before anyone gets to know us.


A friend of ours in the neighborhood used to be the problem driver; the one that was selling drugs, telling kids to break into houses and cars or sometimes worse things. Now after building a relationship with him and encouraging him to be different, he now has a job and is the one talking to the other younger guys to be something in life.


If you come into the neighborhood and immediately think that someone is a problem, he may be the solution. How you judge some of these young men is a key factor in how you are going to change the neighborhood.


Mrs. Donna Barber, a mentor and friend of mine taught me early on that people will play into the expectations you have for them. If you automatically assume the worst of people, at times they will play into that expectation.


Because the reality of it is if you treat someone based solely on their need, that’s typically how they are going to behave.


If you ask someone that looks suspicious or down and out, they typically don’t want to be those things they may be caught in. I have seen it happen many times before of what happens to someone’s psyche when they are innocent, but someone thinks they are up to no good. It really damages them.


This is why I am always trying to pull out the God given gift in each person, regardless of what they are going through. This is why I passionately love each of the brothers that are involved in TU, because I see what they can be.


Come join the brothers and me Thursday nights at our gathering and start by playing basketball with us. We would love to host you.


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