GROWING UP: I’m from San Diego. I went to Claremont McKenna College. I majored in philosophy.
CURRENT GIG: I now work in Education as a University Advisor at an online school. I have been happily married for twelve years. I play a lot of sports. My passion is ‘Over the Line’ which is a sport you play on the beach like softball. Being a mentor is very important to me, I have been a Big Brother for 15 years and a mentor to a lot of children.
EXPERIENCES WITH RACE: I experience racism a lot in my life actually. Being African American unfortunately means you have to encounter racism. I have to say I’ve been pulled over DWB, which means, driving while black. Police pull you over for no reason other than to search you. This happened a lot while living in Los Angeles.
A more prominent moment of racism was a time in college. I was a freshman, eighteen years old, in a government class. It was my first class being a college student, so you can imagine how scary that is for the first time. And there is a Caucasian professor, who is a visiting professor from Arkansas. He was new to the school and he asked a question in class and I raised my hand to answer it. He looked at me, and point blank said “Excuse me, why are you in this class?”. And I said, “I don’t know, I’m a freshman taking a class”. He told me that if he were as big, as strong and as fast as I am, he’d be on a ball field somewhere, not in class. Mind you, this guy didn’t know me from Adam. He had never met me before at all and you can imagine being eighteen, this was shocking and traumatic for me. Everyone is looking at me, waiting. And being young, I didn’t know what to say and subsequently I didn’t have a retort for him. Had he said it now I would have let him have it. But, hindsight is just 20/20. I ended up dropping the class the next week, because of that moment, which is kind of unfortunate. He had these flat out racist comments for no reason in a college setting, which is crazy. Now I should have reported him, but I did not. I should have approached him and said something but I didn’t. I didn’t have a voice then, I didn’t know anything different, but now I would do some things a lot differently.
FINAL THOUGHTS: I am kind of a quiet person. I don’t like people to know much about me I guess. One thing that people do not know about me is I have an agent for acting. I’ve been in movies and commercials. I’ve done print work and runway. I still get checks so, it’s pretty cool. I guess one thing people wouldn’t expect from me is that I would get angry. I am a well-mannered person so it takes a lot to push my buttons. And I don’t display my anger that well so if I did get angry it would kind of be out of character. People would be taken off guard or taken back. Because I’m mellow and easy going and sometimes people mistake my kindness for a weakness.
Photographed by Renee McMahon