Charlotte isn’t just where I was born; it’s who I am.
It’s what keeps me grounded while also allowing me to soar beyond its Carolina blue sky. From my earliest years as a young boy, my experiences here have crafted me into who I am today.
Whether ice skating inch-by-inch in Eastland Mall, cheering for WWF legends in the Charlotte Coliseum, the rattling carts at Park-N-Shop, attending Latta Summer Camp at sunrise, or diving into the deep end at the Aquatic Center, the city that raised me raised me well.
During that time, I also became fascinated with written words.
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Sometimes I would spend hours on end writing about absolutely nothing, but I loved it just the same. I even wrote the D.A.R.E. speech for my graduating class at Albemarle Road Elementary School, a fact usually met with an incredulous reaction by anyone who knows me now.
After my grade-school years, I drove to Winston Salem State University where my love for Black people and Black culture blossomed like spring flowers at Freedom Park.
While at WSSU I learned, socialized, found love, discovered Cookout, became a Nupe and participated in homecomings to celebrate life, honor achievements and pay deference to the generations that paved our pristine path.
Empowered with this sense of self and community, I wrote and published my first book after graduating from WSSU in 2009, and the first place I had my signing was Red@28th in Noda.
It was the same Saturday Gil Scott-Heron passed, something that I believe will stick with me forever.
Since then, I’ve published three more books, the latest released at Dupp & Swat’s Plaza location in 2018.
Throughout my life, it has been paramount to not only appreciate our culture but to add something to it, like a nearly perfect dish that could use a pinch or two of Blackness.
As the new lifestyle editor for QCity Metro, I take the same approach. I open-arms embrace our city’s movers and shakers, along with the up-and-comers, because if there’s one thing I know, we’ve all got a story to tell. And our stories should be heard.
With so many Black creatives who cook, paint, act, sing, design and everything else under the Mecklenburg County sun, we are a beautiful mosaic of what can be achieved when we work together.
As the African proverb says, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”
Collaboration is key for any partnership to flourish. I look forward to collaborating with Black Charlotteans to present the side of our city that is rarely celebrated but often duplicated.
I want us to get credit for the ingenuity, style and gumption that it takes to start a business, put on a great event or step outside of our comfort zone.
QCity Metro aims to be the hub where you can find out what’s going on in your city, what’s relevant to you and people like you.
Whether you call it Queen City, Buzz City, The Four or Fo’, Charlotte means something to us all, and it’s been my life’s joy to uplift and celebrate you in full view.
Rooted in Charlotte,