Yesterday, I had an opportunity to tip the bucket, yet again. I had the opportunity to do something I have wanted to do since I was a little kid. I always told my friends and family that if I ever got the chance that I would tell the story of the place that raised us into the individuals we are today.
To some people, including local news stations, Beecher Terrace is seen as “a neighborhood where almost everyone has been locked up at some point.” Yesterday we told our story of growing up in this neighborhood without becoming another statistic, like many of the people around us.
For those of us that have called this place home for most of our lives, watching it go through the process being torn down as part of a revitalization project will be bitter sweet. Realizing that the place we called home will no longer be there, and a great feeling to know we made it out! It’s rewarding for most people to revisit where they grew up and now some of us won’t have that opportunity. Just memories!
As part of my Behind The Life web series, I wanted to capture the real life experiences and perspectives of those who have grown up in Beecher Terrace, including myself. My point in doing so was to give people an opportunity to reflect and shed positive light on a place that people deem to be such a bad place. I also wanted to give inspiration and hope to people living in projects all around the world.
"To get out of the hood you have to reach beyond your parents, beyond your friends in the hood, and beyond the streets! Help is out there and usually right around the corner, you just have to ask for it."
This day was one of the best days of my life. All of my friends that I grew up came back and shared their experiences of growing up in Beecher Terrace and the brotherhood we formed through youth sports. Our little league football and basketball coaches joined us to speak about what it was like to not only coach us but also be that male figure that most of us lacked. There were some older generation of athletes from Beecher Terrace (Buzzards) who we looked up to as kids came out to speak on the history of Beecher Terrace and stated how proud they were to see the younger generation of Buzzards all grow up to be great young men!
All in all... this day was special to me because it brought so many people together. My friends and I had the opportunity to relive some special moments in our lives. We got to shoot basketball in the community center (Baxters) that was our safe haven. There were several kids in Baxters shooting basketball and it reminded all of us of the Saturday afternoons we would be in Baxters having the times of our lives playing and competing against each other.
I can’t wait for you all to see all the exciting things we were able to capture yesterday. Beecher Terrace may be getting torn down but we will never forget where we came from!!!