Driven Foundation

Inspirational Blog

The Most Common Lie We Tell Children

Written and Experienced By: Roy Hall Jr.

I was just six years old the first time I took something that didn’t belong to me. Yes, I stole something that was someone else’s property and it was awful! I can feel your judgment already. I see you; your thick Anthony Davis (2020 NBA Champion for the LA Lakers) eyebrows leaping aggressively toward your hairline. I see you. Look, I promise with a little more context and some additional detail, my account of this youthful experience will harmonize your initial thoughts with my concluding statements.

Have you ever taken something that didn’t belong to you? Never? Have you ever boosted a stick of gum from your friend’s car in their glove compartment? As a kid you never “mistakenly” ended up with an extra toy in your toy chest from your neighbor’s house? How about eating some of your child’s fries before you hand them off to the hungry monsters in the back seat? These are clearly minor infractions; a diluted fraction of the friendliest misdemeanor at best. Nevertheless, by definition, they’re all examples of taking what’s not yours.

I Fit the Description

Written and Experienced By: Roy Hall Jr.

 

When I was a 13 year old boy, I was stopped by a white police officer during winter break walking from home to basketball practice at Memorial Junior High School in South Euclid, Ohio. My mother decided to take a chance and moved us to a predominantly white neighborhood just three years earlier, primarily in search of a better long term educational experience. My experience with the police was certainly educational, but obviously not the variety of education that my mom had hoped for.

Apparently I fit the description of someone that just minutes earlier, had stolen a car from a local car collision repair shop. How did I fit the description? Was it because I was 6’1 and I styled my hair like Allen Iverson in corn rows (I miss that hair)? Maybe it was my hooded sweatshirt sticking out of my oversized Nautica coat. Or maybe it was simply because I was a black male close to a crime and fit the most recognizable component of the description…black man.