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My Recent Work
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00:00:02 00:00:04 (gentle music)
00:00:06 00:00:08 (somber music)
00:00:08 00:00:11 >> You know, but I always try to do things my way.
00:00:11 00:00:14 I tried to do it without God's help.
00:00:14 00:00:16 I thought I could do it on my own,
00:00:16 00:00:19 but it seems like every time I took one step forward,
00:00:19 00:00:22 I would trip and end up taking two steps back.
00:00:22 00:00:24 But I was still determined that I was
00:00:24 00:00:26 gon' to do this thing my way.
00:00:26 00:00:28 You see, because I wanted my part of this thing
00:00:28 00:00:31 that they call the American dream.
00:00:31 00:00:32 You know what I'm talking about?
00:00:32 00:00:35 I'm talking about the cars, the clothes,
00:00:35 00:00:38 the house, or the bling and everything that went with it.
00:00:38 00:00:40 And I was gonna do it.
00:00:40 00:00:42 And I was gonna scratch my way up,
00:00:42 00:00:45 even if I had to do it with my own bare hands.
00:00:45 00:00:47 But every time I tried,
00:00:47 00:00:49 it seemed like these same two hands
00:00:49 00:00:51 would end up back in handcuffs.
00:00:51 00:00:53 And I would be back in the Cook County jail in
00:00:53 00:00:57 Chicago on my knees and crying out to God,
00:00:57 00:01:01 asking him to deliver me yet again.
00:01:02 00:01:04 (upbeat music)
00:01:16 00:01:19 I always knew I was gon' be a preacher when I was a little child,
00:01:19 00:01:21 I think, nine, 10 years old.
00:01:21 00:01:29 I had my own church in my mother's kitchen and my brother,
00:01:29 00:01:31 my little brother and my dog, Rex,
00:01:31 00:01:33 they were my two church members.
00:01:33 00:01:37 My brother wasn't all that happy about it.
00:01:37 00:01:38 He wanted to go outside and play,
00:01:38 00:01:41 but I was bigger than him. So I threatened him.
00:01:41 00:01:42 He had to sit there and listen to me
00:01:42 00:01:44 preach all the time every week.
00:01:44 00:01:47 But then what happened was,
00:01:47 00:01:49 I know that when I was about 16 years old,
00:01:49 00:01:53 I went home from school.
00:01:53 00:01:56 And I remember that even when I was younger,
00:01:56 00:01:59 I told my mother that I was gon' be a preacher and she
00:01:59 00:02:01 told me that I couldn't just decide that I
00:02:01 00:02:02 was gonna be a preacher.
00:02:02 00:02:05 She told me that God had to call me.
00:02:05 00:02:08 And so for the next few days,
00:02:08 00:02:10 I sat around the phone waiting for God to call.
00:02:10 00:02:13 But when I was 16 years old,
00:02:13 00:02:16 I remember I was on my way home from school and on
00:02:16 00:02:18 the bus and I kind of was
00:02:18 00:02:21 sitting there kind of dozing or whatever.
00:02:21 00:02:23 But I remember I just saw
00:02:23 00:02:26 myself preaching and preaching and preaching,
00:02:26 00:02:27 and it felt different that time.
00:02:27 00:02:29 And I was thinking that that was
00:02:29 00:02:31 God really calling me at that time.
00:02:31 00:02:35 And I talked with my father who was a preacher.
00:02:35 00:02:37 I talked to my pastor and I talked with
00:02:37 00:02:39 my aunt who was also a preacher.
00:02:39 00:02:43 And then that was when I decided,
00:02:43 00:02:44 and we all decided
00:02:44 00:02:49 that I should have go ahead on and preach my trial sermon.
00:02:49 00:02:53 I left the church because I was kind of disillusioned.
00:02:53 00:02:57 I was… I had a different opinion or
00:02:57 00:03:00 a set opinion of how I thought a preacher was supposed to be
00:03:00 00:03:04 and how church members was supposed to be and how church
00:03:04 00:03:10 itself was supposed to be and I wasn't seeing that.
00:03:10 00:03:12 In my opinion, the preachers
00:03:12 00:03:15 weren't as Holy as I thought they should
00:03:15 00:03:17 be and a lot of the church members were not
00:03:17 00:03:20 acting as Holy as I thought they should be.
00:03:20 00:03:23 I guess I was looking for
00:03:23 00:03:25 the perfect preacher or
00:03:25 00:03:28 the perfect church number or the perfect church.
00:03:28 00:03:30 I went from one denomination to
00:03:30 00:03:34 another thinking that one might be better than the other,
00:03:34 00:03:38 but I found out later on that there is no such thing as
00:03:38 00:03:42 a perfect preacher or a perfect church or perfect anything else.
00:03:42 00:03:44 There was only one perfect person in the world that was
00:03:44 00:03:48 Jesus and so the illusion that I had in my head,
00:03:48 00:03:51 that there just isn't any.
00:03:51 00:03:56 And so, but I discovered that afterwards,
00:03:56 00:04:00 after I had already left the church was that we were all flawed.
00:04:00 00:04:02 I was 20 years old,
00:04:02 00:04:03 it was shortly after I left the church,
00:04:03 00:04:06 I started drinking and started smoking
00:04:06 00:04:09 marijuana with some of my friends.
00:04:09 00:04:14 I was dropping a few pills from time to time,
00:04:14 00:04:18 reds, trees and that kind of thing.
00:04:18 00:04:23 And then one time a friend of mine came by with some drugs,
00:04:23 00:04:25 it was the street name of Duji.
00:04:25 00:04:29 I didn't know what at the time, but Duji was really heroin.
00:04:29 00:04:31 Several friends came by and it was on
00:04:31 00:04:36 a Friday evening and they had the Duji or heroin,
00:04:36 00:04:40 but they also had some other drug paraphernalia.
00:04:40 00:04:45 They had needles and makeshift syringes was,
00:04:45 00:04:48 and they were getting everything together.
00:04:48 00:04:50 And I asked what was going on,
00:04:50 00:04:52 and he said, well, we're going to shoot at this time.
00:04:52 00:04:55 I told him, well, just put mine a little bit over
00:04:55 00:04:57 there for me and I'll snort mine.
00:04:57 00:05:00 But then, my friend said,
00:05:00 00:05:01 “No, you don't understand,
00:05:01 00:05:04 we shooting ours and you're going to shoot yours too.”
00:05:04 00:05:08 And I didn't realize it at the time,
00:05:08 00:05:10 but BB and Ronnie had come up behind me.
00:05:10 00:05:13 And then they grabbed me and was holding me down.
00:05:13 00:05:16 When my friend Tadpole was coming toward me with the,
00:05:16 00:05:20 with the needle and the makeshift syringe.
00:05:20 00:05:23 And he said, I remember him saying, “sorry Bub,
00:05:23 00:05:25 but I know that this is the only way I could get
00:05:25 00:05:27 you to try it.” And by the way,
00:05:27 00:05:29 that was my nickname at the time, Bub.
00:05:29 00:05:35 And so when Tadpole started sticking a needle in my arm,
00:05:35 00:05:38 I was struggling and resistant and they said, “Hey man,
00:05:38 00:05:40 you need to quit struggling,
00:05:40 00:05:42 that needle’s going to break in your arm.”
00:05:42 00:05:45 And so I quit struggling, I just stopped.
00:05:45 00:05:48 And I was thinking to myself that, okay, when,
00:05:48 00:05:49 when this is over with,
00:05:49 00:05:50 I'm going to get my,
00:05:50 00:05:53 my gun and I'm gonna shoot all three of them.
00:05:53 00:05:58 But then when the heroin started going through my system,
00:05:58 00:05:59 it was a feeling of euphoria,
00:05:59 00:06:02 a feeling that I'd never felt before.
00:06:02 00:06:06 And that was the beginning of drug use.
00:06:06 00:06:08 On hard drugs anyway.
00:06:10 00:06:16 It was a feeling I'd never had before.
00:06:16 00:06:20 Heroin has you kind of mellowed out.
00:06:20 00:06:24 You are just laid back and relaxed
00:06:24 00:06:28 and it seems like nothing in the world is going on matters.
00:06:28 00:06:31 If you’re listening to music,
00:06:31 00:06:35 like I was always listening to jazz,
00:06:35 00:06:37 the music sounded better.
00:06:37 00:06:42 The saxophone that was being played, it sounded better.
00:06:42 00:06:45 The piano, whatever. All the music was just great.
00:06:45 00:06:47 You hear it differently when you were
00:06:47 00:06:51 high and you just mellowed out.
00:06:51 00:06:55 It was unlike any other drugs that I had ever, ever had.
00:06:55 00:06:58 Cocaine was like I said, it's the opposite.
00:06:58 00:07:01 Once you, when you finish shooting some cocaine,
00:07:01 00:07:06 you want to go back and get some more, right then.
00:07:06 00:07:07 A lot sometimes when,
00:07:07 00:07:09 when I even the first time that I shot
00:07:09 00:07:14 some cocaine for all the needle was still in my arm,
00:07:14 00:07:17 I used my other hand
00:07:17 00:07:20 to reached in my pocket to see how much money I had left,
00:07:20 00:07:22 so I can go back and get some more.
00:07:22 00:07:26 But that's the effect and the difference that cocaine has,
00:07:26 00:07:28 it's an instant, high,
00:07:28 00:07:32 it's a high that you really like feeling,
00:07:32 00:07:36 but you want to go back and get some more right away.
00:07:36 00:07:39 And then again and again, and that's why people,
00:07:39 00:07:42 some people will be on binges where they do
00:07:42 00:07:45 cocaine three or four days in a row,
00:07:45 00:07:47 just getting high all day and
00:07:47 00:07:51 all night for several days and several nights.
00:07:51 00:07:56 I shot both. I started off snorting heroin,
00:07:56 00:07:59 and then I went to shooting heroin.
00:07:59 00:08:02 And then when I started on cocaine,
00:08:02 00:08:07 I started, well, I started shooting cocaine.
00:08:07 00:08:09 That was when I was really into my drugs.
00:08:09 00:08:12 I remember back earlier when I was back in the service,
00:08:12 00:08:16 when I was back in the service,
00:08:16 00:08:18 I was snorting cocaine then.
00:08:18 00:08:22 But then when I started into
00:08:22 00:08:25 my heavy addiction and I was shooting cocaine,
00:08:25 00:08:28 matter of fact, some people even do what they call speed balling.
00:08:28 00:08:30 They mixed the whole cocaine and heroin together,
00:08:30 00:08:32 and they shoot it together because it gives
00:08:32 00:08:36 them the combined effect.
00:08:36 00:08:40 And that was one thing that I really loved to do was speed ball,
00:08:40 00:08:42 shooting the heroin and cocaine together.
00:08:43 00:08:46 (jazz music plays)
00:08:47 00:08:48 >> After thinking back on things,
00:08:48 00:08:52 there was an emptiness there that I didn't realize at the time,
00:08:52 00:08:54 but there was an emptiness, I guess,
00:08:54 00:08:57 an emptiness or a void that I was trying to fill.
00:08:57 00:09:01 But mostly what I think was,
00:09:01 00:09:03 I was always chasing something.
00:09:03 00:09:05 I don't know what it was.
00:09:05 00:09:07 A lot of addicts love chasing
00:09:07 00:09:10 something and they don't know what it is.
00:09:10 00:09:14 And the best way to describe it is when I was in prison.
00:09:14 00:09:20 I had a recurring dream and that dream and in that dream,
00:09:20 00:09:24 I would be just about to shoot some drugs,
00:09:24 00:09:26 heroin, or cocaine or both.
00:09:26 00:09:29 And I have the tie or belt or whatever,
00:09:29 00:09:33 tied around my arm and I was just about to stick
00:09:33 00:09:34 the needle into my arm and I would
00:09:34 00:09:37 wake up and this happened again,
00:09:37 00:09:38 and again, and again,
00:09:38 00:09:40 night after night, you know,
00:09:40 00:09:42 two or three, sometimes two or three nights a week.
00:09:42 00:09:44 I would have that same dream,
00:09:44 00:09:46 and one time, it went even further,
00:09:46 00:09:48 I got the needle into my arm,
00:09:48 00:09:52 as I was about to push the plunger, I wake up.
00:09:52 00:09:56 I woke up and I was wondering, “Okay, what is up with this?”
00:09:56 00:10:00 I said, “Lord, at least let me fill it at one time,
00:10:00 00:10:02 you know?” But anyway,
00:10:02 00:10:08 but that's a way of describing what you are chasing.
00:10:08 00:10:09 You don't know what you're chasing,
00:10:09 00:10:12 but you're chasing something and the thing is,
00:10:12 00:10:15 you never catch it, you never achieve it.
00:10:15 00:10:16 And so you get more drugs,
00:10:16 00:10:19 still chasing whatever that was.
00:10:19 00:10:22 And what I think, you know,
00:10:22 00:10:24 looking back on stuff when I was thinking is
00:10:24 00:10:26 that I didn't realize
00:10:26 00:10:29 it at the time and a lot of addicts don't realize it,
00:10:29 00:10:31 but they were really chasing his death.
00:10:31 00:10:34 Not saying that they want to die, they’re trying to die.
00:10:34 00:10:40 But if they keep chasing what is staying away from them,
00:10:40 00:10:44 what is one step ahead of them, is death.
00:10:44 00:10:46 But it's still chasing it.
00:10:46 00:10:49 And the problem is, the bad thing is,
00:10:49 00:10:54 now too many of our people are catching up with him.
00:10:54 00:10:56 They're no longer just chasing them.
00:10:56 00:11:00 They caught him, and now they're dead.
00:11:00 00:11:03 (soft piano music)
00:11:10 00:11:11 >> About two weeks ago,
00:11:11 00:11:15 I left the ministry, slacking a little bit in
00:11:15 00:11:20 my persistence towards God,
00:11:20 00:11:21 when I was afraid, you know what I'm saying?
00:11:21 00:11:23 I started taking my eyes off Him,
00:11:23 00:11:25 and started putting it all about me.
00:11:25 00:11:28 It was all about me, you know?
00:11:28 00:11:31 So anyway, I felt bad.
00:11:31 00:11:33 You know, when I left,
00:11:33 00:11:35 I went out and used.
00:11:35 00:11:37 I only been out a week. You know what I mean?
00:11:37 00:11:38 I came back. You know what I mean?
00:11:38 00:11:40 Came back to my senses and what
00:11:40 00:11:44 I wanted to give God the glory for when I was out there.
00:11:44 00:11:48 I mean, it's just like people say,
00:11:48 00:11:51 once you leave the drug alone
00:11:51 00:11:55 and then you go back to it, it gets worse.
00:11:55 00:12:01 3:45 in the morning pitch dark,
00:12:01 00:12:02 money in my pocket,
00:12:02 00:12:05 over 300 and something dollars in my pocket. I'm out walking.
00:12:05 00:12:08 I'm like, I'm like,
00:12:08 00:12:11 every now and then a car will pass and I'm like,
00:12:11 00:12:13 thinking to myself, “Oh God, help me God.
00:12:13 00:12:16 Oh Lord God, please don't let nobody
00:12:16 00:12:18 pull up and blow my head off or
00:12:18 00:12:23 please don’t have somebody pull up and try to rob me.” You know,
00:12:23 00:12:27 that’s just how much God loves me.
00:12:27 00:12:29 You know what I'm saying? Today because,
00:12:29 00:12:33 there's been situations like that where you heard about
00:12:33 00:12:37 it on the news or whatever you want to say.
00:12:37 00:12:40 Things like that happen to people.
00:12:40 00:12:44 All my life, I always felt God's hand on me.
00:12:44 00:12:46 So since I been back,
00:12:46 00:12:49 I been taking my eyes off myself.
00:12:49 00:12:51 You know what I'm saying?
00:12:51 00:12:53 Just coming to the Lord faithfully.
00:12:53 00:12:55 You just take one day at a time.
00:12:55 00:12:57 >> I knew I was in too deep when I started
00:12:57 00:12:59 doing things that I really said, I would never do,
00:12:59 00:13:02 I started stealing from the church,
00:13:02 00:13:06 particularly, my father and my aunt's church.
00:13:06 00:13:09 I stole my father's tithe envelope
00:13:09 00:13:11 that he had dropped off at my aunts,
00:13:11 00:13:13 they put in an offering the next day.
00:13:13 00:13:19 I was what they call fiending and,
00:13:19 00:13:21 you know, I needed some drugs right then,
00:13:21 00:13:24 so I took the money out of
00:13:24 00:13:27 my father's tithe envelope
00:13:27 00:13:29 and I went and bought the drugs with it.
00:13:29 00:13:35 I was running… I found the checkbook,
00:13:35 00:13:41 the church's checkbook and I was writing checks to myself from the
00:13:41 00:13:46 church’s checkbook and I was signing fictitious names to them,
00:13:46 00:13:49 and so I was doing that,
00:13:49 00:13:50 and so that's when I meant when I said I was
00:13:50 00:13:51 stealing from the church.
00:13:51 00:13:54 And another thing that really hurt,
00:13:54 00:13:57 I know my family, my aunt was that,
00:13:57 00:14:02 okay... My aunt who really loved me,
00:14:02 00:14:05 there's pictures of her holding me when I was a baby and
00:14:05 00:14:08 I remember her taking me to, she was a nurse.
00:14:08 00:14:10 And by the way, she didn’t have any children,
00:14:10 00:14:13 she considered me her child,
00:14:13 00:14:16 and she loved me with her whole heart and
00:14:16 00:14:25 I stole so much stuff on her that they were prosperous,
00:14:25 00:14:26 but by the time I finished,
00:14:26 00:14:29 she couldn't even have her electric was turned off,
00:14:29 00:14:33 her gas was turned off and the telephone
00:14:33 00:14:37 was turned off because I stole all of her stuff.
00:14:37 00:14:39 She had taken me in after her husband had
00:14:39 00:14:42 passed to help her around the house,
00:14:42 00:14:46 and I was stealing her blind.
00:14:46 00:14:51 A lot of stuff that she had accumulated I was selling.
00:14:51 00:14:54 She had a couple of fur coats, I sold both of them.
00:14:54 00:14:56 I sold the coats and I remember she
00:14:56 00:14:57 was a pastor and one of our members had
00:14:57 00:14:59 passed and she couldn't even go to
00:14:59 00:15:01 the funeral because she didn't have a coat to wear,
00:15:01 00:15:02 I stole all of them.
00:15:02 00:15:04 Man, what have I become?
00:15:04 00:15:07 Auntie is gone now,
00:15:07 00:15:10 but that still bothers me.
00:15:10 00:15:11 I still, when I pray now,
00:15:11 00:15:14 ask God to forgive me for what I did to Auntie.
00:15:14 00:15:16 My father took a Greyhound bus from
00:15:16 00:15:20 Chicago all the way to Leavenworth to visit me.
00:15:20 00:15:23 When I was at the Cook County jail,
00:15:23 00:15:27 he visited me all the time.
00:15:27 00:15:29 And I didn't know the effect that I was having on
00:15:29 00:15:34 him until some years later cause I thought that,
00:15:34 00:15:35 okay, I'm not hurting anybody,
00:15:35 00:15:40 but myself and I was wrong about that.
00:15:40 00:15:42 I remember hearing when I was sent to
00:15:42 00:15:46 the penitentiary and I heard some time
00:15:46 00:15:48 later was the fact that how it affected
00:15:48 00:15:52 my father when he had to go to the jail to get my clothes,
00:15:52 00:15:54 because I was gone.
00:15:54 00:16:02 And what I heard was that the effect it had on him was
00:16:02 00:16:05 it was almost like him going to
00:16:05 00:16:10 a hospital or something to get my clothes, because I'm dead.
00:16:10 00:16:13 And that was the feeling that he had that,
00:16:13 00:16:15 I gotta get my son's clothes.
00:16:15 00:16:17 He's gone now.
00:16:17 00:16:20 And that had an effect on him that
00:16:20 00:16:24 I didn't realize til years later.
00:16:25 00:16:28 And even with my daughter,
00:16:29 00:16:32 when I was arrested,
00:16:32 00:16:34 I went to prison and I wrote her
00:16:34 00:16:37 a letter because the year
00:16:37 00:16:40 previous was the most time I had ever spent with her,
00:16:40 00:16:42 when she came to visit in Chicago and I was
00:16:42 00:16:45 able to be with her and my son.
00:16:45 00:16:48 But I wrote her that letter when I got
00:16:48 00:16:51 to the prison and she wrote me back, she said, “Dad,
00:16:51 00:16:53 why is the only time I hear from you is when you were in jail?”
00:16:53 00:16:59 And that affected me because I realized it was true.
00:16:59 00:17:02 She lives in Detroit with her mother and
00:17:02 00:17:07 other family members and I lived some of everywhere: Chicago,
00:17:07 00:17:11 Detroit, St. Louis, California.
00:17:11 00:17:12 I was always trying to stay a step
00:17:12 00:17:14 ahead of the police and the warrants that I had.
00:17:14 00:17:18 And so when I wrote her that and she wrote me back,
00:17:18 00:17:21 “Why is the only time you write me is when you’re in jail?”
00:17:21 00:17:27 That messed me up, because it was true.
00:17:27 00:17:29 And so when I'm in prisons,
00:17:29 00:17:32 talking to the men in prisons when I go,
00:17:32 00:17:34 and I share that story with them, let them know,
00:17:34 00:17:38 “No don't make the same mistake that I made.
00:17:39 00:17:42 The stuff you're doing is not just affecting you,
00:17:42 00:17:44 it's affecting your whole family,
00:17:44 00:17:49 your children, your little siblings,
00:17:49 00:17:50 your brothers or sisters.
00:17:50 00:17:54 You are hurting them more than
00:17:54 00:17:57 you think you are hurting them.” And so,
00:17:57 00:18:00 yeah, it was a real negative effect that I had on
00:18:00 00:18:03 my family and my friends, even to this day.
00:18:03 00:18:05 It was well over
00:18:05 00:18:09 $200,000 that I had spent during the time of my addiction,
00:18:09 00:18:13 and it might've been even closer to $300,000.
00:18:13 00:18:19 I had spent so much money on the drug.
00:18:19 00:18:23 And one thing that I did realize later in
00:18:23 00:18:28 my addiction was that even if I wanted a job or wanted to work,
00:18:28 00:18:30 I couldn't afford to work because there
00:18:30 00:18:32 was no job that was going to pay me enough to be
00:18:32 00:18:37 able to supply the drugs that I needed just to function.
00:18:37 00:18:41 And so, yeah, it costs a lot monetarily
00:18:41 00:18:46 and as far as relationships and even my freedom.
00:18:46 00:18:49 Yeah, drug addiction costs a lot.
00:18:49 00:18:51 Besides the heroin and cocaine,
00:18:51 00:18:53 and I was addicted to alcohol cigarettes,
00:18:53 00:18:57 sex, I think I was even addicted to crime.
00:18:57 00:19:00 It was just the rush sometimes
00:19:00 00:19:03 with some of the criminal activities that I was doing,
00:19:03 00:19:06 the con games that I was running,
00:19:06 00:19:11 especially when I was in California and in the Marines.
00:19:11 00:19:13 I got a high from that,
00:19:13 00:19:15 just being able to,
00:19:15 00:19:17 to talk people out of stuff.
00:19:17 00:19:24 All of the males in my family were alcoholics.
00:19:24 00:19:27 My father, my grandfather,
00:19:27 00:19:31 all my uncles, cousins,
00:19:31 00:19:33 they were all alcoholics.
00:19:33 00:19:36 My father was a heavy drinker and alcoholic.
00:19:36 00:19:41 I think the only thing that I saved him from that his call,
00:19:41 00:19:44 when God called him to the ministry.
00:19:44 00:19:47 And then God delivered him from that.
00:19:47 00:19:50 But I remember growing up as a child,
00:19:50 00:19:52 all I saw was alcoholism especially
00:19:52 00:19:55 from the male side of my family,
00:19:55 00:19:58 both sides of the family, my mother's side and my father's side.
00:19:58 00:20:04 >> First high I experienced was an aerosol can.
00:20:04 00:20:07 About seven years old,
00:20:07 00:20:09 and from there, everything took off.
00:20:09 00:20:12 Before junior high, I was probably
00:20:12 00:20:15 a stoned alcoholic, drug addict,
00:20:15 00:20:16 whatever you want to call it,
00:20:16 00:20:23 but it was never addressed because I was the fourth child.
00:20:23 00:20:27 I felt my mom played favoritism over all five of us.
00:20:27 00:20:30 And I'm okay with that, I was known as the black sheep,
00:20:30 00:20:33 so I continued on.
00:20:33 00:20:37 Before I was 16, I formed my own gang,
00:20:37 00:20:41 got into the streets and by now crack and
00:20:41 00:20:44 everything else was out there.
00:20:44 00:20:47 The first elicit drug I fell in love with was
00:20:47 00:20:50 the PCP and angel dust.
00:20:50 00:20:54 And from their on, I spiraled out of control.
00:20:54 00:20:56 Each time I disconnect from
00:20:56 00:20:58 people that's going to mean me some good,
00:20:58 00:21:00 I wind up going back.
00:21:00 00:21:03 If this is your first treatment,
00:21:03 00:21:05 spiritual whatever type of treatment.
00:21:05 00:21:07 Each time you go out,
00:21:07 00:21:10 you double your dose and you triple your pain.
00:21:10 00:21:14 >> This, this is crack cocaine
00:21:14 00:21:19 seized a few days ago by drug enforcement agents in a park,
00:21:19 00:21:22 just across the street from the White House.
00:21:22 00:21:25 It could easily have been heroin or
00:21:25 00:21:29 PCP it's as innocent looking as candy,
00:21:29 00:21:31 but it's turning our cities into
00:21:31 00:21:34 battle zones and it's murdering our children.
00:21:34 00:21:36 Let there be no mistake,
00:21:36 00:21:39 this stuff is poison.
00:21:39 00:21:42 >> We’re going to be approaching an area now,
00:21:42 00:21:45 a place where back in the day,
00:21:45 00:21:47 I first started smoking crack.
00:21:47 00:21:49 As a matter of fact, this is the first place
00:21:49 00:21:54 that I smoked crack at,
00:21:54 00:21:57 crack and also PCP,
00:21:57 00:21:59 what people call water.
00:21:59 00:22:02 It’s all boarded up now,
00:22:02 00:22:05 but that was the place where I first started
00:22:05 00:22:09 smoking crack and PCP,
00:22:09 00:22:11 what they call water.
00:22:11 00:22:15 The person, who I will not name,
00:22:15 00:22:17 he had several houses,
00:22:17 00:22:19 drug houses, in the St. Louis area.
00:22:19 00:22:21 But this is where he started.
00:22:21 00:22:26 Even when I was on my knees in the alley that night,
00:22:26 00:22:28 the alley looked something like this one.
00:22:28 00:22:29 On my hands and knees,
00:22:29 00:22:31 looking for a syringe and
00:22:31 00:22:34 a needle that I had thrown away hours earlier.
00:22:34 00:22:36 I’d thrown them away because I promised God
00:22:36 00:22:38 that I would never shoot drugs again.
00:22:38 00:22:41 But here I was in that alley on my hands and
00:22:41 00:22:46 knees looking for that syringe and that needle,
00:22:46 00:22:49 instead of being on my hands and my knees and asking God to
00:22:49 00:22:53 forgive me and to deliver me from this thing.
00:22:53 00:22:56 My marriage failed because I
00:22:56 00:23:02 chose drugs and the lifestyle that I was living over my family.
00:23:02 00:23:05 What I mean by that is that is,
00:23:05 00:23:08 it's the choices that you make.
00:23:09 00:23:14 You can choose to be with your family and do what you
00:23:14 00:23:19 can to be a father of your husband or whatever,
00:23:19 00:23:21 or you can choose to
00:23:21 00:23:26 do what you need to do in order to support your habit.
00:23:26 00:23:30 And if you, the habit that you have,
00:23:30 00:23:32 it's gonna cost you something.
00:23:32 00:23:36 As far as your relationship with folks,
00:23:36 00:23:40 take for instance, you
00:23:40 00:23:41 might have an appointment to go
00:23:41 00:23:44 somewhere to be somewhere at a certain time.
00:23:44 00:23:49 And you decide before you get ready to leave home, to get there,
00:23:49 00:23:51 you said, okay, I'm going to take a hit first before I go,
00:23:51 00:23:53 just take the edge off and I'll be good.
00:23:53 00:23:56 Okay with that hit, it leads to another hit.
00:23:56 00:23:58 And then that leads to take an another hit.
00:23:58 00:24:00 And that hit leads to taking another hit.
00:24:00 00:24:02 And the next thing you know,
00:24:02 00:24:07 you’ve been there getting high and doing
00:24:07 00:24:09 drugs instead of going and
00:24:09 00:24:11 doing what you supposed to be doing and now,
00:24:11 00:24:14 after taking hit, after hit, after hit,
00:24:14 00:24:20 now it's so late that it's too late to get there,
00:24:20 00:24:22 to do what you were supposed to been doing.
00:24:22 00:24:24 Whether it's supposed to be at one of
00:24:24 00:24:26 your kid's ball games or something,
00:24:26 00:24:28 or graduation of whatever,
00:24:28 00:24:31 instead of doing what you supposed to be doing,
00:24:31 00:24:34 you’re self-indulging, that's a choice
00:24:34 00:24:38 that you have made and then so your family suffers.
00:24:38 00:24:39 I remember a friend of mine,
00:24:39 00:24:41 a friend of mine whose mother
00:24:41 00:24:42 had passed, now she loved her mother.
00:24:42 00:24:46 Her mother had passed and she had had
00:24:46 00:24:49 gotten to the funeral home in plenty of time for the funeral.
00:24:49 00:24:51 Matter of fact, she was there for the visitation.
00:24:51 00:24:53 And sometimes during the visitation,
00:24:53 00:24:55 she decided to step outside,
00:24:55 00:24:57 and her and a friend of hers was sitting in
00:24:57 00:25:00 a car and they started to smoke some crack.
00:25:00 00:25:01 And they were sitting there,
00:25:01 00:25:03 getting high, smoking crack.
00:25:03 00:25:05 But the way crack is
00:25:05 00:25:09 one hit leads to another hit and then to another hit,
00:25:09 00:25:10 then to another hit.
00:25:10 00:25:13 And before they even realized that the funeral was halfway
00:25:13 00:25:17 over and they’re sitting outside in the parking lot,
00:25:17 00:25:21 smoking crack while their mother’s being funeralized inside.
00:25:21 00:25:26 And now, it's not because she didn't love her mother,
00:25:26 00:25:30 but the choice that she made was to start,
00:25:30 00:25:32 was to take that first hit.
00:25:32 00:25:34 And one hit led to another.
00:25:34 00:25:38 And so that's an example of choices that you
00:25:38 00:25:43 make that affects your family or it affects people around you.
00:25:43 00:25:47 And it would affect you later when you realized,
00:25:47 00:25:52 man, what was I thinking? What was I thinking?
00:25:52 00:25:54 Mom is in there being…
00:25:54 00:25:57 A funeral is going on and out, sitting on the car, getting high.
00:25:57 00:26:00 But by the time you realize that and
00:26:00 00:26:03 think about that, it's too late.
00:26:04 00:26:07 My daughter was graduating and I was supposed to be at
00:26:07 00:26:09 the graduation and I'm
00:26:09 00:26:12 out here getting high or trying to get some money.
00:26:13 00:26:15 Other stuff that's going on,
00:26:15 00:26:19 you made choices, it’s a bad choice.
00:26:19 00:26:21 And somewhere down the road,
00:26:21 00:26:25 that's going to eat that shoe and eat you up, and consume you.
00:26:25 00:26:28 I was trying to escape reality.
00:26:28 00:26:31 I lost so much by the decisions that I had made.
00:26:31 00:26:33 We all have dreams,
00:26:33 00:26:34 I had had dreams when I was,
00:26:34 00:26:37 I was a child growing up and then
00:26:37 00:26:40 I started achieving some of those dreams.
00:26:40 00:26:45 Like I said, at one point I was a functioning drug addict.
00:26:45 00:26:47 But even before I started using the drugs,
00:26:47 00:26:49 when I was preaching before,
00:26:49 00:26:55 I was a sought after teenage preacher around the Midwest.
00:26:55 00:27:00 That was gone. I was
00:27:00 00:27:03 a successful businessman in
00:27:03 00:27:08 the retail industry and retail management.
00:27:08 00:27:16 I messed that up. I was an upcoming politician in Chicago,
00:27:16 00:27:21 working for one of the first black United States Congressmen.
00:27:21 00:27:25 That was gone. I’d gotten a raise,
00:27:25 00:27:28 I made all the way up to Sergeant in one of the toughest,
00:27:28 00:27:33 most respected branches of the military that there is.
00:27:33 00:27:35 I messed that up.
00:27:35 00:27:38 God gave me chance and chance after chance,
00:27:38 00:27:41 and I was able to achieve this and that and I messed it up,
00:27:41 00:27:44 threw it all the way because of
00:27:44 00:27:48 some choices that I made and the addictions that I had.
00:27:48 00:27:50 And there was, and I was sitting,
00:27:50 00:27:52 I think back up, man,
00:27:52 00:27:54 I had it. I had it.
00:27:54 00:27:56 And then I would get so discouraged and
00:27:56 00:27:59 disgusted because I know those chances,
00:27:59 00:28:01 those opportunities, they’re never going to come
00:28:01 00:28:04 back. So what am I now?
00:28:04 00:28:08 Just a junkie. That's all I'm ever going to be.
00:28:08 00:28:12 Now, just another junkie who was steady
00:28:12 00:28:16 hurting folk and so you get so depressed off of that.
00:28:16 00:28:19 I heard people say that people do drugs for
00:28:19 00:28:24 two reasons: one is to feel good and another is not to feel.
00:28:24 00:28:26 When you first start shooting drugs or doing drugs,
00:28:26 00:28:28 you're doing it because it makes you feel good.
00:28:28 00:28:32 But later on, you're doing it because you don't want to feel.
00:28:32 00:28:35 You don't want to feel the pain that you caused to everybody.
00:28:35 00:28:38 You don't want to feel the disappointment that
00:28:38 00:28:41 you are having yourself and how you disappointed other folks.
00:28:41 00:28:44 You don't want to feel that. So you medicate,
00:28:44 00:28:47 you just keep doing more drugs and drug after drug,
00:28:47 00:28:49 because you don't want to feel.
00:28:49 00:28:53 I get a lot of people who call or
00:28:53 00:28:55 contact me because one of their loved ones,
00:28:55 00:28:58 their son or daughter or whoever is
00:28:58 00:29:01 strung out on drugs and they know how God delivered me from drugs,
00:29:01 00:29:03 so they want me to talk to them.
00:29:03 00:29:05 And I'm glad to do that.
00:29:05 00:29:10 But what people have to realize is that they're not,
00:29:10 00:29:12 if they're not ready to quit,
00:29:12 00:29:15 they're not going to listen to me because
00:29:15 00:29:17 they think that they got it under control.
00:29:17 00:29:22 They think they're using because they want to use.
00:29:22 00:29:23 You hear people say,
00:29:23 00:29:27 I can quit anytime I want to.
00:29:27 00:29:29 I'm just not ready to quit.
00:29:29 00:29:32 So until they realized that they are ready to
00:29:32 00:29:35 quit and what's going on, they will never quit.
00:29:35 00:29:39 But one thing that is good,
00:29:39 00:29:41 is that you're able to plant seed.
00:29:41 00:29:45 And so that's what I do sometimes I plant the seed.
00:29:45 00:29:49 Just like the Bible says, even about Christianity,
00:29:49 00:29:51 one person might plant a seed and the other one might water it,
00:29:51 00:29:53 but then God gives the increase.
00:29:53 00:29:57 If I plant a seed for someone and then something else
00:29:57 00:30:01 happens down the road to reinforce the seed that I planted,
00:30:01 00:30:03 in other words, they watered it.
00:30:03 00:30:08 And then so when time comes,
00:30:08 00:30:12 then when they start feeling like, okay,
00:30:12 00:30:14 this ain't what I signed up for,
00:30:14 00:30:17 maybe it's time for me to rethink this thing.
00:30:17 00:30:19 But sometimes it might be
00:30:19 00:30:21 kind of late because they've lost some stuff,
00:30:21 00:30:23 different people have rock bottoms.
00:30:23 00:30:25 For some it’s going to jail,
00:30:25 00:30:27 for some was a loss of a loved one,
00:30:27 00:30:31 for some it’s being homeless or whatever.
00:30:31 00:30:34 Different people have their own rock bottom,
00:30:34 00:30:36 but then when they get close to that bottom,
00:30:36 00:30:38 then it starts sinking in that,
00:30:38 00:30:42 okay, this is not what I want.
00:30:42 00:30:46 And it took a while for me to realize that myself.
00:30:46 00:30:49 Again, what started affecting me
00:30:49 00:30:52 was when I saw how I was affecting other folk,
00:30:52 00:30:55 but until I got ready to quit,
00:30:55 00:30:56 I don't care who came and talked to me
00:30:56 00:30:58 about what, I wasn't hearing it.
00:30:58 00:31:01 My cousin who's passed now,
00:31:01 00:31:03 I loved her, Rose.
00:31:03 00:31:06 She had tried to talk me cause
00:31:06 00:31:09 she had been on drugs before herself,
00:31:09 00:31:11 and God had delivered her,
00:31:11 00:31:12 so she was trying to help me.
00:31:12 00:31:15 But I wasn't trying to hear that at that time.
00:31:15 00:31:17 I just wanted her to just leave me alone, I know what I'm doing.
00:31:17 00:31:19 I’ll quit when I'm ready.
00:31:19 00:31:22 I remember early in my addiction,
00:31:22 00:31:24 I went to a drug house.
00:31:24 00:31:26 It was in Chicago
00:31:27 00:31:31 where they sold out of a window that led to an alley.
00:31:31 00:31:35 You tap on the window and you tell them what you want,
00:31:35 00:31:38 and then they get the bag or two or whatever you wanted.
00:31:38 00:31:42 I did that one night after getting off work.
00:31:42 00:31:44 And I was headed back to my car.
00:31:44 00:31:48 And then I saw someone coming up through a vacant lot.
00:31:48 00:31:51 And when I saw them,
00:31:51 00:31:52 I didn't know what it was.
00:31:52 00:31:53 Was it a police of what?
00:31:53 00:31:58 I dropped the bag when I realized what was going on,
00:31:58 00:32:01 because the person had a gun pointed at me and he said,
00:32:01 00:32:04 “Okay, give it up!”
00:32:04 00:32:05 And acted like I didn't know what he was talking about,
00:32:05 00:32:07 I said, “What you talking about, man?
00:32:07 00:32:09 What you talking about?” He said,
00:32:09 00:32:14 “Give me the dope.” And I started trying to play it off you know,
00:32:14 00:32:15 like I ain't got no dope,
00:32:15 00:32:18 they didn't have any, or whatever.
00:32:18 00:32:21 And he put gun closer to me and he said,
00:32:21 00:32:24 “Don't make me shoot you.
00:32:24 00:32:29 Give me the bag!” And so after hesitating and stuff,
00:32:29 00:32:31 as long as I could, I said, “Okay,
00:32:31 00:32:33 this dud looks like he’s going to shoot me.”
00:32:33 00:32:37 I dropped the bag on the ground.
00:32:37 00:32:39 And I was in, I was hoping
00:32:39 00:32:43 that at first he wouldn't see it cause I put my foot over it.
00:32:43 00:32:45 And so I was still trying to talk to
00:32:45 00:32:47 him and tell him that I don't have anything,
00:32:47 00:32:49 but when he cocked the gun,
00:32:49 00:32:50 “See, I told you I dropped it.
00:32:50 00:32:53 It’s right there.” I was hoping in my mind,
00:32:53 00:32:55 that he was going to reach down and
00:32:55 00:32:57 pick up the bag and when he did that,
00:32:57 00:32:58 I was going to kick him in the head.
00:32:58 00:33:02 He didn't do that, he told me to get him a car.
00:33:02 00:33:05 And I said, “Okay.” And so I had another plan.
00:33:05 00:33:06 I was going to get in the car
00:33:06 00:33:08 and then I was going to run over him.
00:33:08 00:33:10 But when I got in the car and by the time I looked up,
00:33:10 00:33:12 he had vanished into the dark.
00:33:12 00:33:15 I drove around looking for him.
00:33:15 00:33:18 I know that sounds crazy, he got a gun.
00:33:18 00:33:19 I ain't got no gun,
00:33:19 00:33:24 but I was driving around looking for him over a $10 bag of heroin.
00:33:25 00:33:30 That's one of the dangers that you have,
00:33:30 00:33:33 and that wasn't the only time that I faced stick-ups.
00:33:33 00:33:34 There’s been several times,
00:33:34 00:33:36 but that's one that stands out in my mind.
00:33:36 00:33:39 So there are a lot of ways that you can,
00:33:39 00:33:41 that you’re risk in your life when you,
00:33:41 00:33:43 when you are doing drugs.
00:33:43 00:33:44 One is overdosing.
00:33:44 00:33:47 The other one is just being robbed or
00:33:47 00:33:51 shot or getting killed in a drug situation.
00:33:51 00:33:55 My father was never able to see me,
00:33:55 00:33:59 the new me or the real me, or the delivered me.
00:33:59 00:34:03 The one after Christ delivered me from my addiction.
00:34:03 00:34:06 My father never gave up on me.
00:34:06 00:34:07 He, as I stated earlier,
00:34:07 00:34:09 when I was going through all of this stuff,
00:34:09 00:34:12 my father was always with me.
00:34:12 00:34:15 A disappointment my dad really had was when I
00:34:15 00:34:18 was really getting to my worst one time.
00:34:18 00:34:23 And I got to my father's house and I knocked and rung the bell.
00:34:23 00:34:24 Dad lifted the curtain.
00:34:24 00:34:26 Normally when he’d lifted the curtain, he see me,
00:34:26 00:34:28 he swings the door open, “Here's my son!
00:34:28 00:34:30 Come on in here, boy.” You know,
00:34:30 00:34:32 but that time they had
00:34:32 00:34:33 lifted the curtain and was just looking at me.
00:34:33 00:34:36 He said, “What you want?” I said, “Dad,
00:34:36 00:34:38 it's me.” He said, “I know who you are.
00:34:38 00:34:42 What you want?” And I can tell then the dad was really, really,
00:34:42 00:34:44 really disappointed in me, but even then,
00:34:44 00:34:46 he couldn't hold it that alone.
00:34:46 00:34:48 Dad loved me.
00:34:50 00:34:55 And even though he didn't live to see the change in me,
00:34:55 00:34:57 I know it was because of the prayers that he
00:34:57 00:35:00 prayed constantly on my behalf,
00:35:00 00:35:04 was one of the reasons that I am who I am now.
00:35:04 00:35:06 He was trying to rid
00:35:06 00:35:09 the neighborhood of the drug activity and the drugs.
00:35:09 00:35:14 Dad was the kind of person he would,
00:35:14 00:35:15 he would go and talk to folks.
00:35:15 00:35:18 Everybody neighborhood knew who Reverend Barr
00:35:18 00:35:21 was and when people were,
00:35:21 00:35:22 the drugs was going on,
00:35:22 00:35:23 he'd go try to talk to him.
00:35:23 00:35:26 He was trying to get the drugs out of the neighborhood.
00:35:26 00:35:33 One Saturday, I remember dad had called me,
00:35:33 00:35:36 and we had talked for a while.
00:35:36 00:35:37 And then he said he was going to
00:35:37 00:35:40 the grocery store to get his groceries.
00:35:40 00:35:43 I asked him, did he want me to drive him to the store.
00:35:43 00:35:45 He said, “No, you know, that's how I get my exercise.”
00:35:45 00:35:48 And so we hung up.
00:35:48 00:35:51 A little bit later,
00:35:51 00:35:54 I was on my way to get some drugs.
00:35:54 00:35:58 I didn't drive, I took the bus cause I didn't want
00:35:58 00:36:00 auntie to know that I was
00:36:00 00:36:03 gone cause she would figure I was going to get drugs,
00:36:03 00:36:05 but anyway, I saw a crowd
00:36:05 00:36:07 that was gathered around
00:36:07 00:36:09 right there on the corner of where dad lived,
00:36:09 00:36:12 where I grew up from, grew up at.
00:36:12 00:36:14 I got back to the house and then later on,
00:36:14 00:36:16 someone came over and told me,
00:36:16 00:36:20 “Hey man, you better get over to the house.
00:36:20 00:36:22 Reverend Barr was just ran over.
00:36:22 00:36:28 Hit by a car. It don't look good.” And what had happened was,
00:36:28 00:36:30 witnesses say that when
00:36:30 00:36:32 dad was crossing the street with his groceries,
00:36:32 00:36:36 someone intentionally ran over him,
00:36:36 00:36:39 they pulled out like almost like you see on the movies and stuff,
00:36:39 00:36:41 they was sitting there one day across the street,
00:36:41 00:36:47 they pulled out and floored the car and ran over him.
00:36:47 00:36:50 He was in the hospital in a coma for
00:36:50 00:36:52 about three days before he
00:36:52 00:36:55 passed away but yeah, that's what happened.
00:36:56 00:36:58 People think it was some of
00:36:58 00:37:01 the same drug dealers that dad was trying
00:37:01 00:37:06 to talk to and trying to get them to change their life.
00:37:06 00:37:10 I guess they felt like he was interfering with their business,
00:37:10 00:37:19 and so they ran him down and killed him.
00:37:19 00:37:22 I was never the point where I didn't want to live anymore,
00:37:22 00:37:25 but I had gotten to the point where I knew that if I kept
00:37:25 00:37:29 going the way I was going and that the things that I was doing,
00:37:29 00:37:32 I could end up dying.
00:37:32 00:37:35 And the thing was, I didn't care.
00:37:35 00:37:37 Not that I didn't want to live,
00:37:37 00:37:39 but I didn't care if my died,
00:37:39 00:37:41 if that makes any sense.
00:37:41 00:37:46 When I was in Cook County jail in Chicago,
00:37:46 00:37:49 even though I was in jail,
00:37:49 00:37:52 I longed for a time to get out of that so I can get back to
00:37:52 00:37:56 my regular activities, of getting high.
00:37:56 00:38:01 But it was this one particular Sunday.
00:38:01 00:38:05 It was a prison ministry preacher that came through the jail.
00:38:05 00:38:09 His name was Reverend Jerry Hodges in Chicago.
00:38:10 00:38:13 I was standing there in the cell block,
00:38:13 00:38:16 in the outer area of the cell.
00:38:16 00:38:20 And he came up behind me and he said, “Hey, my brother.
00:38:20 00:38:22 Why don’t you to come on down to the Bible study?
00:38:22 00:38:26 God’s got a word for you.” And I went down to the,
00:38:26 00:38:29 I really didn't even care about going,
00:38:29 00:38:30 but I didn’t have nothing else better to do this.
00:38:30 00:38:32 I sat in the back of
00:38:32 00:38:37 the church service and when Reverend Hodges was talking,
00:38:37 00:38:40 he had said something that got my attention that was,
00:38:40 00:38:42 as I said before, I was wondering,
00:38:42 00:38:45 “How come I keep going to jail?” Like when you asked the question,
00:38:45 00:38:48 about how many times I’d been arrested and I was saying,
00:38:48 00:38:51 “Why I keep going to jail?” There was the time that I used to get
00:38:51 00:38:55 away with all this stuff now I'm getting arrested for everything.
00:38:55 00:38:57 Stuff that my friends were getting away with,
00:38:57 00:38:58 I'm going to jail for it.
00:38:58 00:39:00 Why I keep going to jail?
00:39:00 00:39:04 And he asked the question, no, he a statement.
00:39:04 00:39:06 He said, “I bet a lot of y'all wonder why you here in
00:39:06 00:39:08 this jail.” So I started listening.
00:39:08 00:39:10 He said, “The reason that a lot of y'all in
00:39:10 00:39:12 here is because when you were running in the street,
00:39:12 00:39:14 doing your thing, God couldn't get
00:39:14 00:39:18 your attention. You couldn't hear Him.
00:39:18 00:39:20 So sometimes what He does is,
00:39:20 00:39:22 He allows you to be put someplace to
00:39:22 00:39:25 slow you down so you can hear Him.
00:39:25 00:39:28 And he does that because He loves you.
00:39:28 00:39:30 And what you got to remember is that
00:39:30 00:39:32 no matter what you've done and no matter what you’ve become,
00:39:32 00:39:34 God still loves you.
00:39:34 00:39:36 And that was the beginning of our turnaround
00:39:36 00:39:38 because I had always thought that
00:39:38 00:39:41 I had done too much wrong for God to ever forgive me.
00:39:41 00:39:43 I'd hurt too many people.
00:39:43 00:39:46 I got too many people strung out on drugs.
00:39:46 00:39:50 Some of the women who were prostituting,
00:39:50 00:39:53 and I blamed that on myself because I got them strung out.
00:39:53 00:39:55 And now they are strong out and are
00:39:55 00:39:58 prostituting because I got them strung out.
00:39:58 00:40:02 It's a folk who had OD’d and died because I started them on drugs.
00:40:02 00:40:05 So I'd done too much wrong for God to forgive me.
00:40:18 00:40:21 Reverend Hodges said, “No matter what you've done,
00:40:21 00:40:25 God still loves you.”
00:40:25 00:40:32 That was the beginning of my turn around.
00:40:33 00:40:40 That's what did it. I surround
00:40:40 00:40:43 myself with people who hold me accountable.
00:40:45 00:40:48 Dr. Ronald Bobo, pastor of this church,
00:40:48 00:40:50 has been my pastor for 23,
00:40:50 00:40:53 25, 20 something years.
00:40:53 00:40:58 One of the people who holds me accountable.
00:40:58 00:41:00 He knows my life, he knows my story.
00:41:00 00:41:01 He knows everything about me.
00:41:01 00:41:04 He's the one who put me over the prison ministry.
00:41:04 00:41:06 It was sometimes that
00:41:06 00:41:10 I got weak and slipped for one reason or another.
00:41:10 00:41:16 Like when my mother passed and I was falling
00:41:16 00:41:19 into some stuff that
00:41:19 00:41:23 I was going to have me going back to that lifestyle,
00:41:23 00:41:26 and he had his arm around me.
00:41:26 00:41:27 Let me know that,
00:41:27 00:41:29 nah, you ain't got to do that.
00:41:29 00:41:32 I got you. And not just him,
00:41:32 00:41:34 other folk in the church here.
00:41:35 00:41:38 And so you got to surround yourself with people,
00:41:38 00:41:41 with positive people who got your back.
00:41:41 00:41:46 And they're not always going to tell you stuff you want to hear.
00:41:46 00:41:48 They'll tell you stuff you need to hear.
00:41:48 00:41:52 And you gotta be able to accept that and listen to it.
00:41:52 00:41:54 That's what keeps me going.
00:41:54 00:41:57 My pastor and my church for church,
00:41:57 00:42:01 family and my family as well.
00:42:01 00:42:04 My niece, Christine, my cousin, Patrice,
00:42:04 00:42:08 they, those kinds of people I need to be around.
00:42:08 00:42:10 Cause I was saying, when I left Chicago,
00:42:10 00:42:11 when I left Chicago,
00:42:11 00:42:14 I left to get away from that lifestyle.
00:42:16 00:42:20 Growing up, I'd always heard my parents say,
00:42:20 00:42:21 “stay away from so-and-so.
00:42:21 00:42:26 Don't go around so-and-so.” I had gotten to be so-and-so.
00:42:26 00:42:28 What people were telling their children
00:42:28 00:42:30 to stay away from. “Stay away from Bub.
00:42:30 00:42:34 Let's stay away from Barr. Stay away from him.
00:42:34 00:42:35 You don't want to end up like him,
00:42:35 00:42:38 stay away from him.”
00:42:38 00:42:39 And I was that person that
00:42:39 00:42:41 everybody was telling the kids to stay away from.
00:42:41 00:42:43 And so when I decided,
00:42:43 00:42:46 no it's time for me to leave,
00:42:46 00:42:48 I knew that the only way was to get out of,
00:42:48 00:42:50 not just out of the neighborhood I had… I left Chicago.
00:42:50 00:42:52 I came to St. Louis.
00:42:52 00:42:55 The thing is, there’s drugs and St. Louis too.
00:42:55 00:42:57 So that wasn't gonna solve the problem,
00:42:57 00:42:58 just leaving St. Louis.
00:42:58 00:43:02 I had to leave the kind of people,
00:43:02 00:43:04 cause the same kind of people were here,
00:43:04 00:43:07 were in St. Louis, or Chicago rather.
00:43:07 00:43:12 But when I got here, I didn't seek them out.
00:43:12 00:43:16 And when that element came toward me now,
00:43:18 00:43:21 I didn't fall into that trap here.
00:43:21 00:43:23 Even before I got into church,
00:43:23 00:43:25 and when I got into church and Pastor Bobo heard
00:43:25 00:43:29 my testimony, people accepted me.
00:43:29 00:43:32 People expected to something from me.
00:43:32 00:43:34 My friend, Ron Cohen,
00:43:34 00:43:38 he was a professional drug counselor.
00:43:38 00:43:41 And it was sometimes, you know,
00:43:41 00:43:43 like when I started drinking, cause when my mother,
00:43:43 00:43:45 when I was going through that stuff with my mother,
00:43:45 00:43:48 I blamed my mother's death on myself.
00:43:49 00:43:53 And he held me accountable.
00:43:53 00:43:58 He taught and it was other folk from the church.
00:43:58 00:44:01 When I started straying away at one point,
00:44:01 00:44:04 I kind of disappeared and they wouldn't let me do that.
00:44:04 00:44:08 If they didn't see me in church after a few weeks,
00:44:08 00:44:11 they were in my house or they were calling me,
00:44:11 00:44:14 “Man, you all right?” Okay, that's what I'm talking about.
00:44:14 00:44:16 You’ve got to have people who care about you.
00:44:16 00:44:20 And I found that this is what worked for me.
00:44:20 00:44:22 You got to find what works for you.
00:44:22 00:44:25 So as the saying goes, “Different strokes for different folks.”
00:44:25 00:44:27 This is what worked for me. This was my stroke.
00:44:27 00:44:29 >> Whether you're talking
00:44:29 00:44:32 about in the 12 step movement or churches,
00:44:32 00:44:35 you don't not, you don't do this by yourself.
00:44:35 00:44:40 You always have people that are like-minded around you.
00:44:40 00:44:43 So you have support.
00:44:43 00:44:45 You have an accountability partner,
00:44:45 00:44:47 James five 16 says,
00:44:47 00:44:49 confess your faults one to another,
00:44:49 00:44:51 let yourself be open to somebody and say,
00:44:51 00:44:53 look, I'm struggling right now.
00:44:53 00:44:55 But let that person is not
00:44:55 00:44:57 somebody who's going to, co-sign your insanity,
00:44:57 00:44:59 but somebody who's going to support you and
00:44:59 00:45:03 strengthen you and tell you to hold on and pray for you.
00:45:03 00:45:08 For those people who are tempted to try it.
00:45:08 00:45:14 I would only say that the
00:45:14 00:45:17 devil… That getting out of
00:45:17 00:45:22 something always costs more than getting into something.
00:45:23 00:45:28 You know, certainly there are people who
00:45:28 00:45:32 can have a couple of drinks and stop.
00:45:32 00:45:36 There are people who can smoke one
00:45:36 00:45:41 joint or blunt or whatever the terminology is and stop.
00:45:41 00:45:44 But there's also people who,
00:45:44 00:45:47 once they start trying something they're
00:45:47 00:45:52 hooked and you don't know which one you are,
00:45:52 00:45:55 you won't know which one you are until it's too late.
00:45:55 00:46:01 >> The drug issues didn't come about until later on in life.
00:46:01 00:46:04 And when we first met each other,
00:46:04 00:46:07 I don't believe he was in drugs at all.
00:46:07 00:46:12 I believe it was after the 35 years of
00:46:12 00:46:16 not seeing each other and not communicating with each other,
00:46:16 00:46:18 that his life took a spin.
00:46:18 00:46:22 And when he told me about it,
00:46:22 00:46:24 I was a little taken aback
00:46:24 00:46:27 because I was like a little afraid at first,
00:46:27 00:46:29 but I started listening to him and I
00:46:29 00:46:31 did have true compassion for him.
00:46:31 00:46:34 >> I was… Before I left Chicago,
00:46:34 00:46:38 I remember was in November of 1991.
00:46:38 00:46:45 I was on my way to a drug house in Chicago when Sunday morning.
00:46:45 00:46:49 And I went in and bought a bag of heroin and a bag of cocaine.
00:46:49 00:46:54 It was a church across the street from the drug house.
00:46:54 00:46:55 Matter of fact, there were two churches
00:46:55 00:46:58 right there on that corner.
00:46:58 00:47:02 And I remember walking back past the church with drugs.
00:47:02 00:47:05 It was a little, it was drizzling then, light rain,
00:47:05 00:47:10 and it was a sermon that was being preached inside the church.
00:47:10 00:47:11 The door was open.
00:47:11 00:47:16 I don't know why, but I can hear parts of the sermon.
00:47:16 00:47:17 I can hear the sermon was being preached,
00:47:17 00:47:22 it was about a Prodigal Son, and the sermon,
00:47:22 00:47:24 it was getting to me.
00:47:24 00:47:26 I knew the story cause I had
00:47:26 00:47:29 preached that sermon myself several times,
00:47:29 00:47:32 you know, before I left the church.
00:47:32 00:47:36 And so, but anyway, it was different then.
00:47:36 00:47:37 And I sat there.
00:47:37 00:47:41 It was raining out and I had drugs in my hand, heroin and cocaine,
00:47:41 00:47:44 and I sat on the steps and listen to the sermon,
00:47:44 00:47:46 and it hit me.
00:47:46 00:47:49 And I was saying,
00:47:49 00:47:53 “Lord, I'm so sorry for the life that I’ve been living.
00:47:53 00:47:56 Please forgive me for the life I've
00:47:56 00:48:00 been living.” And I threw the drugs
00:48:00 00:48:08 away and I walked away from the drugs that never went,
00:48:08 00:48:09 well I can't say I never went back because
00:48:09 00:48:12 a month later I had relapsed.
00:48:12 00:48:17 But that was when I quit.
00:48:17 00:48:21 I remember I was telling you about Reverend Hodges.
00:48:21 00:48:22 This was in '85.
00:48:22 00:48:25 And I told you before about how sometimes someone
00:48:25 00:48:28 plants a seed and then later on, it’s watered.
00:48:28 00:48:32 Even though Reverend Hodges planted that seed back in 1985,
00:48:32 00:48:34 it wasn't till 1991.
00:48:34 00:48:36 When I was going through this,
00:48:36 00:48:39 this real backhand of my drug addiction,
00:48:39 00:48:42 that it really hit home.
00:48:42 00:48:44 And then it capped off by hearing
00:48:44 00:48:48 that sermon in the rain that Sunday morning.
00:48:48 00:48:51 And then that's what was when I decided,
00:48:51 00:48:56 no, I can't do this anymore, and so I quit.
00:48:56 00:48:57 I put my faith in God.
00:48:57 00:48:59 God is the one that delivered me
00:48:59 00:49:01 from the drugs in the first place, it wasn't me.
00:49:01 00:49:03 It was God who delivered me,
00:49:03 00:49:05 so I trust in him
00:49:05 00:49:10 to get me over any rough spots in life that I'm going through.
00:49:10 00:49:12 Again, it’s surrounding yourself with
00:49:12 00:49:15 people who will hold you accountable,
00:49:15 00:49:16 people who love you.
00:49:16 00:49:20 When I messed up, I slipped back the first time,
00:49:20 00:49:22 cause I was clean for maybe a month.
00:49:22 00:49:25 And I was thinking that I could
00:49:25 00:49:30 go and be around the same folks that I used to hang out with,
00:49:30 00:49:33 and it wouldn't affect me.
00:49:33 00:49:39 Not true. I remember when I was taking flute lessons,
00:49:39 00:49:40 when I was living in San Diego.
00:49:40 00:49:42 I was a jazz fan.
00:49:42 00:49:44 I wanted to play like Herbie Mann and
00:49:44 00:49:47 Hubert Laws and Yusef Lateef.
00:49:47 00:49:51 And I started taking flute lessons every Saturday.
00:49:51 00:49:54 After a couple of weeks of lessons,
00:49:54 00:49:59 I remember on one of Herbie Mann's albums,
00:49:59 00:50:00 it was pictures of him playing the flute.
00:50:00 00:50:02 And he's his hands,
00:50:02 00:50:05 his fingers were going way up and down, way up and down,
00:50:05 00:50:08 and so when I was taking that lesson,
00:50:08 00:50:09 I was doing the same thing.
00:50:09 00:50:13 My fingers are going to weigh up off of the keys,
00:50:13 00:50:15 and my teacher told me, you can't do that.
00:50:15 00:50:16 You gotta have your fingers right
00:50:16 00:50:18 on the keys and just play them like that,
00:50:18 00:50:20 but I was saying, “Now Herbie Mann…
00:50:20 00:50:22 I saw a picture of Herbie Mann,
00:50:22 00:50:26 now his fingers were way up off the thing!” He said, “No,
00:50:26 00:50:28 you have to have your fingers close.”
00:50:28 00:50:30 Now I wanted to do like Herbie man,
00:50:30 00:50:32 but like the thing was,
00:50:32 00:50:36 Herbie Mann been playing was playing flute for decades,
00:50:36 00:50:38 I was playing for a week or two.
00:50:38 00:50:41 So the point I'm trying to say is,
00:50:41 00:50:43 I couldn't do the same stuff he was doing
00:50:43 00:50:45 because he was experienced
00:50:45 00:50:46 at it and had been doing it for a while,
00:50:46 00:50:48 so he can let his fingers fly around.
00:50:48 00:50:50 I'm just starting this thing.
00:50:50 00:50:56 So it's the same thing with someone who is trying to be drug free,
00:50:56 00:50:58 what happened was, okay,
00:50:58 00:51:01 I've been clean for a month and I thought that I
00:51:01 00:51:03 can go around folk who were still using it,
00:51:03 00:51:04 and it won't affect me.
00:51:04 00:51:06 No, it don’t happened that way.
00:51:06 00:51:10 I can now, because I've been clean for decades,
00:51:10 00:51:13 but back then, I'd been clean for a week or two.
00:51:13 00:51:16 And so, no, surround yourself with folk
00:51:16 00:51:20 who are not living in that lifestyle,
00:51:20 00:51:24 you have a better chance of being successful in your recovery.
00:51:24 00:51:25 >> You know when you,
00:51:25 00:51:27 when you grew up in
00:51:27 00:51:31 the streets or been in the streets for so long,
00:51:31 00:51:35 that's what you know, and then to come out of that,
00:51:35 00:51:38 it's almost like a whole new world.
00:51:38 00:51:40 Like what, you know,
00:51:40 00:51:44 and then those old insecurities kick in.
00:51:44 00:51:47 And then we tried it to cope because we cope with drugs.
00:51:47 00:51:50 You know, that that was our coping mechanism, you know?
00:51:50 00:51:53 So whenever it costs, as long as we live,
00:51:53 00:51:54 it's going to be problems,
00:51:54 00:51:55 it's going to be disappointments.
00:51:55 00:51:59 It's going to be violence you know,
00:51:59 00:52:03 in the way we used to cope with it was to go in use.
00:52:03 00:52:08 You know, God gives us another alternative, a better alternative.
00:52:08 00:52:11 >> The 121st Psalm,
00:52:11 00:52:14 I remember when I was deep into my addiction, my father,
00:52:14 00:52:19 one day, he told me to read that scripture every day.
00:52:19 00:52:21 And I did, it was 121st Psalm.
00:52:21 00:52:23 I would lift up my eyes to the hills,
00:52:23 00:52:26 my help comes from the Lord who made heaven and earth.
00:52:26 00:52:29 And going on… and I remember every morning
00:52:29 00:52:34 before I would go to do anything,
00:52:34 00:52:36 my Bible was always on
00:52:36 00:52:39 the dresser and it was open to that scripture.
00:52:40 00:52:43 And I remember a couple of times there
00:52:43 00:52:45 was friends of mine who come up to my room,
00:52:45 00:52:47 we getting ready to shoot up and get high.
00:52:47 00:52:49 And they wanted to close the Bible.
00:52:49 00:52:50 No, don't touch the Bible,
00:52:50 00:52:52 leave that Bible open right there.
00:52:52 00:52:56 You know? Cause that was just a thing.
00:52:56 00:53:00 It was something my father… I felt like my father gave me that.
00:53:00 00:53:06 And so that's my scripture, 121st Psalm.
00:53:06 00:53:08 And I remember when I was in
00:53:08 00:53:10 the prison and I forgot which one I was in,
00:53:10 00:53:12 I think it was Centralia.
00:53:12 00:53:15 It was after I had,
00:53:15 00:53:18 it was after incidence with Reverend Hodges.
00:53:18 00:53:23 I was walking around the prison yard one day by myself and I was
00:53:23 00:53:29 praying and I heard the voice of God clearer,
00:53:29 00:53:31 or as clear as I've ever heard Him.
00:53:31 00:53:33 He said, just like I said,
00:53:33 00:53:36 Reverend Hodges into the prison to rescue you,
00:53:36 00:53:37 I'm going to send you back into
00:53:37 00:53:39 the prison to rescue my other children.
00:53:39 00:53:41 And at that time I wasn't preaching,
00:53:41 00:53:46 I was still in prison myself, but He said that.
00:53:46 00:53:49 And so I wouldn't feeling it,
00:53:49 00:53:50 cause I wouldn't even understanding
00:53:50 00:53:52 it because I wasn't a preacher.
00:53:52 00:53:55 I wasn't even back in church, for real.
00:53:55 00:53:57 I mean, not on the outside anyway,
00:53:57 00:54:00 but then that's what happened.
00:54:00 00:54:03 And being clean, I'm able to do stuff.
00:54:03 00:54:06 I'm able to help people.
00:54:06 00:54:09 I'm able to help other folks who are
00:54:09 00:54:12 going through the same stuff that I went through.
00:54:12 00:54:14 I can help them to get past their addictions.
00:54:14 00:54:17 I can give them advice.
00:54:17 00:54:22 A lot of times what people need when they come out of prison,
00:54:22 00:54:24 a lot of people are in jail,
00:54:24 00:54:26 in prisons because of drug addiction.
00:54:26 00:54:28 A lot of them were not really,
00:54:28 00:54:29 they're not bad people.
00:54:29 00:54:32 They did some dumb stuff because they were addicted.
00:54:32 00:54:35 And so if we can help them get past that point,
00:54:35 00:54:38 then we can help them do a lot of other things in life.
00:54:38 00:54:40 My biggest regret is
00:54:40 00:54:43 the hurt and the pain that I caused my family,
00:54:43 00:54:45 that I was always going to jail.
00:54:45 00:54:52 My family had so much hope for me, and I disappointed them.
00:54:52 00:54:55 At first, when I was doing criminal stuff,
00:54:55 00:54:58 I was… I called myself “Nickel Slick” you know.
00:54:58 00:55:01 I was able to talk folk out of stuff,
00:55:01 00:55:04 but when it came down toward the end,
00:55:04 00:55:09 the way that I used to make money by ripping off
00:55:09 00:55:12 other drug dealers and ripping off
00:55:12 00:55:15 banks and stores and doing all of that, and that was fine.
00:55:15 00:55:17 I got to a point where
00:55:18 00:55:21 I wasn't making money off of the dealers anymore.
00:55:21 00:55:24 I wasn't ripping off the banks
00:55:24 00:55:27 or the stores or the businesses and all of that anymore,
00:55:27 00:55:30 I was ripping off my people,
00:55:30 00:55:36 my family, the church,
00:55:36 00:55:38 my father's church, my aunt’s church.
00:55:38 00:55:44 And that was something that before,
00:55:44 00:55:47 a long time ago, would have been unacceptable.
00:55:48 00:55:52 I was no longer that slick talking con-man,
00:55:52 00:55:55 now I was just a drug addict,
00:55:55 00:55:57 a dope fiend who would steal anything from
00:55:57 00:56:01 anybody to support my habit.
00:56:01 00:56:03 And looking back on that,
00:56:04 00:56:06 that was the beginning of where I said,
00:56:06 00:56:13 “Okay, this has gone too far.” That was my rock bottom.
00:56:13 00:56:17 When I started… When I was stealing from family the way I was,
00:56:17 00:56:20 and I was hurting family the way I was,
00:56:20 00:56:23 that I couldn't… That was unacceptable to me.
00:56:23 00:56:27 I never stopped believing, stopped believing in God.
00:56:27 00:56:31 And I know that looking back on things,
00:56:31 00:56:39 that stuff that I thought that I was able to accomplish,
00:56:39 00:56:43 even during those times… Case in point,
00:56:43 00:56:46 when I was in prison, it
00:56:46 00:56:50 was a lot of guys that were getting messed over, messed up.
00:56:50 00:56:53 People getting shanked, people getting raped,
00:56:53 00:56:55 people… Stuff was happening in a folk,
00:56:55 00:56:58 but nothing ever happened to me.
00:56:58 00:57:00 And I thought it was because of the way I carried myself.
00:57:00 00:57:02 I thought I was carrying myself with an aura of, “Okay.
00:57:02 00:57:05 Don't mess with me.” But thinking back on it,
00:57:05 00:57:08 I realized it was God had his hand on me.
00:57:08 00:57:11 It wasn't how I carried myself or what I was doing.
00:57:11 00:57:13 It had nothing to do with that.
00:57:13 00:57:16 Nothing happened to me because God had his hand on me,
00:57:16 00:57:19 because it was guys that were bigger, tougher,
00:57:19 00:57:21 stronger than I was,
00:57:21 00:57:23 who was getting messed up,
00:57:23 00:57:25 but nothing happened to me,
00:57:25 00:57:27 and it wasn't because of me. It was because of God.
00:57:27 00:57:33 >> I was heard of last December, December 5th,
00:57:33 00:57:36 working for cellular city refuge,
00:57:36 00:57:41 South city over here and I attracted blood poisoning.
00:57:41 00:57:44 In the next 24 hours,
00:57:44 00:57:48 I was crushed by a 500 yard waste dumpster
00:57:48 00:57:51 and lacerated three fingers,
00:57:51 00:57:54 broke my shoulder, my knee,
00:57:54 00:57:56 my ankle and so on.
00:57:56 00:58:02 I wind up self-medicating while I was on the job,
00:58:02 00:58:07 going through rehab for
00:58:07 00:58:12 the injury and it was so gratifying to bring the new year in,
00:58:12 00:58:14 and I couldn't even wipe my own backside.
00:58:14 00:58:16 One hand was infected with
00:58:16 00:58:20 blood poisoning and other three fingers had been sawed off,
00:58:20 00:58:22 but you would think that was God's way of
00:58:22 00:58:24 telling me to slow down. I never did.
00:58:24 00:58:28 I walked away from my job with the city.
00:58:28 00:58:31 I walked away from a house,
00:58:31 00:58:34 a good woman who held me up and held me down,
00:58:34 00:58:38 but she didn't deserve what I gave her.
00:58:38 00:58:41 Each time, I would revisit those demons.
00:58:41 00:58:44 I would bring those demons into her life as well,
00:58:44 00:58:46 which she deserved better.
00:58:46 00:58:49 >> I don't miss anything about the life.
00:58:49 00:58:53 That was a life that I thought that I liked,
00:58:53 00:58:55 that I was enjoying while I was doing it,
00:58:55 00:58:57 but looking back on that,
00:58:57 00:59:00 there's nothing that I miss about that.
00:59:00 00:59:04 I do miss some of the people that I was associated with,
00:59:04 00:59:06 some of my friends at the time.
00:59:06 00:59:09 I think about some of them from time to time,
00:59:09 00:59:13 but I knew that if I really wanted to stay away from
00:59:13 00:59:15 that lifestyle and get away from the drugs and get away from that,
00:59:15 00:59:17 I had to separate myself from them.
00:59:17 00:59:22 And that's why I left and I stayed away from them.
00:59:22 00:59:24 And that whole lifestyle,
00:59:24 00:59:28 a lot of them I haven't seen for over 20 years.
00:59:28 00:59:32 My friend Red was first person I was arrested with,
00:59:32 00:59:37 they found him at a hotel room with his throat cut.
00:59:37 00:59:38 And then there was a Butch,
00:59:38 00:59:40 a friend of mine that I grew up with.
00:59:40 00:59:44 We used to get high together.
00:59:44 00:59:45 He overdosed.
00:59:45 00:59:50 They found him dead from a drug overdose.
00:59:50 00:59:57 My friend Fuzzy, Fuzzy was a long time friend,
00:59:57 00:59:59 and matter of fact, I'm the one that started him to
00:59:59 01:00:01 shoot heroin and cocaine.
01:00:01 01:00:04 Just like Tadpole started me, I started Fuzzy.
01:00:04 01:00:06 Tadpole was the first one who stuck a needle in my arm,
01:00:06 01:00:09 I was the first one who stuck a needle in Fuzzy's arm.
01:00:09 01:00:12 And I found out that I heard one day
01:00:12 01:00:20 that Fuzzy’s grandmother found him in his bedroom,
01:00:20 01:00:24 laying on the floor, dead with a needle in his arm.
01:00:24 01:00:26 That hurt a lot,
01:00:26 01:00:30 when I found out about my friend Fuzzy.
01:00:30 01:00:36 But that's the dangers of the drug life.
01:00:36 01:00:39 There are others that I've heard about.
01:00:39 01:00:43 They're doing quite well now,
01:00:43 01:00:47 one was my friend Tadpole,
01:00:47 01:00:49 as I said before, Tadpole was one of the
01:00:49 01:00:51 first to stick a needle in my arm.
01:00:51 01:00:53 We got high together for years,
01:00:53 01:00:55 and it was on one of my visits to
01:00:55 01:00:59 Chicago that I was talking to Tadpole,
01:00:59 01:01:01 and I was able to lead them to Christ.
01:01:01 01:01:05 Sometime later Tadpole gave up the drugs, even after 20,
01:01:05 01:01:07 30-something years of doing drugs,
01:01:07 01:01:12 he was delivered from that lifestyle.
01:01:12 01:01:18 And he was clean for well over 15 years before he passed.
01:01:18 01:01:19 He died last year,
01:01:19 01:01:21 I preached his funeral,
01:01:21 01:01:22 but at least I know
01:01:22 01:01:28 that he had better quality of life during all of that time.
01:01:28 01:01:33 I was arrested when… I went to jail one time and I said,
01:01:33 01:01:36 “Man, I am so tired of going to jail.
01:01:36 01:01:40 I'm tired of going to jail!” And then I said,
01:01:40 01:01:43 “I wonder how many times I've been locked up?” And I started
01:01:43 01:01:47 counting and I started counting and I started counting then,
01:01:47 01:01:50 when I got to 30, I stopped counting.
01:01:50 01:01:54 I got depressed when I got to 30 and I wasn't finished though,
01:01:54 01:01:56 I still had some others, I just quit counting.
01:01:56 01:01:57 And to answer your question,
01:01:57 01:01:59 I don't know how many times I’ve been arrested. I don’t know.
01:01:59 01:02:01 I know it was more than 30.
01:02:01 01:02:03 And I remember even now,
01:02:03 01:02:05 when I’m doing up the prison ministry,
01:02:05 01:02:07 it was one of the prisons that I
01:02:07 01:02:10 was putting an application to, to go do ministry.
01:02:10 01:02:12 And I fill out an application and then when they did
01:02:12 01:02:15 the background, check on me,
01:02:15 01:02:16 they called me in to see if they had
01:02:16 01:02:18 to deny my application because I
01:02:18 01:02:22 didn't list all of my arrests on the application.
01:02:22 01:02:24 I said, “I don't know of all my arrests.
01:02:24 01:02:26 Most of the time I was high when I got arrested,
01:02:26 01:02:28 I didn't even know I was arrested!
01:02:28 01:02:32 I don't know.” So to answer your question,
01:02:32 01:02:33 I've been arrested over 30 times.
01:02:33 01:02:36 I've been to prison three times,
01:02:36 01:02:39 twice I was sentenced and one was on a parole violation.
01:02:39 01:02:43 But when you asked how many times I've been arrested,
01:02:43 01:02:45 all I can say was more than 30.
01:02:45 01:02:51 God might tell you to go in a certain direction and you say,
01:02:51 01:02:53 “I don't know about that.” You know,
01:02:53 01:02:56 but you have to trust Him.
01:02:56 01:02:59 Example. When I was in the Marines, I played football.
01:02:59 01:03:02 The quarterback would call the play and
01:03:02 01:03:05 then I was supposed to be running down the field,
01:03:05 01:03:07 and I had blockers.
01:03:07 01:03:10 I had blockers who was supposed to be blocking for me.
01:03:10 01:03:14 But the play was I supposed to go to the right.
01:03:14 01:03:17 And when I get ready to go to the right,
01:03:17 01:03:19 I look up and I see all those folks over there,
01:03:19 01:03:21 I said, “Nah, I don't want to go that way.
01:03:21 01:03:23 That don't look good.” So I'm going the other way,
01:03:23 01:03:26 but the play was called for me to go to the right.
01:03:26 01:03:30 So all the blockers are set up to block on the right,
01:03:30 01:03:32 but I don't like what I'm seeing on the right.
01:03:32 01:03:34 It looks better down the left,
01:03:34 01:03:36 so I'm going to the left.
01:03:36 01:03:37 And that's what happened with us sometimes.
01:03:37 01:03:41 God has a plan for us
01:03:41 01:03:45 to go one way but we don't like what we see that way,
01:03:45 01:03:47 so now we want to, “No, I want to do that.
01:03:47 01:03:49 I'm going this way.” But you’ve got to trust
01:03:49 01:03:53 God that he knows what's happening.
01:03:53 01:03:54 He told you to go that way because he
01:03:54 01:03:56 knows what it was over there,
01:03:56 01:03:58 “Oh, that looks alright, right now.
01:03:58 01:04:00 But when you get over there,
01:04:00 01:04:01 then there's something over there
01:04:01 01:04:04 that you don't want to get involved in,
01:04:04 01:04:05 or you don't want happening.”
01:04:05 01:04:07 So trust God and go to where he told you to go.
01:04:07 01:04:10 >> Taking on a heroin addiction,
01:04:10 01:04:14 fentanyl addiction with a crack addiction and everything else.
01:04:14 01:04:18 I told a girl that I was getting high with, nothing sexual.
01:04:18 01:04:19 I told her she could leave.
01:04:19 01:04:22 Friend of mine gave me a loaded gun
01:04:22 01:04:24 and God would have
01:04:24 01:04:27 it my little brother opened up the door and he intervened.
01:04:27 01:04:28 Let me do what I did with
01:04:28 01:04:30 the drugs, finished the rest of the liquor,
01:04:30 01:04:35 the crack and heroin and fentanyl and tricked me into his truck.
01:04:35 01:04:37 Proceeded to go to St. Mary's.
01:04:37 01:04:43 He sat on the parking lot to see if I was gonna leave,
01:04:43 01:04:48 which after they took me to the back, I felt a calmness,
01:04:48 01:04:54 but I got, I guess I got out of control once I got back there.
01:04:54 01:04:55 And I told the lady,
01:04:55 01:04:59 if she let me… They let me out of her in the next 24 hours,
01:04:59 01:05:01 I was going to end my life.
01:05:01 01:05:05 And they transported me to DePaul Hospital.
01:05:05 01:05:14 And I was bound in a straitjacket for a day and a half,
01:05:14 01:05:16 on my knees, praying if I
01:05:16 01:05:19 got another chance that I would go somewhere.
01:05:19 01:05:21 Wasn't going to take my life and I wasn't going
01:05:21 01:05:23 back to that misery and that storm.
01:05:23 01:05:26 Some of the decisions I made took
01:05:26 01:05:29 me out of God's will at that point in time,
01:05:29 01:05:31 but never out of his reach.
01:05:31 01:05:34 I've been clean 86 days by the grace of God.
01:05:34 01:05:37 This is the longest I've been sober in five years.
01:05:37 01:05:39 Some of these guys, I love them.
01:05:39 01:05:41 Some of them I'm never going to see again,
01:05:41 01:05:43 but without any of these guys,
01:05:43 01:05:45 I probably wouldn't be where I'm at.
01:05:45 01:05:48 >> For those who were not able to beat their addictions,
01:05:48 01:05:52 there are one of several places that they may
01:05:52 01:05:56 end up: they’ll end up in prison,
01:05:56 01:06:01 or they will end up dead, an early death.
01:06:01 01:06:03 One thing my father used to say was
01:06:03 01:06:05 “Everything that feels good to you is not
01:06:05 01:06:08 good for you.” And that's the advice that you should,
01:06:08 01:06:10 that I would give to a 20 year old or just
01:06:10 01:06:12 cause the drug feels good,
01:06:12 01:06:17 the high feels good, or that the drink tastes good,
01:06:17 01:06:19 that don’t mean it’s good for you.
01:06:19 01:06:22 Later on down the road, you're going to pay for it.
01:06:22 01:06:26 A lot of times we think that everything is about us, but it's not.
01:06:26 01:06:31 It's about God, God is the one who delivered me.
01:06:31 01:06:33 That's why there's a lot of stuff that God
01:06:33 01:06:36 allowed me to go through because he saw the other side of it,
01:06:36 01:06:37 when I was going through it,
01:06:37 01:06:39 it was painful. I didn't like it.
01:06:39 01:06:42 I didn't like the outcome anyway,
01:06:42 01:06:44 but where I am now,
01:06:44 01:06:50 I'm able to walk in my purpose and to help folk.
01:06:50 01:06:52 And that's what God put me here for,
01:06:52 01:06:53 and yes, he gets all the praise,
01:06:53 01:06:57 honor and the glory because of what he has done through me.
01:06:57 01:06:59 Trying to try to stay clean,
01:06:59 01:07:03 is not as, it's not always as easy as someone thinks it is.
01:07:03 01:07:06 Sometimes you going to have relapses.
01:07:06 01:07:09 You have relapses, but like my
01:07:09 01:07:12 father… I heard him say one time, “Son,
01:07:12 01:07:14 if you slip and fall in the mud,
01:07:14 01:07:15 don't just lay there and wallow in it,
01:07:15 01:07:18 get up, clean yourself off and keep on stepping.
01:07:18 01:07:21 If you fall down again, get up again.
01:07:21 01:07:23 If you fall down again, get up again.
01:07:23 01:07:24 If you keep falling down,
01:07:24 01:07:27 keep getting up.” And that's the message I want to give
01:07:27 01:07:31 the folk who are trying to get clean up, stay clean.
01:07:31 01:07:34 Just because they relapse or fall back or something,
01:07:34 01:07:36 then don't give up,
01:07:36 01:07:37 you know, say, “Okay, I can't do this.”
01:07:37 01:07:41 No, just get up, clean yourself off and keep on stepping.
01:07:41 01:07:43 If you fall down again, get up again.
01:07:43 01:07:45 If you fall down again and get up again,
01:07:45 01:07:47 if you keep falling down, keep getting up.
01:07:47 01:07:54 >> Rock bottom was in December of '92.
01:07:54 01:07:57 I became homeless, living on the street,
01:07:57 01:07:59 going from shelter to shelter,
01:07:59 01:08:03 and so from 2003 to now,
01:08:03 01:08:08 I've been using the scriptures as my standard for living.
01:08:08 01:08:10 And I believe the Lord has let me
01:08:10 01:08:12 see recovery throughout the scripture.
01:08:12 01:08:15 So I've been, whether it was
01:08:15 01:08:18 in the meetings or in the churches I belong to,
01:08:18 01:08:22 I was always serving in one capacity or another.
01:08:22 01:08:32 Service to me is a tangible expression of your gratitude.
01:08:32 01:08:35 And one of the clichés that you'll hear,
01:08:35 01:08:37 if you stay around the 12 step movement,
01:08:37 01:08:41 is that a grateful addict will never use.
01:08:41 01:08:44 I got cleaned at the age of 45.
01:08:44 01:08:50 You know, at 45, I just felt that for the most part,
01:08:50 01:08:55 most of us have lived more than half of our lives
01:08:55 01:08:58 and just the fear of going back
01:08:58 01:09:01 out there kept me doing what I suppose to.
01:09:01 01:09:02 That's one of the things that kept me doing
01:09:02 01:09:04 what I was supposed to do.
01:09:04 01:09:09 And then, my lifestyle changed in terms of what I was doing,
01:09:09 01:09:11 who I did it with and where I did it,
01:09:11 01:09:13 the people, places and things.
01:09:13 01:09:18 So those are all key components of staying clean.
01:09:18 01:09:22 And then, of course you’re tempted.
01:09:22 01:09:25 That's when… Prayer works,
01:09:25 01:09:28 prayer works, prayer works.
01:09:28 01:09:31 Because the evil one will get you.
01:09:31 01:09:33 He's always after you,
01:09:33 01:09:35 but he'll jump on you when you least expect it.
01:09:35 01:09:37 And that's when you call on scripture,
01:09:37 01:09:40 that's when you call on the literature.
01:09:40 01:09:43 That's when you just hold on tight and say,
01:09:43 01:09:48 I'm not going to use today because,
01:09:48 01:09:54 the urge does subside the earth does a lessen.
01:09:54 01:09:57 The disease of addiction would have you
01:09:57 01:09:59 act on your urge immediately.
01:09:59 01:10:03 So if you can defer that,
01:10:03 01:10:06 then you can get it back under,
01:10:06 01:10:07 under arrest, as they say.
01:10:07 01:10:10 >> Sitting in a jail cells in the Cook County,
01:10:10 01:10:11 jail and in Leavenworth,
01:10:11 01:10:14 or at Centralia or in Joliet,
01:10:14 01:10:18 I never thought that a day like this would come.
01:10:18 01:10:24 But I thank God for how far He has brought me.
01:10:24 01:10:27 I hurt a lot of people.
01:10:27 01:10:29 I disappointed a lot of people.
01:10:29 01:10:32 There are consequences to
01:10:32 01:10:35 your decisions and one day sooner or later,
01:10:35 01:10:36 you gotta face the consequences to
01:10:36 01:10:39 every decision, every choice you make.
01:10:39 01:10:43 Because the Bible is full of stories of people who had messed up,
01:10:43 01:10:46 but God never gave up on them.
01:10:46 01:10:48 The heroes of the Bible,
01:10:48 01:10:52 Peter, Paul, even Jonah,
01:10:52 01:10:58 you know, who ran away from what God wanted them to do.
01:10:58 01:11:03 David, they've all done things that were contrary to God's will,
01:11:03 01:11:05 you know, but God still loved
01:11:05 01:11:08 them and God used them in a special way.
01:11:09 01:11:14 And a lot of the people that I know of,
01:11:14 01:11:18 not everyone have gone through some adversity.
01:11:18 01:11:21 And if you learn from that adversity,
01:11:21 01:11:22 no matter what it was,
01:11:22 01:11:24 whether it's jail or prison,
01:11:24 01:11:25 whether it was drugs, alcohol,
01:11:25 01:11:32 or whether it's some other form of addiction or whatever,
01:11:32 01:11:37 if you learn from that and you're able to reach others and to
01:11:37 01:11:41 help them recover from whatever it is that they're going through,
01:11:41 01:11:46 then you’ve done, in my opinion,
01:11:46 01:11:47 what you were supposed to do.
01:11:47 01:11:50 >> You see it's easy to
01:11:50 01:11:53 praise God when you up and things are going on, right?
01:11:53 01:11:56 But God wants to know if you will praise him when you down,
01:11:56 01:11:58 when things are not going right,
01:11:58 01:11:59 when you are hungry,
01:11:59 01:12:02 when you've gone through one situation or another,
01:12:02 01:12:05 he wants to know if he will still praise him,
01:12:05 01:12:07 even in that situation.
01:12:07 01:12:11 He wants to know that you will do what He wants you to do.
01:12:11 01:12:15 And then even in that situation,
01:12:15 01:12:17 we have to lift up our hands
01:12:17 01:12:19 and it is not going to be easy all the time,
01:12:19 01:12:20 it's not going to be easy.
01:12:20 01:12:23 God didn't promise us that things would be easy,
01:12:23 01:12:25 but He promised us that He would be
01:12:25 01:12:27 with us and He would hold us up.
01:12:27 01:12:30 He would hold our hands and He would carry us through.
01:12:30 01:12:32 You see, we can't do it on our own.
01:12:32 01:12:36 Every time I tried to do this thing on my own, I messed up.
01:12:36 01:12:40 But it wasn't until I put myself in God's hands,
01:12:40 01:12:43 that things got to be a little bit easier.
01:12:43 01:12:47 And He carried me through and at times still get rough sometimes,
01:12:47 01:12:49 but He was still carrying me.
01:12:49 01:12:51 I'm not doing this on my own.
01:12:51 01:12:53 And I'm telling whoever I'm talking to out here,
01:12:53 01:12:55 you can do it too if you trust God.
01:12:55 01:12:59 Stop trying to do it on your own, trust in God.
01:12:59 01:13:02 He is the one that can carry you across the finishing line.
01:13:02 01:13:04 You can't do it on your own.
01:13:04 01:13:08 You have to trust God and be with Him and be the man,
01:13:08 01:13:12 be the woman, be the child that God wants you to be.
01:13:12 01:13:13 And then my friends,
01:13:13 01:13:14 my brothers and my sister,
01:13:14 01:13:20 you will be successful and God will get the glory from your life.
01:13:20 01:13:22 I was thinking back on my life,
01:13:22 01:13:25 is there anything that I would have changed if I could?
01:13:25 01:13:28 And suddenly thinking about it,
01:13:28 01:13:30 the answer is no.
01:13:30 01:13:32 Even all heartache and pain that I went through,
01:13:32 01:13:34 I wouldn't change that.
01:13:34 01:13:38 The time I spent in jails and in prison, I wouldn't change that.
01:13:38 01:13:40 Not saying I enjoyed it,
01:13:40 01:13:42 cause I didn't, but I
01:13:42 01:13:46 wouldn't change it because all of that made me who I am now.
01:13:46 01:13:49 (crowd applauds)
01:13:49 01:13:53 Being who I am and all the stuff that I went through,
01:13:53 01:13:56 I'm able to be a blessing to some other folks.
01:13:56 01:13:58 People who I wouldn't be able to reach,
01:13:58 01:14:00 people who wouldn't listen to me unless they
01:14:00 01:14:04 realized that I've been to what they are going through.
01:14:04 01:14:04 >> Good.
01:14:04 01:14:06 >> When I go into the prison,
01:14:06 01:14:08 they know that when I talk,
01:14:08 01:14:09 I'm not just talking about
01:14:09 01:14:11 some stuff that I read in a book somewhere,
01:14:11 01:14:13 no, I'm talking about stuff that I lived.
01:14:13 01:14:17 And if I can make it, you can make it too.
01:14:17 01:14:19 God's no respecter of person.
01:14:19 01:14:25 He doesn’t like me or love me any more than He loves you.
01:14:25 01:14:28 Your testimony touch me, brother.
01:14:28 01:14:30 So did yours, and all of the ones I heard too.
01:14:30 01:14:32 Yours over there, North side.
01:14:32 01:14:39 >> Anytime you do drugs or something,
01:14:39 01:14:41 you are risking your life
01:14:41 01:14:44 because you never know whether you going to overdose.
01:14:44 01:14:49 You never know whether you're going to get murdered or killed.
01:14:49 01:14:50 When you're going in and out of drug house
01:14:50 01:14:53 after drug house or leaving from the drug house,
01:14:53 01:14:54 you never know what's going to happen.
01:14:54 01:14:58 So in reality, every time could be your last time.
01:14:58 01:15:00 >> Hi everyone. This is Deshaye,
01:15:00 01:15:04 and the question of the day is what does it take
01:15:04 01:15:07 to survive or overcome obstacles? Dream, drive and support.
01:15:07 01:15:13 So, first you think of what you want to do with your life,
01:15:13 01:15:17 and I know at our age, cause I'm 16.
01:15:17 01:15:24 And right now I know my dream is to become a great performer.
01:15:24 01:15:26 Fame’s not that important,
01:15:26 01:15:28 money’s not that important,
01:15:28 01:15:30 but I just want to become such a good performer that
01:15:30 01:15:33 I affect somebody with my talent,
01:15:33 01:15:36 change the world in some way, shape or form.
01:15:36 01:15:37 Even if it's just a little bit,
01:15:37 01:15:40 it’s the little bit that counts.
01:15:40 01:15:44 >> I was asked recently to put what I say to someone who,
01:15:44 01:15:47 who was going to do drugs that at night and then
01:15:47 01:15:50 ended up being their last time.
01:15:50 01:15:52 What would I say to them?
01:15:52 01:15:54 And I'm not arrogant enough to think
01:15:54 01:15:59 that what I can say would change the situation. I don't know.
01:15:59 01:16:05 I don't know what I can tell someone who doesn't know me,
01:16:05 01:16:08 not to do this or not
01:16:08 01:16:10 to keep taking changes chances with their life.
01:16:10 01:16:14 I would ask the person if I can pray with them.
01:16:14 01:16:17 Now you notice, I didn't say pray for them.
01:16:17 01:16:19 I said, pray with them.
01:16:19 01:16:22 And that is, and while I'm
01:16:22 01:16:28 praying is that I would pray for his or her safety and for him
01:16:28 01:16:32 or her to make good choices
01:16:33 01:16:36 and hopefully God will lead me to say
01:16:36 01:16:39 something in that prayer that they will hear,
01:16:39 01:16:42 and it will prick or touch their heart to
01:16:42 01:16:45 give them second thoughts about what they're about to do.
01:16:45 01:16:49 Because whatever I say… Nothing I
01:16:49 01:16:52 say that comes from me is going to help any situation.
01:16:52 01:16:56 I have to trust God that He will say something through me,
01:16:56 01:16:58 or give me something to say,
01:16:59 01:17:03 to reach that person or to change that person's mind,
01:17:03 01:17:06 or at least give them pause to say, “Huh?
01:17:06 01:17:09 Maybe I shouldn't do that tonight.” And then
01:17:09 01:17:12 trust God to do what He does.
01:17:12 01:17:16 Heavenly father, I thank you Lord for this time and
01:17:16 01:17:21 this time together and Lord,
01:17:21 01:17:25 the reason and the purpose for this documentary.
01:17:25 01:17:28 Lord, I pray Lord for all of those who
01:17:28 01:17:31 are going through addictions right now,
01:17:31 01:17:35 whether it's because of drugs or heroin
01:17:35 01:17:40 or cocaine or crack or prescription pills,
01:17:40 01:17:43 whatever the addiction is, marijuana.
01:17:43 01:17:47 Lord, please deliver them from their addictions.
01:17:47 01:17:51 I pray Lord that you will let something that they see here,
01:17:51 01:17:54 cause them pause to think,
01:17:54 01:17:58 to rethink what they are doing and let them know that,
01:17:58 01:18:00 okay, there's another way,
01:18:00 01:18:02 there's a better way.
01:18:02 01:18:04 They might be hurting for one reason
01:18:04 01:18:07 or another Lord, ease their pain.
01:18:07 01:18:09 They might be going through a difficult situation,
01:18:09 01:18:11 whatever it is Lord, see them through it,
01:18:11 01:18:13 and let them know Lord that they are
01:18:13 01:18:16 not just affecting their own lives,
01:18:16 01:18:18 they are affecting those who love them.
01:18:18 01:18:25 And Lord, I pray Lord for those people who are living with,
01:18:25 01:18:28 or who are related to people who are addicted.
01:18:28 01:18:32 I pray Lord that you will give them patience Lord,
01:18:32 01:18:36 that you will give them wisdom of what to do,
01:18:36 01:18:39 and what not to do, and what to say,
01:18:39 01:18:41 and what not to say, and they will not be
01:18:41 01:18:44 enablers for those who are addicted,
01:18:44 01:18:49 even though they won't enable them but they would still love them.
01:18:49 01:18:54 And let them know Lord that the person that is addicted,
01:18:54 01:18:58 know that their loved one really loves them
01:18:58 01:19:02 and that they really want to see and do what is best for them.
01:19:02 01:19:06 I just thank You for this time Lord,
01:19:06 01:19:09 I praise you and I bless You in Jesus holy name, Amen.
01:19:12 01:19:15 (soft piano music)
01:19:15 01:19:19 >> Burton Barr Junior.
01:19:21 01:19:24 (cheering and applause)
01:19:28 01:19:32 (upbeat music)
01:19:47 01:19:49 (crowd clapping)
01:19:52 01:19:56 >> That concludes our Honorary Doctorate of Divinity.
01:19:59 01:20:01 (crowd claps)
01:20:03 01:20:04 >> Will you please
01:20:04 01:20:09 join me in congratulating all of the graduates,
01:20:09 01:20:12 for the year 2019?
01:20:12 01:20:15 (crowd clapping)
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