PEDALING FOR PROGRESS

Top Tier Greetings,

I often hear myself internally chanting the motto, “Pedal for progress” whenever faced with a sour situation out on my bike. Other times when a uniquely friendly bunch of riders, wave and give salutations in my direction, I’ll swing the chant their way with a smile. You know – The Healthy Hueman way! But sometimes my acts of activism in the athletic and recreation worlds are not so much for the worlds I stand in solidarity with as much as they may be for me in the moment.

As I am born and raised in the PNW (Pacific Northwest) I have been exposed to my share of outdoor recreation. As soon as I could pedal, I was off into the woods until sunset. Returning with the sweet scent of sweaty pre-teen boy and an earthen aroma. On my own dirt bike at 5 (literally I got my dirt bike on my 5th birthday) and camping years before then. As I grew older and society gripped my self-esteem and shook it like a ragdoll I found that I really wasn’t wanted… ANYWHERE. What a calamity at such a vulnerable and meaningful time period (ages 12-24). What I found is that if I did just enough to not be singled out while not simultaneously being a part of the group that singled out those to be heckled, abused or used as bait I could survive in this meaningless urban existence. This could never last.

After having my armor dented and damaged to the degree it hurt more to wear it or even carry it than to unveil my protected, extremely vulnerable mental and physical flesh – I did just that. I revealed who I was. First to myself and then slowly to the world as I saw fit. This process was rough. It was hard. It was jarring and difficult to continue to push through to the end. As I have done the work already, I can’t help but think of ALL the other Black males out there doing the work to unveil their ridiculous social protective gear. The journey is long and arduous but the World is grateful and gracious to those who put their minds and spirit first. So, carry on and see it through. Be the Hueman you want to look up to. The Hueman you wish to be!

Below is my mode of aspiration and operation to undo the intergenerational traumas and horizontal oppressions that have occurred for those who resemble my younger trials and conditions. Through the Brown Boys Behind Bars Initiative I truly hope to wholistically impact my community and the world in a massive way.

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