The violence that has plagued America when it specifically comes to African American men is at an all-time high at present. When Craig, a grieving father stands before us sharing his story about the memories of his son it is heartbreaking. For him his son was a superstar, a great kid, a teenager on his way to a life of success. But to the police officer who accidentally shoots him, it feels as if he becomes just another black man in the wrong place at the wrong time, which has become an unacceptable, yet normalized answer. It is a difficult story to hear but one that revolves around a reality that is also difficult for people to except: the first thing that people see is color, sometimes unfortunately that is the only thing that people see. How do you reflect on biases in life, or do you even realize that as human beings we have them? How does one deal with the death of a child who is murdered at the hands of the very people that we are always taught to trust? How does a grieving father move forward with everything important to him is living in the past and only in his memory? Markus Wesley is one of so many African American men who were defenseless in the midst of bullets the word directed at them that should not have been. A true testament of where we are in America right now in 2019 in the story that should leave us all questioning if this is our present what does our future look like?

Male- Impact Statement

  • (Craig, an African American man in his forties plays football outside with Markus, his teenage son. The joy is contagious.)

    Markus, now boy I keep telling you that if you don’t cut to the right when you see the quarterback pump his arm there is no way that you are going to make it to the football in time. Remember, you are the receiver, it is his job to hit your mark on time and it is his job to drop the ball right in your hands. But he can’t do his job if you’re not on yours. You got it? (Confirmation) Okay good, now let’s try it again, remember hit the corner, step, hit that hard-cut right and if you as good as ya daddy was the ball should be waiting on you. Then BOOM “Touchdown Dalesville Hawks!” (Smiling and laughing.) You ready? Set, hut one, hut two, hike! (He hikes the ball, drops back, pumps his arm and throws. He watches as his son catches the ball and cuts across and finally runs it in.) YES! That’s my boy right the there. (Pointing into the imaginary stands.) All y’all see that? Markus Wesley number 28 going to the pros. Good job son, good job. Go on inside and grab some water I’m gonna work on my right arm. (He watches him go, long shift. His joy is gone as he stares at the football. To audience.) Best days of my life playing ball with Markus. (Smiles) That boy is my everything. I’d give my life for him. Any parent would, shouldn’t have to, but I would.