Mr. Earnest Williams Jr.
Mr. Earnest Williams III (Age 10)
Mr. Travis Fucien (Age 12)
Thank you for giving me inspiration.........Charles D. Sharp
BEMA Network Members (All):
It's 11:10 P.M. and I'm diligently working in the BEMA office responding to emails, catching up on readings, and getting set for Wednesdays schedule.
One hour ago thinking of the personal, financial, and professional sacrifices that I've incurred for BEMA. The cleaning staff of The HIVE arrived. What threw me off was that I heard an adult, and young male voices. I ensured that the deadbolt lock and all doors were locked before a came to the second floor area, so whomever entered was probably one of the other member\tenants.
As I reached the top of the stairway the adult male was coming up. We both introduced ourselves, and stated our purposes for working so late. Overlooking the area for what needed to be done, I asked was his son with him and that I give him my utmost respect and admiration for having his son with him cleaning office buildings. He said his son was more interested in what I was driving. I offered him the keys as an inside joke, with both of us laughing.
Interesting thing is that while the father was upstairs surveying the area, I heard the son downstairs pulling plastic trash bags from the containers on his own and never heard his father at anytime give him direction. After asking, his 10-year old son was just working with Dad, and Dad wanted to make sure that he knew life was about working all hours of the night and making sacrifices..
Dad went on to mention that his son attended a charter school in the District (Washington, D.C.), and wanted to be a ball player. If any of you know me this just opened the door for more discussion. Asked how he does in school, and wanted to show the father a video clip on the BEMA website (www.blackemergmanagersassociation.org) called 'Bring you’re a Game'. Offered he take a look, and if his sons, and his sons friend that was working with could watch the video clip if permitted.
After 5-minutes of viewing the clip the father mentioned that he never has seen this and wanted his son, and friend to watch the video, and to even show it to a track team that he works with. Just informed him to check our website on the business card I handed him. Also mentioned that we tend to remember the last novel event from the day, so that if his son and friend watched it, it just might sink into their dreams.
I can honestly, and sincerely tell you that watching both of these young black men, yes at 10-years old working with Dad to me they are considered men (man child) learning important and vital skills necessary for survival. Watching the clip and noticing all the real-life ball players, rappers, military, business owners and others tell them that education is the key. This makes working all hours of the night tolerable. To know in my heart that there is hope and a light at the end of this difficult path in our communities, if families get involved for our children's future.
I could probably write a short story on this, but to keep it short. After watching the video I told both of the young men how proud and honored I was at them for working with the one sons father, and especially proud of the father for bringing his son and friend along.
This one instance has given me more inspiration to continue on. As I explained to the father that one child, one block at a time is all I can do.
Have a wonderful day.
Charles D. Sharp
Charles D. Sharp
Black Emergency Managers Association
2027 Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue. S.E.
Washington, D.C. 20020