Tavon Brooks

On being black in St. Louis:

In regards to entrepreneurship, when I mean entrepreneurship I mean starting a business, creating an avenue of wealth for others of my color, I get that grade A customer service of “Oh you’re starting a business” great, “You need loans” great, then it’s oh “you’re black, let me check your credit.” And I’ve see that and it’s a culture shock to me, I’ve spent time living abroad.  It’s different and it’s not about what color you are. So you know that’s what I’m facing here as far as being black.

On police civilian interaction: 

If the police understood what African Americans really go through in their lives as “the criminal” or someone who is just trying get to the next day. If they would be educated, both black and white police officers, on how a criminal mind is, where he lives, his culture, they’d understand and wouldn’t be so aggressive as to wanna knock someone out for standing there and saying, “what did I do wrong?” or “explain to me what I did wrong?” He could be a man, he could be a leader but he really doesn’t know what he did wrong.

Protesting:

I didn’t protest. What I’ve gained from not going is other options and ways to effectively bring on protest without being on the streets. My protest is starting my own business. I have a nonprofit started to help communities who do not have. Just maybe their life will get better, just maybe they won’t have to look to drugs just for a hustle. Maybe they won’t have to try and sell their bodies to make a living. If only I could provide an avenue for them to make an income. That’s my protest.

Ferguson Is…A training ground. Bootcamp. A spring board. Catalyst for any black entrepreneur at this moment. There is an opportunity to maximize not only our color, but our race and our history. 

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