Dear Alexandria, Louisiana...
You are the heartbeat of our state. You are the bosom for travelers; they find rest in your arms as they navigate to their destination. Through the ages you have birthed and bred world renowned poets, scholars and writers like Arna Bontemps and Layon Gray. You ignited the art of theater into our very own angel, the late Natalie Desselle Reid. D’Lai made us laugh, Markell Brown made us proud, Judge Donald Johnson, Judge George Metoyer and Judge David Williams gave us hope. Mayor Jeff Hall and mayor of our neighboring ally, Mayor Clarence Fields embodies our diversity. Rosa C. Fields and Myron K. Lawson remain pillars in our communities economic development and entrepreneurship among the majority minority. Ingrid Johnson, Dewayne Dupar and Dominique Teasley and others lead in service and mentorship. Pioneers like W.C. Davis, W.O. Hall, Professor Isles, Louis Marshal, Marshal Byrd. Rev. S.Y. Brady, Rev. Donny Granvel, Rev. Clarence Dupar, Rev. Dr. Joe S. Green, Rev. Solomon Shorter, Theodore Fountain, and mentors Coach Charles Smith, Coach Marvin Hall and MANY more have open doors, created paths and helped us integrate the margins in leadership.
We have centralized mobilization in education and academic excellence through Principal Dennis Stewart, Asst. Principal Cheronda Cooper, in collegiate advancement through Dr. Haywood Joiner, in medicine through Dr. Vincent Mallory, Drs. Greg Bevels and wife Shareffa Baker, Dr. Janice Dara and Dr. Toni Bowie Grant, in dentistry through Dr. Valarie Washington, in health and fitness through M-POWER, Yoga Bay, 300 Fitness, and That Fitness Chick, in restaurantier and entrepreneurship through Pamela’s Bayou in a Bowl, Delish, Uncle Willie’s, McNeill Photography, Southern Belle Financial, Raymond Taylor’s Sweets & Treats, Wimbley Graphics, Ronald Dean Photography, Turner & Turner Construction, Lawson Realty, Primary Residential Mortgage, Debra’s Alterations, Geneva’s Alterations, Sue-Do Hair Salon, Styles by Sterling, Platinum Barber Shop and the LIST GOES ON, in military service and superior accommodation through COL. (Ret.) James F. Bowie, in finance through Willie Spears and Angel Drakes Teasley, in law through Attorney Jonathan D. Goins, The Larvadain Family, Monique Metoyer, Numa Metoyer, Tiffany Sanders, Kelvin Sanders, Bridget Brown, Joshua Dara Sr and Joshua Dara Jr, Jermaine Harris, Tamara Battles and others, in state government and public policy through Herbert Dixon, Ed Larvadain, Malcolm Larvadain, Joe Fuller, REDDEX Washington, Gerber Porter, Cynthia Perry, Mitzi Lasalle and others, in service through Former APD Chief Darren Coutee and Fire Chief Bernard Wesley.
Sherman Desselle created an avenue in journalism. Dezmond Meeks created a sound of our resilience. Miller & Hill The Funeral Directors introduced a NEW generation of service following the legacies of the Johnson, Stewart, Gonzaque, Williams, Robinson and Green Families. Pastors Dara, Turner, Green, Jackson, Shorter, and MORE cover our city in prayer.
Be NOT mistaken and REMEMBER WHO YOU ARE! The list of WHO WE ARE and how we have represented in SUCCESS goes ON. The HOPE and the LEGACY is CLEAR; the FUTURE rests with US. We are NOT whats written about us. We are NOT “Hellexandria”. Our identity is not in our sickness. We ARE in crisis but we have a proven record of success in EVERY spectrum in our communities. The time is NOW, to stand in our mirrors, adjust our crowns, straighten our collars and REMEMBER WHO WE ARE! Let’s get back to caring for our elderly, embracing our children, rehabilitating our neighborhoods, feeding the hungry, praying for troubled marriages and broken families, leading by example and counseling IN LOVE. The problem isn’t all within the PEOPLE, as there are too many boots on the ground. The problem is in the plagues that has infested our communities. But we must REMEMBER WHO WE ARE! SPEAK, BELIEVE AND KNOW that a city under siege needs prayer that DOESN’T CEASE!
I don’t know who YOU are, but near or far.... iAMAlexandriaStrong