Eagle Landing


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Seth Batiste

A disease that was supposed to end my life early is the same that doctors scratch their heads about each year when I go in for check ups. I made it through by the grace of God, and the fervrent prayers of a diligent grandmother. July 1 was my 30th birthday.

I lived in Los Angeles ' South Central and in Englewood . There, at age 6, I created a street gang with 5 close friends at 74th Street School. Talking and smiling were not part of my character yet. I knew this because toward the end of my first grade year, one of my two teachers, Ms. Scholowsky grabbed the other, pointing enthusiastically in my direction during a class exercise activity. It was not long before I knew that I was the center of attention without knowing why. It was then that the activity was abruptly stopped, and both instructors pointed out that I had smiled, a smile that had quickly gone away---Gone with the wondering little faces that wanted a glimpse of this attraction. I remember this being the talk of both teachers for quite a while after this. During picture day, I think I let them down, but a couple of months later during retakes, the camera man looked around and noticed we were alone. He threatened throw his equipment at me if I did not smile, motioning with his light that he was pretty serious. I smiled.

In 1992, I was voted most likely to succeed in this community school in Houston's historic Fifth Ward is home to some of the nations most influential people including Barbara Jordan, George Thomas "Mickey" Leland, a host of state and national leaders who have represented us well. What has happened to this school is an incredible transformation from national prominence to social apathy.

Today, I am a doctoral student at the University of Houston where I have begun studies in Educational Leadership and Cultural Studies.


This page is dedicated to those that want to achieve, but thought they could not. Those that wanted a piece of the piece, but thought they were undeserving and to those who set off for a road less traveled and ended up alone. I salute the man that has fallen and yet continues to get up, the black man that ignores disparities in search for equality, knowing full and well the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. that state, "If a man hasn't found something to die for, he isn't fit to live."

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