“I’m 42 and from South Carolina,” he told me. I met him on the streets of Louisville, Kentucky this past Sunday. I asked if he had any family and he told me that he does, but had not seen his parents in over 10-years. “Are you working right now,” I asked with curiosity? “Naaah, just trying to hustle, how much is that picture worth,” he asked? I laughed and said, “You don’t have to pay me.”
As the conversation continued, I quickly realized that he greatly misses his parents. Again, he has not seen them in over 10-years.
He then talked about attending high school in South Carolina where he grew up in the small county of Greenwood. The population today is barely over 23,000 residents with only 0.19% being African American. In the 1990’s when he attended high school, the population stood at 20,000.
The New York Times reported in 2011 that the county of Greenwood experienced the highest economic decline in the United States. One reason, the deindustrialization of the textile mills that once held the county together.
I asked, “Are you homeless today?” He told me that he lives with friends.