Maricopa Monitor ........Do as he says...
Local author speaks to MHS students about drugs, gangs
By ERIC MUNGENAST
Published: Tuesday, November 29, 2011 10:41 AM MST
Photo by Eric Mungenast/Maricopa Monitor, Local author Robert Boyd spoke to a group of Maricopa High School students on Nov. 24 about his past as a gang member in Detroit. Boyd spent approximately 15 years selling drugs along with several members of his gang, many of whom are serving or did serve serving prison time.
Using his troubled past as a lesson, local author Robert Boyd warned local students about the dangers of drug dealing and gang life during a presentation last week.
Speaking to students at Maricopa High School on Wednesday, Boyd provided the students a glimpse into his life growing up in a Detroit neighborhood, where he said he saw his stepfather killed by his grandfather when he was 9.
“That changed my life forever,” Boyd said.
After witnessing that event, Boyd said he became active in gang life by the age of 10 and spent approximately 15 years selling drugs and living what he called a thug life filled with violence.
“If you weren’t part of my crew, weren’t part of my gang, you didn’t stand a chance,” he said.
That life in Detroit also led him to take his son to drug deals, which Boyd said led his son to get into the same life and end up in prison at the age of 17. Boyd’s son did not get out of prison until he turned 32, which Boyd calls his “biggest regret.”
“You just don’t know that you put your family in harms way; you just don’t know,” he added.
Boyd said he ended up leaving Detroit for Cincinnati, Ohio at the age of 25 because he realized he was disappointing his mother, who he called his “backbone,” adding he’d “be dead or in the penitentiary” without his mother’s presence.
Since leaving Detroit, Boyd has written two books – “The Streets Don’t Love You Back” and “Never Hit a Woman” – and has spoken against gang life to many students.
“Selling drugs is a short life,” Boyd said. “At the end of the day, nobody wins being a thug or a drug-runner.
“It’s best to stay free, it’s best to stay educated, [and] it’s best to do something that helps your life.”
During his approximately two-hour presentation to the high school students on Nov. 23, Boyd showed a video with several scenarios involving drug use, domestic violence and bullying, raffled off free memorabilia for the students, presented the school with copies of his books and fielded several questions from the students about his life.
Boyd’s wife, Lucinda, spoke before Boyd’s presentation about her past as well, mentioning mistakes she’d made and telling students to find whatever greatness lies within them.
“If you have a dream, don’t let anyone stop you; get out and do it,” she said.
More information about Boyd and his books is available at thestreetsdontloveyouback.ning.com.