An American Hustler

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I never had intentions to become a drug dealer, especially at the age of thirteen–just being honest. I had one of the meanest mamas in the neighborhood, who made me go to church almost every Sunday. I had to sang in the Jr. Choir, I’d been baptized, and was a member of a church called Williams Memorial CME on Fifteenth Street. Just across the street is where I stood in line, faithfully, at Shiloe Community Center for our free cheese, powdered milk, honey, and most importantly, our monthly Food Stamps.

I wanted to be a football player growing up, but for some apparent reason, my mama didn’t think I was tough enough or that I would get hurt. While growing up in a poverty-stricken city such as Augusta and living in one of the worst neighborhoods, you had only a few options. Either you was going to be a boxer, play football, or be a damn good hustler. Even though the city had produced a few NBA players and rappers, your chances were still slim to none.

Still, I never had intentions on being a drug dealer. I was doing just fine drawing pictures of cartoon characters on my bedroom wall. I was obsessed with picking up soda and beer cans and selling them at the aluminum recycling company on Old Savannah Road. We hunted squirrels and robins with BB guns and sold them to the lady down the street for a dollar. That was my hustle, I guess.

My intentions on being a drug dealer were nonexistent, but this would be the last time our lights and the water would be disconnected almost simultaneously. I was sure my mama was oblivious to what I was going through mentally. In school, I was ridiculed for various reasons; going to school musty, wearing hand me down clothes that my Mama had gotten from the rich white people that she worked for on the Hill. I also got joked on by the older guys in my neighborhood because they said that my mama didn’t know who my daddy was. Maybe, all of this had taken a toll on me.

Then, one day, something clicked mentally, almost similar to someone flipping on a light switch on the wall… And from there, all I could remember is my mama saying, Whatever you do, just be the best at it.

 This is a powerful story of drug addiction, redemption of overcoming the life of crime, and the judicial system altogether, Jarvis Hardwick, AKA National Bestselling author, Cole Hart, has finally pinned a riveting and unputdownable story of his life.

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