“My name is Dion Boyd and I’m a fifty year old Sergeant of the Chicago Police Department. I was born in Chicago on April 20, 1963 to Herbert and Ida Mae Boyd. My father was a painter for the Chicago Housing Authority and my mother was a house wife. I’m the sixth child out of ten children.
I grew up on the south side of Chicago in a middle class community called Morgan Park. I attended Esmond Elementary School, where I excelled academically. I was also a member of the basketball team, which was regarded as one of the best in the city at that time.
Upon graduating from grammar school, I attended Carver Area High School. Initially, I was enrolled in a program called Upward Bound, which gave high school students the opportunity to attend classes on the campus of the University of Chicago. However, I wasn’t focused and mostly concentrated on basketball. I withdrew from the Upward Bound program and registered for honor courses, so I could be at Carver every day for basketball practice. I regret that decision, because I didn’t put forth my best effort academically in high school.
I still graduated in the top 5 percent of my high school in 1981 and attended Western Illinois University in the fall of that year. In the spring of 1985, I graduated from WIU. I earned a Bachelor of Science in Health Administration, with a minor in Business Administration.
From 1985 until July of 1990, I worked for the City of Chicago, Department of Aviation, as a revenue account supervisor. I didn’t enjoy being confined in an office setting, so I joined the Chicago Police Department on July 30, 1990.
On November 10, 1990, I married Denise Dixon. From this union, Dion Xavier Boyd (February 11, 1994) and Darien Marcel Boyd (October 8, 1996) were born.
After my children were born, I wanted to be such a positive influence in their lives, that I continued my education and earned a Masters of Business Administration from Saint Xavier University. This is my way of illustrating that they can accomplish whatever they aspire to reach, dream or become!”
1. Who was the most influential person in your life growing up, and in what ways did this person have an effect on you?
“My father was the most influential person in my life growing up. I watched him work extremely hard to provide for his very large family”
2. What do you feel is the primary reason you did not fall victim to the stereotypes of young black males? (Gangs, Violence, Drugs, Children, etc…)
“I believe that having a father present and other strong male role models to instill morals and values were the primary reasons why I didn’t fall victim to the stereotypes of young black males. “
3. I have chosen to interview you because I recognize you as a Black male over the age of 40 who contributes to the argument that Black males are not limited to stereotypes that plague Black men in the media. How do you feel about achieving this goal?
“I feel that it was an accomplishment that was expected from my family, because even though you are in a certain environment, one doesn’t have to engage in the activities that are accepted by the majority”
4.What were the most significant experiences throughout your life that molded you into the person you are now?
“The most significant experiences throughout my life that molded me into the person that I am today all involve basic family togetherness type experiences. Whether it is was a happy family moment or negative. Family is always what to count on to carry you through!”
The man I have chosen to interview is my father. I chose him because he was the perfect, most influential role model in my life. He is living evidence that black males are not limited to stereotypes that plague black men in the media.
My father was shaped and molded by the experiences and circumstances that plagued him throughout the years as he matured into an adult. Coming from a family of ten where he was forced to play a major father figure role due to his father being at work most hours of the day, he matured prematurely and began perceiving the world in a way that kept him from falling into the stereotypes of Black men.
His life contributes to the argument that black men are not limited to the stereotypes that plague us because it narrates a story of a man who was raised in an environment designed to propel young African Americans to the grave or to jail. Because of the man my father had to become early in his life, he never saw fit to hang out in the streets, commit crimes, wear stereotypical clothing, receive tattoos, pierce his ears, or even surround himself with friends that represented the stereotype of the young black male. Instead, he dedicated all of his time to helping his parents with the family, and trying to be a role model for his siblings. For this reason, he excelled in every level of education at which he attempted. On top of that, he was a great basketball player, which gave him the highly viewed title of a student-athlete. As time continued, my father went to college received a Bachelors Degree and recently received his Masters Degree. My father has worked for the Chicago Police Department for over twenty years and is now a Sergeant on the Southside of Chicago.
The media portrays Black Males as a group of people who can only taste success if they become rappers or basketball players, that is, if they are lucky enough to not become a product of the environment in which most of us inhabit. The media also portrays Black males as hypersexual and unable to stay within the lives of their children.
My father is a walking argument against these stereotypes because he became successful through education and used basketball to moderate his free time and do something that he enjoyed. He never went to jail nor was he arrested/convicted of any crime, and most certainly he was not killed or hurt due to gang activity. One of the most important qualities of my father that separates him the most from the stereotypes of Black males is that he married and raised kids with one woman, and has never turned his back on any of their lives for one second. This man has even raised his children to be more extraordinary black men than he is. This is why I love and have so much respect for my father, the impact he has had on my life is indescribable. I would be nowhere had he not been here, and this is why he is proof that Black males aren’t limited to the stereotypes portrayed by the media.