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My family's support and the negative environment of the day toward blacks in South Carolina became the forces that led me out of the South - first to New York, then to Philadelphia, where I found opportunity in the form of a PAL gym and my trainer, Yank Durham.
If you grow up in the South Bronx today or in south-central Los Angeles or Pittsburgh or Philadelphia, you quickly come to understand that you have been set apart and that there's no will in this society to bring you back into the mainstream.
I can play anywhere. First, third, left field, anywhere but Philadelphia.
Like most struggling writers trying to get their scripts commissioned, I had to do something odd to pay the rent. So, aged 21, I started up my own small cheesecake company in Philadelphia.
I love everything about Philadelphia, and its food is like the city itself: real-deal, hearty, and without pretension. We've always had an underdog vibe as a city, but that just makes us try harder, and I love our scrappiness and scruffiness.