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The City of Tallulah honors black men making a difference in the community

The Program was called The Fruit of the Village
The Program was called The Fruit of the Village(KNOE)
Published: May. 6, 2022 at 7:27 PM CDT
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TALLULAH, La. (KNOE) - A recent study conducted by the Sentencing Project shows black men are six times more likely to be in jail than white men. Today, community leaders in Tallulah honored the black men who beat the statistics.

Now they are making a difference throughout their communities and inspiring local youth to do the same. More than one hundred students attended the Fruit of the Village Program and it was designed to show young adults that no matter where you grow up, you can still be successful.

“In the African American community, there’s a quote that says it takes a village to raise a child,” said Yvonne Lewis, the City of Tallulah Public Information Officer.

“I’m just one of the many who have left Tallulah and gone on or living in Tallulah that are doing great things,” said Anthony Lucas, Pulaski Academy Head Football Coach.

He says, he made it to the NFL and played with Green Bay and the Cowboys but his career was cut short when he injured his knee.

“And God closed that door and said I got a better plan for you. Now I’m coaching high school football. This past year was my first year as a head coach, and we have been to the State Championship the last eight times. We won seven out of the last eight in Division 5-4 in Arkansas,” said Lucas.

Lucas isn’t the only coach making history in football. The Head Football Coach for General Trass High School Toriano Wells, won the first football semi-finals championship in the school’s history last year.

A recent Grambling State University Graduate is making his mark in the photography industry. Photographer Devontae Jones says he has several accolades, but he enjoyed taking photos of the Dallas Mavericks and in the near future he has bigger dreams.

“In the next five years I definitely see myself taking pictures at the BET Awards, the Grammys, and photographing just different things in life but, I definitely see myself there in the next five years,” said Devontae Jones, the Photographer.

Madison Parish Sheriff Captain Micheal Washington was recognized for serving the community. Also known for capturing and releasing alligators and snakes throughout the community.

“I’ve been doing the catching and releasing every since I was about nine or ten years old, but I use to catch rattlesnakes, water moccasins, cooper heads bare-handed, but now I have a kit,” said Michael Washington, the Madison Parish Sheriff Rank of Captain.

The Program also included a surprise for the Fire Chief for the City of Tallulah. Instead of just helping with the event, he was called out as one of the outstanding citizens and the recognition brought tears to his eyes.

“It was basically because the work that I do hasn’t gone unnoticed. It’s basically, saying we’re watching,” he said.

The program’s organizers say they hope this group of black men motivated the children to beat the negative statistics and become community leaders for the next generation.

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