take a moment and learn about rosebudd
I am a student of life. The path I chose to take, showed me how to handle myself in the mean streets of America. I’m educated with a Masters Degree from Ashford University and a Ph.D from, SWU. the university of the Streets. I’m the ninth child of twelve children, born to the same two parents. My parents married, had 12 children together and each of us are successful. They were together until my father’s death and my mother never was with another man. She died saying, my father was the only man she knew in that way and was the only man she’d ever need. I’m proud of that to this day.
I was a rather bright kid, but my father had us so afraid of him and I never knew how smart I was. My mother used to say, “Johnny’s so apt. He’s gon make something of himself.” I would be very proud, when she said that to her friends, but what she didn’t realize was the reason I was so apt. My father used to ask us questions and if we didn’t answer them correctly, we’d get a whipping. So, I learned to answer all the questions he’d ask, even if it wasn’t for me. My dad would be proud of that, also, but he would never acknowledge it. My parents were strict, from the south and didn’t believe in raising soft kids, for fear of white people taking advantage of them.
My friends, were another thing. I learned not to answer the questions in class, because they thought I was showing off and I got my butt whipped a couple of times for it. Once I realized how smart I was, since I had friends who weren’t so bright, I never showed my smarts in classes. My parents wouldn’t tolerate an under achiever, so all my brothers and sisters including me, had to do well in school. After I learned not to be seen or, heard in class, the only thing left for me to do was get good grades on the tests we would have. Long as I got good grades, I was able to avoid my dad’s belt and if I stayed under the radar of my jealous friends, I wouldn’t have to fight.
Fast forward a few years to 13. I’d been around the block and my partners had brought out the bad side of me. I developed an attitude and was nothing nice. We used to steal bikes, then cars, til we got caught. My father came to the police station and when he seen me sitting behind that counter, talking to that policeman, he jumped over the counter and hit me in the jaw. “Boy, didn’t I teach you better than that?” Then he socked me again. Little did I know, my dad was protecting me from going to jail, for what we had done. When the police had a conference about jailing me or not, one of them said, “I wouldn’t worry about him. You saw how Mr. Dickson handled it. He won’t be stealing anymore cars.” And they let me go.
Being from the streets as I was, I went through the drug scene and started dealing weed. We were young and weed was the rage, but the side effect I got from dealing was, it made me not want a job. Selling weed, then cocaine, then pills became my scene, but the scene that hooked me, was dealing with prostitutes. Yes, I was a PimP. I PimPed for over 35 years and at the height of it, I quit. Unlike others, drugs, jail or, any of that negative stuff, had nothing to do with my leaving something I loved behind, as I did. It was ’72, when I was in college, with one quarter to go for my BA in Sociology, when the PimPin’ called me and I had to answer. I dropped out and hit the streets. I was already halfway a hustler, since I kept the weed and cocaine, but when the PimPin’ called, I dropped it all in a heartbeat.
It’s funny, because the PimP Game chose me. I was trying to be cool and all my partners and I talked about, was being a PimP. I was the MAN, for drugs, when this white girl I knew came to get some weed. I was out and told her to come back later. She said she’d wait. I took her out to my car, a Caddy, smoked a joint with her and while smoking, she asked me what was I going to do if the weed didn’t show up? I told her, “I’m gon PimP on you.” She started laughing, finished the joint and decided to leave. As she was leaving, I said, “If you come back, you better have some money, cause you gon be my ho.” She laughed again and said, “I don’t know how to ho.” I said, “I’ll teach you what I know, and you can get the rest, on the job learning." We went to Oakland and I’ll never forget that $220, I got the 1st night. The rest is PimP history.
After being at the top of that Game, for over 25 years, I had a daughter and she changed my life. I became a single parent and raised my daughter on my own, from six months. After she was born, shockingly, I begin to turn into my father, which made me start thinking I couldn’t stay in the streets. I got a job and low and behold, my street savvy earned me a lead tech position. I excelled as a fountain tech and worked my way up the ladder. Because of my forwardness, I volunteered for lots of assignments others were afraid to take, because of the difficulty of the repair. I was so good at making things work, until they started calling me, Blagyver, short for the Black MacGyver.
I worked for a beverage company and they rewarded me by putting me on a team that traveled around the country to McDonalds restaurants, to check their beverage systems, for Coke Cola. This was a great job, until I became supervisor, and after 10 years of it, I began to hate it. The good thing about being a tech, was I was on the road a lot and it was like I didn’t have a boss. Long as I did my work with no complaints, I left from home and didn’t have to go to the office, except to get my check and the next week’s schedule. Then I messed around and got promoted to Supervisor. I started hating it. Not the job. I hated being a supervisor and having to be in the office all day. I had to answer to higher ups, and I realized it was killing me.
I had started writing after I left the Game and had already written RoseBudd The American PimP. I knew it was going to be my ticket to easy street or, at least ease my anxieties about working. I sent it to Holloway Book Publishers and was rejected. Unfortunately for me, they were trying to change their image at the time and wrote a note saying they liked my style of writing. It also said, because of their change they didn’t want to publish the kind of material I submitted, anymore. Writing that book served one purpose only. It woke my appetite for writing. Because it was a true story, it was easy to write, but I wanted to challenge myself and started in the Urban Fiction category. I started my second book with all the ingredients of a ‘good’ read, according to my rejection letter.
Since being a PimP requires you to be able to paint pictures with words, writing was a no brain-er for me. I was able to walk up to a woman I’d never met and attract her with only my conversation. I was a Picaso. I used my ability of painting vivid pictures of what I had to say, to dream as I wrote my stories. The themes I dream of, I write, but it never stays as what I wrote. Rereading the stories, I’m able to embellish and think of twists and turns, because like Picaso, the first time I finish it, I only then begin to paint the picture. I may add to it over a 100 times. I love telling stories and making something that happened, much bigger, by embellishing 100x what happened. Writing, the way I do, I connect deeper with my audience, which is more of people who want to do things on their own. Or people who’re more urban than suburban.
I talk a lot and people often say I could write a book about anything. I can’t, but I accept the compliment. I believe the reason urban kids don’t read that much, is because the material isn’t written in the lingo they understand and enjoy. That’s why they love rap so much. They love the freedom writing rhymes give them. The traditional musical score is abandoned, as the traditional way to phrase your lyrics are. So, I dedicated my writing style to have the flare of a streetwise, formally educated, author.
I’ve since started an online University, SideWalkUniversity, where I have students who are introverts, but want to learn how to be more of an extrovert, but at the same time, learn how to be a true man. Most of the men of the 21st century, are lost, for lack of confidence. They don’t have the confidence to approach a woman and speak to her, mostly because they know nothing of themselves. When the monster documentary, American PimP came out in 1999, of which I starred in, it made my name, a household name. Young dudes who saw it felt, since I had gotten educated and had hos too, they could seek advice about women from me. Dealing with them I saw how scary they were and realized they all had the same problems. Insecurity, brought on by single mothers, raising sons to not be the bastards, they felt their fathers were. What they really were unintentionally doing, was banning together to protect future women, by emasculating their sons. But that’s another subject we can speak about another time.