YOUNG Dolph is a glimmer of hope for kids living in one of Memphis’ most disadvantaged, most resourced areas.
The children watching him cry, the community is still in shock and his loss is similar to that of Muhammad Ali, residents and community leaders told The Sun in exclusive interviews.
“Our kids are literally in tears. Their hero is gone,” said Jonathan Torres, CEO of a nonprofit organization. Memphis Sports Set, speak.
The Memphis Department of Sports, Torres said, has been working with Young Dolph to deliver turkeys to families “who won’t be on vacation”.
Before Young Dolph was a household name in the Hip Hop world, he sold tapes from the trunk of his car and in corner shops in the Castalia neighborhood of Memphis, 7th grade geography teacher Michael Bates of he told The Sun.
“This is a tough neighborhood, and for the kids, he’s their Muhammad Ali. That’s his impact,” Bates said.
“I just want people to understand that someone has taken away the image of people who want to do better,” Bates told The Sun.
“As a society, if we remove those images, what are we left with? The world has lost a national symbol, but for teachers we have lost a beloved student.”
‘I’M BLOODING UP, MR BATES’
The young Dolph graduated and was still “hustling” to the top when he visited Bates in 2008, who was the principal at the time.
“For me, he’s always been Adolph. So my secretary said Mr. Thornton was here to see you.
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“He brought this CD and said you heard it. I was trying to make it loud,” Bates recalls Young Dolph telling him.
“I know how hard it is to be a rapper, so I wanted him to get a job. I pushed him to be a firefighter, but he just smirked and said back, ‘I’m about to explode already. ‘” Bates said. “And then he did.”
Bates was Young Dolph’s teacher in seventh grade and later assistant principal when the rapper was in eighth grade.
He said Young Dolph has always been good at English Literature and “runs around, plays basketball and chases girls.”
“He was a kid then, but I still remember the way he carried himself. It wasn’t different or something that made him different. He just always lived up to his king’s name. .”
In African tradition, Adolph means noble or noble wolf.
“He bet on himself. He always said he was going to be attacked. And he did,” Bates said.
No matter how popular Young Dolph became, he always returned to Memphis to attract talented Hip Hop artists under his wing, and perform at rallies when Bates asked.
“The main thing I said to him and all of my players was to be conscious and to strive and give back,” Bates said.
“You owe it to the neighborhood you’re from, but I’ve been preaching all the time your zip code isn’t going to be the person you’re going to be in life.
“He really did it. He took the hurt and pain he went through and made himself a good family man.”
MEMPHIS LEGENDS TO HELP KIDS
MAM CEO Torres said the whole community is still in shock, but the hardest part is with the 450 children they help every day.
The nonprofit organization offers grief courses to help young people deal with their grief.
“Here, there is an immediate sense of grief and curiosity about what will happen next,” says Torres. “It’s a fact how much loved he is. So why is he being targeted?
“His actions spoke out really loud and he wanted to give back to the community,” said Torres. “He’s always believed in giving back to your neighbors and restored communities.
“We’re saying to our kids, ‘Let’s continue what young Dolph started and be a beacon of hope. “
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https://www.the-sun.com/news/4104546/young-dolph-memphis-community-impact-teacher-michael-bates/ How Young Dolph’s death destroyed the Memphis community and left children in tears as ‘their hero’s gone’