As abundant and prosperous as Black communities are, many are afflicted by the snowball effect of poverty leading to high crime rates, which inflates the number of Black men and women in federal and state prisons. Today (Nov. 2) on “Big Facts,” DJ Scream, Big Bank, and Baby Jade hosted enlightening conversations with ex-cons-turned-community activists Dr. Travis “Trapp” Barber and Stack.
Dr. Barber was a high school football star who was awarded a full scholarship to attend Georgia Southern University. Woefully, he didn’t finish his schooling and started dogfighting instead, which eventually connected him to the local dope boys. Dr. Barber got in the street game and never turned back. Getting caught up in the mix, the OG was convicted of murder. “That I didn’t commit,” he clarified. The former hustler was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison; he served 10 behind bars and did the remainder on parole.
Stack was born and raised in San Diego, California but has resided in Atlanta, Georgia for over 20 years. He was attending school at illustrious HBCU Morris Brown College while going back and forth to California to pursue a music career. Amid his dual lifestyle, he was charged with a nonviolent drug charge in 2014.
Dr. Barber, known as a conduit for change, revealed to “Big Facts” the primary reason that speaking to the youth became extremely important to him. “That vacation put me on a new pivotal. Being away from my own sons and seeing so many young Black boys walk through them walls… I just had a deep passion to become the father to them boys that I [would want] a man to be to my kids on the streets,” admitted the dad of two. Additionally, what has kept him grounded and focused on his mission is understanding anything that happens to young men in the streets could also happen to his own kin.
Furthermore, the dedicated community activist shared that the role he played in the murder he was convicted of ignited a different level of passion when it comes to his craft. “Having to live with knowing that I played a role in that man’s demise and never being able to tell his mother that I’m sorry for what I did,” Dr. Barber explained remorsefully.
Currently, he is working to make a difference. His primary goal is to be a beacon of light to troubled youth and inmates. Now an author, Dr. Barber’s book, “Behind the Trapp,” is available for purchase on Amazon. Additionally, he is working closely with the Cobb County District Attorney’s Office as they go into schools and communities to help eligible candidates get their records expunged.
In the second segment of today’s episode, Stack spoke with the crew about how the system works. When probed about his thoughts on criminal justice reform, he emphasized the importance of knowledge on the topic and commended “Big Facts” for using their platform to address the issue. “We need to educate the people more about it, man. My attorney told me I’m doing five years; homie, when the judge said 15 to 30 – n**ga, my whole life flashed before me,” he shared. Stack clarified that he had a paid lawyer fighting his case, not a court-appointed one, and that his attorney did not properly clarify he would be serving the remainder of his 15 to 30-year sentence on paper, better known as parole. Stack was under the impression that he would serve five years and be done.
Stack took some time to explain the difference between parole and probation. “Parole, you’re still under the [Department of Corrections]. Any little hiccup, they send you back to the pen for anything,” the Atlanta resident expounded. He continued by sharing that it’s easier to get released from probation; however, the expectations set for a parolee are not flexible.
DJ Scream asked Stack if he would discourage anyone from doing business in the streets or if it’s a lifestyle that some people need to endure to build character. “I say do what’s better for you because we don’t know everybody’s situation,” to which Big Bank agreed. “I ain’t never gonna tell a n**ga not to do something if I ain’t got nothing to offer them,” the motivational speaker continued. He encouraged everyone to provide the youth with opportunities that will help keep them out of the streets. Moreover, some people may not agree with or be fond of the style of music Gen Z has to offer; however, Stack believes it’s keeping most of them distracted and out of trouble, in addition to providing them with income. Stack had a message for the youth who have opportunities to get big bucks. “When you get that money, do something with it. It’s all about trying to have financial freedom the right way. The streets is a circle; it’s gonna set you up.”
Watch the full episode here. Plus, check out new installments of “Big Facts” every Thursday at 5 p.m. ET.
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