Dr. Keith White is a former educator, prosecutor, and member of the Brooklyn Combine who shared his journey with Pastor A.R. Bernard in a two-part interview on ARB TV.
White, who was born and raised in Brownsville, New York spoke about his upbringing with Bernard.
“It’s an interesting place where we saw the results of the crack epidemic, we saw the results of extreme abject poverty in the face of great wealth that was being built on the backs of that poverty. But in Brownsville, we had [a] great community, so amongst all of this danger, we found safety.”
Bernard noted that while the community of Brownsville was stricken with systems of poverty, he found it impressive that White was able to overcome those challenges.
“You find different routes to travel so that you either avoid certain things or so that you can run into certain things,” White explained. “So, if I knew that there was a particularly troubled block, I would have to avoid that block.”
The former prosecutor also mentioned that his mother was integral in shaping him to become the person that he is today.
“If I didn’t get homework for two weeks in a row, if I was not being stimulated [or] if I was in a school where the teacher would say, ‘there’s something wrong with him’ or ‘he doesn’t learn the way that he needs to learn, you know maybe we should leave him back,’ my mother was like, ‘no, I’m not accepting the narrative that you want to put for my child,” shared White.
White recounted how he struggled in school, and that when he went to college he scored so poorly on his English entrance exam he was placed in the same English class as those who were learning English as a second language. It was not until he earned an “A”in his speech course that he began to change his perspective on his academic abilities.
He finished college with high marks and eventually went to law school. He went on to become a lawyer with the Brooklyn’s District Attorney’s Office, which he describes as an interesting journey. “I started work September 4, 2001, and a week into the job, September 11 happened.”
After that, things began to shift quickly.
“The world is changed…how we press through cases [and] how we look at the world completely changed. But then, I had personal things going on. My girlfriend at the time, who’s now my wife, was pregnant and I found out two days before taking the bar exam, which was two months before I started my new job.”
White is also a member of the Christian Cultural Center, where he heads up the social justice work there. He discusses that and more in part two of the interview, scheduled to be released tomorrow, November 19 at 9 pm only on ARB TV.
You can head over to ARB TV now to watch the full interview of part one!