Watching my mother receive her Nursing degree let me know in no uncertain terms, that I could to accomplish anything if I set my mind to it. She set the bar and I wiggled underneath grabbing a degree from Howard University. That’s what Michael Tubbs and I have in common. His Mom graduated from high school with baby in tow and his greatest joy would Beto witness another young mother’s dream of an education come true.
Michael Tubbs was supposed to become a statistic. He was born to a young teen and had a incarcerated father he barely knew. Statistics said a Black man like Michael Tubbs would have two choices in life based on his entry into this word – jail or death. After all, what choice did he have? Plenty, and he took advantage of every single one of them.
A Stanford graduate, whose mentors and friends include Former President Barack Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Iyanla Vanzant and Common to name a few, would grow up to become Mayor of his hometown of Stockton, California. All while making strides ensuring that brothas and sistas in his community were armed with the fighting chance studies consistently dictated don’t exist for young Black and Brown citizens.
Remember that ABC Sitcom “The Mayor,” where a single Mom (Yvette Nicole Brown) encouraged her son (Brandon Michael Hall) to run for Mayor? Yup, art imitated life with Michael Tubbs. Yet, when he got elected, came up with a plan raising funds for every kid in his community to be able to graduate from high school and have money to go to college. A planmost of his peers and constituents called “crazy” and “unreasonable.” His Universal Basic Income program would provide ‘free’ money because 1 out of 2 Americans can’t afford one $400 emergency. Tubbs would also come up with a Stockton Scholarship program that has 20 million dollars in raised funds send hundreds in Stockton to pursue a higher education, as there is NO 4-year college in their community.
Directed by Marc Levin, Stockton on My Mind is the biggest, most heartfelt inspirational lesson in taking one’s education and intellectual wealth back to your roots assisting those with little to no resources. This documentary gives true blue meaning to the phrase ‘each one…teach one.” To date, Michael Tubbs has raised more than 700k in scholarships for Stockton students. Levin exceptionally captures with this narrative, just because your chapter begins one way doesn’t mean it can’t have a fairy tale ending. Tubbs’ father is still incarcerated, but Michael now has the chance to re-write the narrative as he is now a father and husband. Stockton on My Mind is a powerful narrative about the resilience of Black women and how much we tolerate and forgive for the sake of family. See for yourself and get inspired by catching it on HBO right now.