Eric, or E-Live as we called him, was one of my closest friends and mentors at Cleveland State. It was him and Wanda M. Coleman who took me under their wings and molded me to the grassroots, social, rebel rouser I am today and I can’t thank them enough. He was a positive young black man in my life back then and even still today. He continues to work in our local community and help nationally as he did with the Tuscaloosa and Katrina relief efforts. I had something to look up to and admire with him and other encouraging black men at the university.
We didn’t call him E-Live for nothing. I didn’t know what a road trip was until I met him. I believe we hit every college in Ohio for a party. Hey…work hard…party harder. But he knew how to keep things in perspective.
It’s largely because of him I had a great college experience.
Below are his responses of the questions I sent out. In true E-Live style, his answers are short and sweet.
1. Before the protest were you actively involved in social/political/civil organizations?
You know it!
2. Why did you decide to participate? Did you stay the course? If not why?
- Was president of OAAU.
- For the most part.
- Did not agree with the change in plans for action.
3. Was the protest what you expected?
It wasn’t our 1st time out that year. We did the MLK march, the Rascal House protest, the Dr. McKinney threat situation, funding for Black Aspirations. We were kinda on alert already.
4. What was your high and low points during the sit-in?
- When we started.
- After the meeting at the Cleveland Playhouse.
5. After the sit-in did you become or continue to be active in social/political/civic organizations? What bout present day?
- Most certainly.
- Tigers don’t change stripes.
6. What lessons, if any, did you learn during the sit-in? How has that effected you the past 20 years with personal/career/family etc.
- Black people, especially in Cleveland have a hard time uniting behind an issue.
- Leadership is pay to play.
- Continue to be viewed as the outkast and outspoken.
7. You were a part of little known history. How do you preserve the memory of your participation of the protest in present day?
Learned from mis-deeds, mis-stakes, and missed opportunities. No fear to question or advocate but careful to discern the cause.