An Interview With Tyson E. Dowdell


By Taroue Brooks

What do you want to do professionally? And, why?

I really like math and numbers so hopefully I can find a profession in business, major in actuarial science, become a sports agent, or even a math teacher. Since I like math and do pretty well with numbers, I think I can find something I like in these areas.

How does it feel to be part of “What About Me Documentary?”

I didn’t know what to expect. I was nervous and excited about the opportunity. Now I know that many black youth have varied life experiences and many of us are on the right track and have remained focused.

How do you think black men  are viewed in America?

Some look at black men as threats. But I’m most concerned how we look at ourselves. Do we look at each other as brothers, warriors, educated folks? Do we view ourselves as positive role models? Until we look at ourselves in a positive way, we can’t worry about how others view us. At my age, I just gotta be the best I can and even set an example for those younger than myself.

What was your experience like being interviewed?

Many questions and topics were above my level. I was only 13-14 years old and hadn’t experienced too much political stuff. However I could share my reality. That is all of the positive stuff I do in church, school, and activities I participated in .

Now that you are about to get your driver’s license,  how feel about the possibility of being pulled over by the police?

I’m a part of the Sigma Beta Club in Chicago. We had a session that talked about interactions with the police. If ever pulled over, I learned the main goal is to leave the interaction alive. They said remain respectful, follow orders, look at officer’s badge numbers and names. Even when you do all the right things, sometimes officers do the wrong thing. I’m not gonna be worried about the police, because there are some good officers out there. But I will remember what they said about keeping your hands on the wheel or dashboard.

What is the best advise that your father has ever given you?

He tells me to love God and love family. I always say I want to find a job, but he tells me that school is my job. Don’t worry about money right now. If you do well in school, you will eventually have the money you want.

Where would you like to go-to college? And, why?

I have a few colleges in mind. I want to attend LSU, North Carolina A & T, University of Illinois, or Temple. I’ve been on a few college tours and liked these schools. I really want to leave and have the college experience away from home. The environment at these schools seem to fit my style.