Young black community leader steps in to raise up strong boys in Georgia

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ALBANY, GA – Recently, I had the pleasure of speaking with a young man named King Randall, who is dedicating his life to the betterment of the lives of boys in his community.

In January of 2019, King founded a group called The X for Boys. The group’s motto is “Let us make man,” and the mission is to raise the minds of young boys to make them men. King spends time with the boys and teaches them life skills, such as changing oil in the car and small house repair projects.

King Randall is 21 years old. He’s been married for three years, to his high school sweetheart, and has an 18-month-old son. The family lives in Albany, Georgia.

King joined the Marine Corp as an Inventory Management Specialist. He also taught himself to do a plethora of jobs by watching YouTube videos, such as cutting hair, painting, auto repair, and odd jobs around the house. Because of this, he became a household name around his neighborhood for work.

The outreach to boys in his community started with a flyer that King made on his phone and posted on social media and around his church, where he also plays the drums.

He had enough of a response to get a field trip together to go to the Civil Rights Museum and African American Museum in Atlanta.

The X for Boys
Compliments of King Randall

Part of the reason for this location, King said, was because many of the boys had never traveled outside of Albany before. In fact, King said that for economic reasons, it wasn’t uncommon for people to never leave the city before they were in their 20’s.

While on the trip and talking to the boys, King noticed that the boys didn’t seem to have many useful life skills. He said they could read minimally, but they weren’t pushed towards learning those life skills, and spent much of their time on their phones or playing video games.

King realized that their phones and video games wouldn’t help them get anywhere in life and decided that he could teach them the very skills he taught himself.

So, that’s exactly what he did.

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He put on workshops for the boys teaching them things like auto repair, household repair, cooking (since, by the way, King has also graduated from culinary school), and more. He raised money through his church and other donations to take the kids on more field trips.

Last summer, he put on a sort of boot camp at his own home, a house he owns on four acres, where he set up three bunk beds in his living room and had six boys stay with him. He said during the camp, he taught more skills, including planting their own food as well as education like reading comprehension.

But that’s not all.

The X for Boys
Compliments of King Randall

King told me that most of the boys are being raised by single moms. King said he thinks it’s important that the boys were exposed to his life with his wife and son, so that they could see how men properly interact with women and children.

For some of the boys, he’s the only male role model they have.

He said he takes that responsibility seriously, and that it’s important to him that he show the boys that if they put the work in, as King did, the boys can have a life that they want.

King said he formed a tight bond with many of the boys that he’s worked with, and now he even has a sort of waiting list for kids to get into his workshops.

The X for Boys
Compliments of King Randall

We had a chance to discuss his opinions on law enforcement and how he addresses the current climate regarding police with the kids.

His answers were incredible.

King said:

“I’ve never had a negative interaction with police, ever.”

He also said that his father, Dekalb County Detective Andre Hardaway, whom you may have seen on A&E’s The First 48, is proof to him that police aren’t bad.

King told me:

“We need police. I talk to the boys a lot about how to interact with police, and in fact, several of them want to go into law enforcement.

“People who say they think the police should be better, well why don’t they become police and make it better then?

“Some people ask me why I encourage my boys to be ‘pigs.’ That’s just ignorant.”

King also recalled:

“I’ve never had more interaction with police than this last summer when I started hanging out with these boys. I think that God did that on purpose, because I have had so many chances to show these boys that yes, there are some bad cops, but we don’t have to escalate situations and make it bad.

“I teach them to be respectful, keep their hands where they can be seen. I was pulled over twice by white officers and I explained what we were doing. I got off with a warning- State Police never give warnings! I was glad to be able to show the boys those positive interactions.”

King told me:

“Part of the problem with Dr. King and Malcom X, they didn’t train replacements. We need to teach our boys how to be men so they can grow up and teach their boys to do the same. Then no one can stop them by assassinating one man: they’d have to assassinate all of us.”

And this, my friends, is where King’s purpose comes in.

When King was two years old, he was in the car with his grandma, who is a minister, driving home from daycare. King clearly remembers talking to his grandma that day, the stop sign they were at, even the color of his car seat, when he asked her a question:

“Do you ever get butterflies in your stomach?”

His grandma responded that she did, and King told her that he felt like he was put on earth to finish what Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. started.

King had his rebellious years, of course, during which his grandma would constantly remind him that he was the one who said he was meant to follow in Dr. King’s footsteps.

King brushed the feeling from his two-year-self off, saying that he must have heard someone talking about the Doctor when he was a kid and that what he said when he was so young didn’t mean anything.

The day he finally gave in was a day he went to Dr. King’s memorial and the civil rights museum. He was walking through the rooms and remembers being in a place where all the newspaper headlines were featured. He read an article from the Pittsburgh Courier after Dr. King was assassinated, dated on his wife’s birthday 1968.

It read:

“Will a new king emerge?”

This article spoke to him, and he realized that his two-year-old self was right: He was meant to follow in Dr. King’s footsteps.

Now, just over a year and a half after the founding of The X for Boys, King is working on his next dream for his community: A boarding school for the boys. He’s soon going to be putting a down payment on a 15,000 square foot building, with a 10,000 square foot warehouse in the back, which he will use to teach skill trades like welding, painting, music, machinery, roofing, auto repair, and more.

The way the boys will graduate is by teaching the skills back to King so he can see that they’ve mastered them. Additionally, King is planning on employing the boys through the school as they get older so they don’t have to go elsewhere to seek employment.

King is a humble man but always willing to accept donations to The X for Boys. A Houston man called him Monday to let him know that he will be matching donations received through Wednesday August 19, up to $5,000.

There is so much negative in this world right now, and speaking with King, hearing his mission and his support for the law enforcement community is so incredible, and it gives me hope for the future of our nation.

Please, if you’re able, support King and The X for Boys group financially. If you can’t contribute financially, please pray for the boys and for King as they embark on this journey to open the school, and beyond.

King’s mission is clear and he’s working hard to make it happen. It appears that the answer to the 1968 Pittsburgh Courier article is yes:

A new King has emerged.

 

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