Happy Friday, y’all. Man this was a rough week for those of use like me who are eternal optimists. More disgustingly racist behavior by a white woman in Central Park to a perfectly-harmless African-American man (at least she got shamed and fired); a brutal killing of an African-American man by a white police officer in Minnesota, and oh yeah, our dear leader wants to sue Twitter for having the gall to fact-check him in real time. And, you know, headlines like this one don’t help me sleep at night.
Sigh. November can’t get here soon enough. Even amid all the depressing stuff of this week, there was still plenty of good news.
First I want to tell you about another amazing “America’s Got Talent” success story. Archie Williams was sent to prison in 1983 in Louisiana for a rape and stabbing he did not commit. Like thousands of other African-Americans who’ve been in prison for decades, the eyewitness testimony was false, the fingerprints didn’t match, and there was absolutely zero reason Williams was in jail.
But finally, thankfully, after decades of trying by the Innocence Project, Williams was released in 2019.
And now, Williams appeared on “America’s Got Talent” this week, singing a beautiful song and telling his story.
He didn’t appear bitter, or vengeful, just happy to be alive and free. What a wonderful story and one I’ll be watching.
**Next up, one of many stories of two people in a great relationship making the best of the current awful pandemic we’re in.
A 7-year-old boy in Raleigh, N.C. named Curtis Rogers really misses his nanny. High school senior Rachel Chapman missed Curtis.
So Curtis, knowing that Rachel wasn’t going to have her Senior Prom, decided to make her one. “I planned it out because Rachel probably wanted to see me a lot,” Curtis said. “She also is one of the best people I’ve known.”
Said Curtis’ Mom, Elissa: “He was very excited and wanted to make sure everything was just right and get his suit on and pick out his bowtie that matched her dress,” she said. “It was really cute. He was really excited for it to start and make sure he was ready to impress her.”
Curtis had the whole night planned out from their favorite after-school snack — peanut butter and apples — as an appetizer to using a pool noodle to maintain a safe social distance and having Google serve as the DJ playing Rachel’s favorite songs.
“First he was waiting outside when we got there with the pool noodle and then he led me into the backyard,” Rachel said. “He had all my favorite foods and everything. I could tell he put a lot of thought into it.”
So freaking adorable. Go Curtis. A ladies man at 7!
**Finally today, I wish I had a kid like Alexis Loveraz around to help me when I struggled mightily with high school match.
Alexis is a 16-year-old New York City kid who has garnered hundreds of thousands of TikTok followers (for those unaware, TikTok is the video sharing site all the kids use these days) by helping out-of-school kids with their difficult math schoolwork.
“How did you explain it better than my teacher?” one commenter asked. “You explain 1000x better than my math teacher!!!” another exclaimed.
Alexis started making videos before the COVID-19 pandemic temporarily closed schools throughout the country. But during the lockdown, they’ve been a lifeline to students struggling to keep up at a time where education has been turned on its head.
“I was, like, really shocked,” Alexis told CBS2. “Things that they probably forgot like before COVID-19, this is like a refresher of what I’m, like, giving them out. It’s really cool because they understand it even better the way I’m explaining it to them.”
When asked what motivates him to make the videos, Alexis’s response was simple: “The knowledge I have, like, I want to share it to other people.”
Awesome kid. See? The future is going to be all right. Eventually.