Tag Archives: Tookie Stanford

‘Tookie’s’ death will be topic of forum

The death of ‘Tookie’ Stanford touched my family as well as many others. He and my youngest son sat in classes together at West High School before they both graduated in 2011. Tragically, the young basketball standout took his own life less than a year later after returning from a brief sojourn to college.
tookie3.jpgCan anything positive grow out of such a sadness? At the News Sentinel, we hope so. We are teaming up with the Beck Cultural Exchange Center to hold a community forum on May 15 to explore what lessons can be drawn from Tookie’s death, in hopes that other young people can avoid his despair.
The event, starting at 7 p.m. at the Beck Center, will begin with a showing of the News Sentinel documentary “A Community’s Child: The Story of Phillip ‘Tookie’ Stanford.” It tells of Tookie’s rise from childhood hardship and horrors to a bright hope of success that was too quickly lost after high school. Radio talk show host Hallerin Hilton Hill will moderate the forum. Panelists will include rapper Brian “B.T.” Tate, Mickeeya Murray Harrison of TribeOne, Andre Canty of the Beck Center and me.
Everyone, especially young people who are graduating from high school this month, is encouraged to attend. Please RSVP by visiting out Facebook page, or call 865-342-6448 for more information.
The following Sunday, May 20, the outcome of the discussion will shared on “The Hubert Smith Radio Show” on WUTK (90.3) from 10 a.m. to noon,