This Is My Testimony...Dominique Maddox
My story starts in Anchorage, Alaska in 1981 when I was born into the crack epidemic in the United States. During this time there was a surge of crack cocaine use in major cities across the United States between the early 1980s and the early 1990s. This epidemic destroyed the family structure of many minority households, and created countless number of children raised by the rules of the streets!
My earliest childhood memories are not pleasant and honestly, I wish I didn’t remember them at all. My parents suffered from drug addiction, our home was not filled with happiness but filled with domestic violence, drug use, lack of food and very unstable. I saw violence in our home with my own eyes no child deserves to see. I can remember between 1st-2nd grade always trying to sleep with a quarter in my pocket just in case I had run out of the apartment to call the police. I can recall the police coming to our home on multiple occasions. This period in my life it felt like I was living in a Hell on Earth.
In 1990 my three sisters, brother and I, were taken into Alaska Child Protective Services. Shortly after this life-changing event my Grandmother Mary Maddox moved from San Jose, California to Anchorage, Alaska to take custody of us. The first time I ever met her was in 1990 when she came to take us in her custody. The first statement she said to me was, “ I know you have experienced a tough life, I’m here now and you can be a child now”. It felt like God had sent me an Angel on earth. She would legally adopt us in 1993.
We moved to a 3-bedroom apartment no bigger than 1400 sq. ft. with 1 bathroom for 6 kids, and 2 adults. Most times our apartment had anywhere between 8-14 people residing in the tight living area. We lived in this apartment from my 3rd grade-8th grade. During this time I had a better living situation but due to the drug addictions my family members suffered, violence was still present. We struggled financially most times, I can remember having to line up at church food pantries for food, and using foods stamps. My parents were out in the streets battling their drug addictions and were really not around except if they needed a place to crash for a couple days.
I can remember during my elementary years since we didn’t have much at home, I started to hustle any way I could to get money. I got into collecting sports cards, shoveling snow off driveways, washing cars, stealing from stores and rolling dice for money. I always had personal goals and dreams beyond my comfort zone, I started to imagine the lifestyle I wanted in the future.
My Freshman and Sophomore of high school were filled with bad choices and making decisions that could have easily put me in jail. By this time my cousins and friends my age or older were selling crack cocaine and carrying guns, hanging out at apartments that crack cocaine was sold or processed was normal to me. I never sold crack because I saw the negative effect and destruction it did to my family.
This point in my life I didn’t care about the penalty for the actions I was taking because I felt like I was a product of my environment, and this is how we get down. My family wore the color red and aligned with the Bloods. I embraced the lifestyle, clothes, music, and movies about gang mentality.
In 1998 I realized the culture I was raised in and surrounded by needed to change or I would end up in jail. I decided to transfer high schools to get away from some family members and the friends I had at the time. The high school was about 95% white kids most came from money and were okay but I did experience my share of racism. Luckily I played football and was accepted by the students, I lead the school to win two Football State Championships and set the Alaska state record with 395 rushing yards in a game. During my senior year I would visit my mom in jail multiple times.
In 2000 I received a football scholarship to Morehouse College and packed my bags to Atlanta. Coming to Atlanta and seeing so many black men from different backgrounds than mine was inspiring. I suffered from PTSD from my childhood and upbringing but didn’t realize it at the time. My dark personal struggles very people knew about, because I wasn’t big on talking about my feelings and emotions. While at Morehouse I became an educated MAN, I can say attending Morehouse College saved my life.
Today I’m the Founder and President of EATS Restaurant Brokers and www.EATSbrokers.com. After working with one of the nation’s largest Restaurant Brokerage Firms for 7.5 years, I decided it was time to bring a new flavor to the Restaurant Brokerage Industry. In November 2019 I opened up the First Black-Owned Restaurant Brokerage Firm in the state of Georgia and one of the few in the nation. I specialize in selling restaurants, bars, and nightclubs. My end goal is to allow African Americans to join my firm to learn Restaurant Brokerage.
I understand I’m here to break generational family curses and break glass ceilings to be an example for children raised in similar tough situations. I have learned don’t use your upbringing as an excuse why you can’t, use it as fuel to reach your dreams and break down barriers.
If my life story affects one child or adult in a positive way, it was worth sharing! I have not always been comfortable regarding sharing my story but I’m speaking out to change or inspire someone’s life I have never met.