|Artur Genestre Davis (born October 9, 1967) is an American attorney and former Member of Congress. Davis served in the United States House of Representatives representing Alabama's 7th congressional district from 2003 to 2011. He was also a candidate for governor of Alabama in the 2010 Democratic Gubernatorial Primary. He changed his party affiliation from the Democratic to the Republican Party in 2012. (Wikipedia)|
Montgomery is my home and the place that gave me a chance to live the American dream. I was born in 1967 at the Old St. Margaret’s Hospital to a mother who would become one of the first African American teachers at Jeff Davis and a father who was a nurse at St. Margaret’s. They brought me home to a little brick house on McKinney Street, a few yards from the railroad tracks.
My parents’ marriage didn’t last, but I had the blessing of a grandmother who remains, in my biased but strong opinion, the wisest, most spiritual person I have ever met. She was a retired seamstress and my mother earned the appallingly low salary that Alabama school teachers took home in the seventies and eighties. Yet they gave me the best inheritance: faith that my secret weapon to rise was education and with that, I could travel a pretty long way. We stocked our living room with every book and news magazine I could get my hands on, and I turned getting good grades into a personal mission. They also left me the confidence that odds are overrated, and can fall hard if you are brave enough to push against them.
All of that love aside, the first eighteen years of my life don’t make the prettiest postcard. We were poor and sometimes flat broke without my fully appreciating it. There was a lot of restlessness and change. We moved a lot, a whole lot, trying to stay afloat financially. I changed schools constantly: the first school desk I sat in was at the Brown’s Private School on Bellview Street (which miraculously has stayed alive all these years later), then Trinity Lutheran School on what we now call Rosa Parks Avenue, then Dannelly, then Montgomery Academy, then Cloverdale, then Jeff Davis High. If you are searching to remember, I was the skinny kid with the glasses and the never quite right Afro!
I may have taken a winding path, but all of these schools combined to shape the record that won me admission to Harvard University in 1986. Frankly, I was another Montgomery kid who didn’t necessarily plan to come back home, but I did: the honor of a clerkship with one of my childhood heroes, Federal Judge Myron Thompson, was waiting upon graduation from Harvard Law School and I couldn’t turn it down. The US Attorney’s Office was the next step. I spent five years trying every kind of case they would let me handle, from drug prosecutions and gun crimes to check kiting and crimes on military bases: to this day, it was the best, most fulfilling job I have ever had
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