ACWORTH, GEORGIA – Transplanted from a Northern inner city school to a Southern suburban high school, 15-year-old Marlon Brazelton is getting high scores – both in the classroom and on the football field.
Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, Brazelton recently moved to Acworth, Georgia with his parents and four siblings.
At Woodstock High School, Brazelton plays wide receiver on the football team, purely because he enjoys it.
“It’s easy to score touchdowns,” he said.
Brazelton played inner city youth football from the time he was seven until the family moved to Georgia two years ago.
He said parents in Georgia have more money to fund the sport than they did in Ohio.
“They can afford to give more” through things like booster clubs, he said. “Most parents in Cleveland are single families and moms have to make ends meet.”
Like many people moving to the South or to suburban life, the Brazeltons moved because of the horrible school system and encouragement from family members to move for cheaper home prices.
The schools in his new home are 10 times better than the ones he left, said Brazelton, who is entering his sophomore year.
But he sees a difference in the teachers.
“Here I don’t think they really care because there aren’t a lot of black teachers,” said Brazelton. “We can’t relate.”
Back in Cleveland, teachers could relate more, because most were black and understood inner city life, Brazelton said.
Brazelton said he has a 3.6 grade point average. He said the beginning of the year is always the hardest part.
Aside from playing football, Brazelton likes chess and watching ESPN all day.
Brazelton showed no inkling of wanting to some day go pro, but said he’s just trying to get a scholarship to go to college.
Like many teens, Brazelton isn’t shy about sharing his political views.
He’s not aligned with either Republicans or Democrats, he said, adding that his reason for disliking parties is personal.
“Democrats were the party of the southerners and they were slave owners,” Brazelton said. Republicans, he said, are “selfish” and “conceited” and think only of themselves.
What about the war on terror?
“It’s misunderstood and misrepresented,” Brazelton said. “The government only wants you to hear what they put out.”
Donicea Johnson is a Reporter for Youth Journalism International.