About Me

Meet Dr Sam Kline

Truth Teller. World-Shaker. Self-Leadership Expert.

 

I grew up on the wrong side of the tracks and was wrongly accused of a crime.

Freedom is a choice. It is not given to anyone for good behavior, but fought for with every bone in your body. I know this for a fact.

I grew up in Southern Mississippi, in the heat of not long forgotten racial tension, on the wrong side of America’s tracks.

My dad drank about as hard as he worked. He worked pretty hard, and he hit pretty hard too. Strike 1.

I knew my way out and onto a better life was success in school. So I worked hard and committed to excellence in academics. School became my sanctuary, but it couldn’t stop the pain.

“By ten years old, I planned my suicide.”

Being a “good kid”- I knew I could leave the classroom without any questions. On the morning I planned to do it, on my way to the restroom, I stood in the strangely vacant hallway and heard a voice.

I had never heard it before, but it pleaded with me not to do it. I think it was God or my guardian angel talking to me. It rattled me to the core…and in trust, I just kept walking…straight the counselor’s office for help.

And even so, I knew I would be in trouble.

The counselor called my dad–the man who had never missed a day at work…the man who rose up before daybreak each day to go make a living… the man who kids swore he was a preacher because we were raised so strictly.

When we got home, he beat me. While my mom turned her back and washed the dishes like it was just another day.

Strike 2.

Somehow, I knew the beating was worth it… Somehow I knew I had made the right decision to keep going. To keep trying at life.

And so I did. Earning all A’s from that moment until I graduated Valedictorian of my class.

But along the way of kicking academic butt and taking names and intellectual lunch money, my family was the only Black family in our neighborhood. Due to racial beliefs of certain community members, my sister and I did not ride our bikes or walk in the neighborhood. We tried, only to face neighbors commanding their dogs to chase us. I grew tired of watching our White neighbors freely walk, while we were relegated to staying on our property–like we were animals that needed to be caged. Even their dogs had more freedom than us.

Having had enough, one afternoon, my sister and I dared to go for a walk.

Strolling along, we saw an outdoor gathering at someone’s house. When the group noticed us, the joyous and boisterous atmosphere stilled, as the crowd began trickling inside the home. We continued walking until we felt rain droplets and decided to return home. For a brief few minutes we were free!

A police officer arrived and stopped us. The people were watching. The officer thought we had walked from the housing projects across town. That’s a very long walk. After informing him that our family had lived in this community for years, the police officer ended his questioning, and we returned home. But the madness had just gotten started. The people down the street claimed that my sister and I returned at 2am to try to break into their home.

The price of freedom was so very high.

Strike 3.

I felt hopeless, recognizing that despite my intelligence, hard work, and loving heart, I could be tossed away like garbage because of my skin tone.

Fear from threats of white sheets, burning crosses on our lawn and other intimidation gripped me throughout this year-long surreal nightmare. By God’s grace, our accusers finally dropped the charges, due to concern for giving a false report.

Despite the extraordinary news, a cold front had settled over my heart, but I couldn’t give up.

“Because I believe in freedom. I just know it costs a lot.”

That before I could be physically free, I must become free from within.

And all of it boiled down to one factor–Me.

Freedom is your choice. And it will always come at a cost.

The real question is–are you willing to pay for it?

9 Lies Holding You Back

And The Truth That Will Make You Free



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With Dr. Sam Kline