Earnest Frazier has lived in McPherson for four decades, but he believed that people knew of him but don't know personally. On Saturday during McPherson's first ever Black Lives Matter march, the time was right for him to introduce himself.
"I think was a success to me and one of the reasons why because I was one of those stupid people who didn't let my city in," Frazier said. "I touched a lot lives in this town, but those people don't know me. I figured it was time. It was time for me to open up."
A father of two older sons, a daughter and a grandfather of two adopted white children, Frazier was taught first hand about McPherson's culture by the late Jerry Alexander.
"Jerry Alexander told me if you have a family here, if you go around McPherson and you look around, you'll see in the windows. They call it block moms. And if you go around 3 o' clock, you will see all these people who don't work in their yards. They will look out for your kids. He said they will take care of it. That's one of the reasons I figured that any city that is family oriented but this is the place to be."
Many knew Alexander for all of his contributions at Central Christian College, which would result naming the basketball arena after him. For Frazier, he considered the man a mentor for whom he gives a great deal gratitude for.
"Jerry knew I was a private person. I told him, I like talking to you but I don't like talking in the streets. I rather talk with just you. Jerry taught me about McPherson. He taught me about McPherson's culture. Jerry told me what is like to to live and what it takes to live in McPherson. Jerry was my hero."
Frazier set tone as the first guest speaker during the march. Once Frazier finally opened up about his life in front of his people, Frazier couldn't stop talking and crowd fed off of his energy. Frazier would touch on many subjects — such as family roots, growing up in bayou of Louisiana, to the issues of racism, the kindness of the people in McPherson he encountered and the family he built here. More importantly, he didn't back down when he claimed McPherson as his community and was proud of having the BLM march.
"I think everywhere you go, it's going to be some negativity black, negativity hispanic and negativity white," Frazier said. "Except for the whole community to unify themselves and say one bad apple don't spoil the bunch of kinds. We don't let one bad apple spoil what we want to do as a city because if the city was bad, I wouldn't live here. I think it's time for my community to back up and look in the mirror and see what we as a community can do to rectify America's problem."