Grew Up… in the Bronx, in the middle of one of New York City’s most fraught decades – the 1970s.
Living… in a small apartment with his aunt and uncle. His parents are gone, and Zeke knows that kids like him, black kids from the Bronx, don’t have that a good chance of making it much longer than they did.
Profession… high school student, technically. But Zeke focuses on his writing enough for it to practically qualify as a job. He also plays piano at a local church.
Interests… poetry and graffiti. Zeke writes poetry with intense subjects and compelling rythym, the kind you read out loud – or rap. He’s also a fan of the local street artists that tag buildings and subway trains with their own signatures or with slogans and murals.
Relationship Status… single, but in love. Mylene Cruz, another high school student and the daughter of the pastor whose church he plays piano at, is Zeke’s one true love. He thinks constantly about how he can get her to see how much he cares.
Challenge… making something of himself. Zeke loves to write, but he’s not sure what to do with his talent, until he encounters the underground beginnings of hip-hop. The new musical genre might offer him an outlet – and a way out of poverty – but that depends on if he can make it in a brand new scene that’s not easy on outsiders.
Personality… intelligent, resourceful, and loyal. Zeke will stop at nothing to show his love for both Mylene and poetry. He doesn’t shrink from adventure and he’s ready to make his mark on the world. He’s a little hot-tempered, and his circumstances sometimes weigh heavily on him, but once he has a goal he’s committed 110%.
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